An animal psychologist says he has been called in to try to teach Queen Elizabeth's pet corgi dogs to stop nipping at the heels of royal footmen.

The Mail newspaper on Sunday said zoologist-psychologist Roger Mugford declined to give details of his treatment for the short-legged dogs, originally bred to herd cattle."As such, they will chase anything, particularly ankles," Mugford said.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman declined comment on the report that Mugford was summoned because corgis Spark, Mist, Sable, Diamond, Kelpie and Phoenix had a penchant for the ankles of footmen, guardsman, policemen and even the Royal Clockwinder.

The current crop of royal corgis are largely descended from a bitch named Susan, best remembered for trying to bite the queen in 1959, the newspaper said.