What Really Happens On The ‘Dog Suicide Bridge’ In Scotland?

Alert spaniel on stone bridge

(Picture Credit: tirc83/Getty Images)

Dogs get excited or frenzied for different reasons. They are excited when they welcome us home home, when a squirrel enters their territory, or when a new dog marks their favorite tree. They can also feel agitated when they’re in an unsafe area.

Just like humans, dogs have a spectrum of emotions that can make them behave in different ways.

However, one bridge in Scotland seems to have the power of ensnaring dogs supernaturally. Something about the Overtoun Bridge casts a spells on dogs and puts them in a frenzy, and it has local dog lovers spooked.

Is The Supernatural At Work?

Collie looking over stone bridge

(Picture Credit: tirc83/Getty Images)

Dog owner Lottie Mackinnon shared that her Border Collie, Bonnie, displayed odd behavior during one of their walks by the bridge.

“At first she froze, but then she became possessed by a strange energy and ran and jumped right off the parapet,” said Mackinnon to The New York Times.

More cases of similar dog experiences turned up–and in each case, a dog appears bewitched or ensnared when they leap off. Locals related this story as an old legend, with dogs supposedly leaping down the 50-foot height of the bridge since the 1950s.

While others cried “supernatural,” pastor and nearby resident Bob Hill offered a more science-based explanation. It had something to do with smell.

“The dogs catch the scent of mink, pine martens or some other mammal, and then they will jump on the wall of the bridge,” said Hill.

Sensory Overload: When Noses Cry Foul

Science offers some support for Hill’s explanation by way of dogs’ powerful sniffers. Their noses can detect smells that even humans can’t, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that some smells can offend or send them into a frenzy.

Intense and foul smells can stress out your dog–and this experience is no laughing matter. According to VetStreet, dogs’ noses can be so powerful, they exceed a human’s sense of smell by a factor of a thousand to a million.

If we’re already offended by overwhelming perfume or the odor of garbage, imagine how dogs will react to them. This sheds light on the puzzling effect of the Overtoun bridge.

The scent beneath the bridge, which is filled with mink, pine martens, and other creatures, may be overwhelming dogs’ noses, even if their accompanying owners do not notice.

Even when other smells compete–such as a nice-smelling perfume sprayed nearby–it might not drown out the offensive odor lingering underneath. That’s why the best solution to remove the stress-inducing smell is to get rid of it, instead of trying to mask it.

Of course, ghosts and the supernatural may still be a cause of dogs’ troubles on Overtoun Bridge. Given how Scotland’s folklore and legends are mired in the supernatural, it won’t be a surprise if the pups who went into a frenzy at the bridge encountered the paranormal.

What do you think is the secret behind the so-called Dog Suicide Bridge? Do you believe in the strong smell theory or the supernatural theory? Let us know below!

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