Staff at Bradgate Park in Leicestershire may have to start forcing owners to keep dogs on their leads after ‘out of control’ dogs cause the deaths of up to 30 deer as a result of being chased.
After a video of ‘Fenton the dog’ chasing a herd of deer in London’s Richmond Park went viral on YouTube, staff at Bradgate Park have noticed a sharp increase in the number of deaths to their herd of 500 during the last few months.
The latest death occurred just last week when a dog chased a deer into a brick wall. The deer broke its neck in the impact and died in front of shocked café customers.
Our Team Wild dog training expert Sarah Hanson shares her views;
“I think a lot of people honestly do not realise the stress a dog creates for livestock, in particular sheep, which are born with a limp and a will to die.
A common mistake people make when training their dog is that they may work around livestock and their dog is well behaved, job done. Whereas in reality the dog is probably pretty calm, likely on a lead. The livestock are far enough away or standing still so that they are of little to no interest to the dog. In the real world a startled sheep doesn’t stand still, a whole new level of interest to the dog, the formerly fluffy creature that didn’t precurse the prey drive in your dog, now does.
Is your recall proofed well enough to call your dog off? In reality your dog should have been on a lead and or under CLOSE control and should not have been allowed to stray from the footpath or romp around farmland.
I frequently come across dog owners casually enjoying a walk around my training fields, their dogs out of their sight. The owners cite a lack of signs or a lack of livestock, hence their presence. The fact they have damaged a wire fence to enter the field and the fact the livestock may be at the bottom having a top up feed or a drink can often be the perfect storm which can be fatal for fido and NO farmer likes shooting dogs but their priority is the welfare of their charges, the livestock.”
Shannon Wild also expresses her concern:
In my opinion I don’t think that the dog can be blamed for any actions caused by it not being on the lead and that it all relies on the owner. If the owner knows that the dog can’t behave when it is off of the lead then it should remain on, as you never know how a dog is going to act in new surroundings. Also people walking their dogs should always check what the rules are when and where they decide to go as many places do have a rule about keeping dogs on a lead.
Sarah Hanson, Dog Trainer & Behaviourist, www.facebook.com/Wigglydog for help with your dog.
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