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Nicola Bulley’s dog likely went into ‘fight or flight’ mode if police’s theory is correct | UK | News

Nicola Bulley’s dog is unlikely to have thought the mother was in danger if she did fall in the river so would probably not have gone in the water to try and rescue her, an expert says. The police’s leading theory about the 45-year-old’s disappearance is that she fell into the river on the morning of January 27. She has not been seen since.

Her cocker spaniel named Willow appeared “bone dry” when spotted close to where Nicola went missing.

And while many people have speculated that this means Nicola did not fall into the river because her dog was dry, dog behaviour expert Ross McCarthy says it is not as simple as that.

He said: “It all depends on the dog’s association with water, and their relationship with the owner and so on, as to whether they would jump in.

“Some would through play or investigation and others would just mooch about on the side and some would panic at the strange situation.”

Mr McCarthy added: “Dogs go into fight or flight as we do, but they may not perceive the same dangers as us.

“Often chemical changes in the body of the owner can alert the dog to an unusual situation but naturally if the owner is not present – that won’t be the case.

“Presumably this dog has been walked along the canal and water often and been discouraged from going in or naturally just avoided going in.”

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Search teams are continuing their hunt for the missing mother-of-two, while her family and friends have slammed the police’s theory that she fell in the river with “no evidence” to back it up.

They include Nicola’s friend Emma White who has rejected the idea that she could have fallen into the water while retrieving her dog’s tennis ball, because she says Nicola would not have taken a tennis ball out with her.

Speaking earlier today she said Nicola no longer took a tennis ball on her and Willow’s walks because the pooch would “pester” her for the toy.

*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.