I saw a hare this week while out, I see lots of rabbits on my travels but not very often a hare. It reminded me of a walk I did years ago. I saw a hare, luckily before the dogs did, and promptly called everyone back and put them on leads just in case (I had some wildlife enthusiasts with me). All except for Finnegan that is. I thought nah, no way will he chase it, you know what he’s like, and it was bigger than him. But sods law he went barrelling off after it with me calling and whistling and eventually chasing after him like an idiot, while he got smaller and smaller in the distance. He did stop once he realised that he didn’t have a hope in hell of catching it lol!
It did make me panic though and reminded me that no matter how much we train our dogs they do still have minds of their own and we need to keep on top of keeping them interested in us all the time. It’s a horrible feeling knowing you don’t have full control of your dog, no matter how briefly, as we love them so much and just want to keep them safe.
This is one of the reasons we don’t just walk the dogs. We run adventures instead and we fill them with lots of different games and training, which is great fun for the dogs but has the huge advantage that they are so busy looking to see what game we’re going to play next that they’re not interested in running off, they want to be with us.
If you worry about your dog doing a disappearing act on your walk or just worry that they go too far, try taking your dog’s favourite toys and treats out and spend time playing with them as well as just walking and see if it makes a difference. They might look at you like you’ve gone mad at first but they’ll soon be much more focussed on you and it helps you bond so much more. I know I enjoy the walks a lot more now, they’re great fun for us as well as the dogs!