Mist & the Outdoors in Spring
Tricky times to have a young border collie. Lambs are being born and birds are nesting which makes walking a young dog a more difficult venture. Dogs, particularly collies need exercise yet landowners are perfectly within their rights to protect their livelihood. The phrase ‘under control’ which is seen all over the countryside is misplaced at this time of the year as the reality is many farmers and/or landowners do not want to see domestic dogs anywhere near their most sensitive areas, even if they are on a lead and certainly not without.
Even though I have Mist under control when sheep are around, and can walk through a field of sheep without a lead, her stalking posture does not look good to any loitering farmer. The good thing is that the sheep have generally been brought down for lambing and there are few sheep on the higher slopes so she can race around to her heart’s content but on the fields lower down I stick her on a lead to avoid any trouble. Similarly I am avoiding breeding grounds of birds which is fine but preserving the young chicks to be shot by a man in tweeds during September does stick in the throat somewhat. It is all about taking sensible decisions based on the behaviour of your dog; sadly a minority of dog owners make life considerably more difficult for the majority at this time of the year.
Official advice is detailed by the BMC here http://www.thebmc.co.uk/Feature.aspx?id=3433 and even if you do not agree with some of it I would suggest having a read.
Mist is having a wonderful time at the moment, obsessed with any type of ball and loving some of the walks we have done lately. On the wonderful beach south of Bamburgh she has discovered that salt water is not for drinking, on a small tarn to the east of Windermere that swans are not for greeting and that sometimes even for her the cliff face is just too steep and a direct descent may not be best. We could all learn much from her constant enthusiasm and real pleasure in the great outdoors.
Previous stories of Mist the Border Collie:
Training Mist. Mar 2011
Pleasures & Problems. Jan 2011
Early Days of Mist, October 2010