Anne's bull terrier must see the shrink

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The Independent Online

The Princess Royal will send her troublesome English bull terrier, Florence, which savaged a maid and killed one of the Queen's corgis, to an animal psychologist, it emerged last night.

The move will help ensure the dog is not put down for its Christmas antics at Sandringham.

An animal psychologist from Surrey who treated another of Princess Anne's dogs, Dotty, after an attack on two children in 2002 said he had been brought in to treat Florence.

Psychologist Roger Mugford told The Sunday Telegraph: "I am sure it is just a dog who is feeling a bit out of sorts about something, perhaps pain or old age and is feeling a bit cranky on the day.

"The timing has not been arranged, but it is likely that I will be seeing her next week.

"Cases like this have a high probability of being sorted out, and that's what I hope will happen next week. I am quietly confident, but I can't be certain."

The paper reported Dr Mugford may use human "stooges" including himself to re-enact attack situations with the aim of stopping the dog biting.

Dr Mugford, who normally charges £293.75 for two visits, said of the dog's behaviour: "There is probably some underlying medical factor. We are not talking about an inherently aggressive or dangerous dog," he said.

Florence savaged the Queen's oldest corgi, Pharos, on 22 December. The corgi had to be put down the next day. On 27 December, Florence bit the 50-year-old maid who was trying to clean Princess Anne's rooms at Sandringham.