Your dog is happily sniffing the ground, they don’t respond to any of your desperate attempts to call him back, he suddenly stops, you gasp and thank your lucky stars, then you spot movement up ahead and like a shot….pwoof, your dog has gone full belt after the said moving thing…. you stand still whilst you momentarily think of the worst outcome and then go into panic mode calling every known cue you’ve used once or maybe 100’s of times but to no avail, your dog is having the time of their life either in sight or out of sight from you. We’ve all been there, finally what feels like a friggin eternity, your dog comes strutting back, happy as larry and only what can be described as the biggest canine smile going….to him, this spontaneous jaunt was SUPERB…. whilst we try to subside our anxiety that is running through our veins we pop that lead on and hold tight till we get home.

“Why does he do that?” I hear you ask!!

So if this was a one-off, then of course, this may be a blip or something super interesting that may not cross your path again, phew.

If it’s not the first time and happens on most off-lead walks, then let me ask you this?

• Do you find your dog likes to chase fast-moving objects like cars, bikes, skateboards, joggers or cats?
• Distracted really easily and struggles with impulsivity?
• Dramatic or unmanageable behaviour when walking on a lead?

If yes to any of the above, it’s more than likely your dog is struggling with aspects of their own predatory sequence, this is an inbuilt part of our dogs gentics and what makes them the dog they are. If they’ve become experts at practicing any of the behaviours related to the predatory sequence, I tend to term it as the dog going Self Employed learning how to perfect his skill on his own. Ideally, as teammates, we want to know that our dogs are safe and under our control, as per the Dangerous Dog Act 1991, under section 3 which states:

it is an offence to own or be in charge of a dog that is dangerously out of control in a public place or a private place where the dog does not have a right to be.

An under-control dog means you can reliably recall your dog back to safety, for both your dog’s safety and that of others around you including wildlife.

The NFU issued some figures in a report,  you read more  HERE,  They released figures stating that the number of fatalities was up 50% since pre-pandemic.

I personally find reading about any harm to wildlife upsetting, but when it comes to Livestock and people’s livelihoods it hits home even more . We have a responsibility to provide our dogs with skills, skills that make not just their existence more enjoyable but all those around them too, especially if you too enjoy the great outdoors and explore our wonderful countryside.

Adventures in the lakes district, safe and enjoyable with skills around livestock

The NFU also issued the following advice: 

  • Keep dogs on a lead when walking in rural areas where livestock are kept but let go of the lead if chased by cattle
  • Be aware that even small dogs can cause the distress, injury and death of farm animals
  • Report attacks by dogs to the police or local farmers
  • Never let dogs loose unsupervised in gardens near livestock fields – many attacks are caused by dogs that escape and attack sheep grazing nearby

If you would like to catch up with a little more details on how to keep our dogs safe, and how to enjoy your adventures, join me for a LIVE call on all things PREDATION, don’t worry if you can’t catch it LIVE once you’ve registered, you can view a recording.

Register HERE for the LIVE Call (and access to the recording).