VIC BAR­LOW TAKES AN AL­TER­NA­TIVE LOOK AT LIFE IN MAC­CLES­FIELD Let’s show how good our dogs can be­have in the for­est

Macclesfield Express - - BARLOW’S BRIEF -

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

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