Professional dog trainer Graeme Hall has revealed his top tips on how to walk through the British countryside safely and avoid the danger posed by cows.
TV’s ‘the Dogfather’ is no stranger to the perils of pet ownership, and found himself and his hound faced with a herd of 20 cattle on a recent walk.
In his latest podcast episode, he shared that going back wasn’t an option, and added: “I’m going to have to bite the bullet and walk across this field. They are all standing there smack bang in the middle of the footpath staring at us.
“My plan was if they weren’t moving, I would go round the back and give them a wide birth and that’s what I did, they didn’t move.”
Although being trampled by cows is ‘rare’, according to the National Farmers Union, Graeme said that they chances of it happening when walking your dog is higher.
This is because dogs look like predators to cows protecting their young.
He explained: “If you need to deviate from the footpath and give them a wide birth and then get back to the footpath as soon as it’s reasonably possible then it’s okay to do that.
“Don’t religiously stick to that path and try to split the herd and never ever split a cow from its calf.”
It is important to have your dog on the lead around livestock. However, if you do feel threatened that they may run at you, Graeme advised to let your dog off the lead as they will distract them with their agility until you get where you need to be.
And it’s not just cows that dog walkers need to worry about when on walks. The Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly star also shared tips for stick-chasing canines and dogs that love to roll in fox poo.
The trainer provided his expert advice to one listener, called Laura, who was having issues with her rescue dog, Gromit, eating sticks and having upset stomachs the following day.
The 54-year-old suggested to throw toys instead of sticks for your dog to chase after, in particular a rubber one that will bounce.
He explained how he wasn’t a fan of dogs playing with sticks as every year there are cases where dogs run after sticks, the stick has then landed straight up and when the dog goes to bite it, it goes through the back of their throat.
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Another listener, called Joe, has an eight-month-year-old Labrador who often rolls around in badger poo.
The Yorkshireman explained that dogs do this to disguise their scent as predators and are then able to sneak up on prey as they smell like the natural surroundings.
He added that “prevention is better than cure ” as it is natural for dogs.
To avoid this, you should keep your dog in the front of you and when they see poo, recall them and then treat them. To remove it from their fur, proper dog shampoo should be used.