VIC BARLOW TAKES AN ALTERNATIVE LOOK AT LIFE IN MACCLESFIELD Let’s show how good our dogs can behave in the forest
I’VE received a flood of complaints from owners angry their dogs are no longer allowed off-lead in Macclesfield Forest.
The forest is the number one destination for owners and professional dog walkers.
Unfortunately it’s also the number one destination for out of control dogs. By definition any dog that chases other dogs, wildlife or livestock is out of control. As is any dog that does not respond immediately to a recall command.
I know it’s inconvenient to keep our dogs on-lead but what else can forest owners United Utilities do when there have been so many complaints? Telling a distraught parent your dog is ‘only being friendly’ when it’s jumping up at their terrified child is no comfort.
They have had deer chased out of the forest into oncoming traffic and one horrendous incident when a deer was forced to swim across the reservoir to escape a dog attack plus one very serious personal attack.
Over the years I’ve had five clients whose dogs died chasing other animals.
Last year I worked with a Rottweiler from a home where they routinely drove it to the park turned it loose and let it charge around until it was exhausted. “He needs a good run,” was their excuse when it knocked a small child off her feet.
They saw no danger signs at all until it attacked another dog and they had to pay a huge vet’s bill.
Still in denial they told me ‘He only wants to play’, which was like telling a magistrate your teenage son ‘only wanted some fun’ when he pushed a pensioner into the canal.
We’re not the only group under pressure. Mountain bikers can present huge problems in the forest but that’s not our responsibility. Having dogs under control is.
In my experience owners with the worst behaved dog are owners with the longest list of excuses.
It’s in our interest to have trained dogs. A respectful obedient dog is welcome everywhere.
Let’s not blame United Utilities or the rangers, let’s show them just how good our dogs can be then maybe we can get this restriction order reversed.
I’m holding a behaviour clinic at Astbury Mere, Congleton CW12 4FR on Saturday, January 17 from 10 am, where, for a £10 charity donation, I will work with your dog on any issues he/she may have. To save waiting, text me on 07590 560012 for an appointment or simply turn up on the day.
You will be amazed how good your dog can be.
‘In my experience owners with the worstbehaved dogs are owners with the longest
list of excuses’
●● The carving of nesting herons, Prestbury
●● Polite notice to dog walkers