UK Pet Forums Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 15 month old male boxer who has taken to chasing sheep.

I live in a rural location in the Pennines, down an old farm track and surrounded by fields where there are sheep around every corner. At first he was drawn to sheep in close proximity, but now when out walking, he's constantly looking further afield. Last week he spotted some over quarter of a mile away and he was off!

Once on the chase, he becomes oblivious to anything or anyone and catching him is impossible. His recall / stop / stay is great without any distractions, but once he sees or smells sheep, he seems to shut down his hearing and training goes out of the window.

He doesn't bite or savage them, its seems to be the thrill of the chase he enjoys. One of these days he will quite literally get shot.

Of course I can keep him on a lead all of the time, but it makes for dull walks and he never gets to run around.

I previously had a boxer who roamed around the fields all day and never bothered chasing anything.

Does anyone have any ideas of how to stop the behaviour?



Bill P.
 
G

·
No ideas but would strongly suggest you do keep him on lead as not only is he likely to get shot but you can be sued by the farmer for loss of livestock if any in lamb abort.

It may make for a boring walk but wouldn't you rather have the wee chap with you than lose him?

Have you contacted a behaviourist/ trainer for constructive on site help? A training lead would give more freedom and control for you both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,229 Posts
I would think it would be hard to stop now that he's experienced the rewarding feeling of chasing them. I'd keep him on a lead and seek help from a behaviourist.

My dog would chase livestock so is on a lead for some walks - have you thought about running with yours as well for some variety until this is sorted for you both?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,664 Posts
Keep him on a long line, & I am sure the regulars will be along with the recall training ideas. If he doesn't recall with distractions, he doesn't have good recall and you need to work on it more.

You do not want to let him go after the sheep, it doesn't matter if he doesn't bite or savage them, its called sheep worrying, if in lamb they can abort, the farmers will not be impressed and may not hesitate to shoot (its not completely true that they are within their rights but most don't know that).

My OH works with sheep, their was a family moved on to the estate where they keep them, thinking it was their own big country playground, were most put out that they were told to walk their dogs on the lead rather than just let them out in the fields, one dog came about 1 min from having a bullet when they completely ignored the warnings.

Doh! Just realised I was too slow
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
I would have thought it was better for walks to be "dull" on a lead than for your dog to be on the receiving end of a farmers shotgun?

The fact that your dog is bolting from a quarter of a mile away demonstrates that you have exactly no control. You have also allowed him to practice this behaviour numerous times by the sound of it and as we all know, the more a dog practices something the better they get at it. What is one of the most rewarding things a dog with a high prey drive can do? chase. What has your dog also learned by you allowing him to chase repeatedly? to ignore you.

If you value your dogs life you will keep him on a lead. You can use a long line or Flexi lead to allow him a little more freedom but he can NEVER be trusted in a field of livestock. This goes for ALL dogs no matter how "well trained" their owners think they are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,587 Posts
I've got a would be chaser in my Teckel so she has to stay on a long lead when we are on walks even though the sheep are in fenced fields.
She doesn't get off very often and I hate it but its not worth the risk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,290 Posts
Can only agree with what's already been said. I used a long line with Rupert (who was turned in to the shelter for sheep worrying) because no matter how far away sheep were he wanted to be off after them. There was no breaking him of the habit, he'd learned how much fun it was and quite frankly nothing I could do could come close to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
I have to agree with other posts. It is vital that you keep him on a lead when anywhere near sheep or livestock.

Also, try improving on his recall skills as he cannot be as well trained as you believe. May be worth contacting a behaviourist or trainer to assist with this.

It may also be that it will be very difficult to break his habit now. In which case, keeping him on an extending lead would be better. Or try finding open spaces in your local area that have absolutely no livestock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,196 Posts
Fraid I m in the long line camp. My Weimie chased some sheep when very young and now if we are anywhere near he is on the lead. Our neighbours have sheep and he is always looking for them, now when I tell him to leave he comes away, but I don't trust him especially if they run. I don't want him shot and round Worcestershire a lot of dogs have been recently :mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,185 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,793 Posts
I second Smokeybear's suggestion. I've always had a lot of respect for Angela Stockdale's ideas. We corresponded briefly about aversion "tools" for sheep-killing dogs and she's VERY sensible.

I agree with the people who have posted and would add that sheep have a right to live unmolested. They are not insensate objects left in paddocks for the amusement of dogs.

Put the dog on a lead or long-line. It has NO right to a more amusing walk at the expense of other living animals.
 
G

·
You can also have a sheep die from JUST being chased. You are displaying an incredible amount of ignorance, selfish stupidity, and the most insulting sense of self entitlement. Are these sheep on your land? Frankly, if 1/2 a dozen big burly farmers entertained themselves with your face, I'd think that very fair, and you had no grounds for complaint. Typically, your sense of entitlement and stupidity means your dog will probably pay the price. Then you'll whine about jack booted farmers.

If your dog is shot and you are identified as owner, and someone hears about this thread, and that you knowingly allowed it to continue, I would think there would be a very good case for a big settlement AND you probably will not be covered by your insurance, as you were aware of it and allowed it to continue. Sending you back to suburbia with a massive legal bill and an order for your dog's destruction just MIGHT wake you up. Put yourself in the shoes of those farmers, instead of walking the countryside, seeing nothing but YOU. If they are prized bloodlines, 1 sheep could cost thousands. Shame on you. STOP BLEATING, GET AN EXPERT IN AND/OR MAKE SURE YOUR DOG NEVER RUNS LOOSE, unless completely, safely contained in your own backyard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
As a result of this thread, I am trying to book myself, Scout, and Fly into Angela Stockdale's workshop next Monday! A long way to go, from London to Somerset, but it's got to be worth it, as we go to the countryside quite a lot, and where we go there is a lot of livestock - sheep, cows, horses. So whilst we keep the dogs on the lead near livestock, it would be good for them (and me) to have some training in controlling their desire to chase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,429 Posts
As a result of this thread, I am trying to book myself, Scout, and Fly into Angela Stockdale's workshop next Monday! A long way to go, from London to Somerset, but it's got to be worth it, as we go to the countryside quite a lot, and where we go there is a lot of livestock - sheep, cows, horses. So whilst we keep the dogs on the lead near livestock, it would be good for them (and me) to have some training in controlling their desire to chase.
I would be really interested to hear how you get on if you do manage to get a place. Her courses look great but unfortunately it's just too far for me to drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You can also have a sheep die from JUST being chased. You are displaying an incredible amount of ignorance, selfish stupidity, and the most insulting sense of self entitlement. Are these sheep on your land? Frankly, if 1/2 a dozen big burly farmers entertained themselves with your face, I'd think that very fair, and you had no grounds for complaint. Typically, your sense of entitlement and stupidity means your dog will probably pay the price. Then you'll whine about jack booted farmers.

If your dog is shot and you are identified as owner, and someone hears about this thread, and that you knowingly allowed it to continue, I would think there would be a very good case for a big settlement AND you probably will not be covered by your insurance, as you were aware of it and allowed it to continue. Sending you back to suburbia with a massive legal bill and an order for your dog's destruction just MIGHT wake you up. Put yourself in the shoes of those farmers, instead of walking the countryside, seeing nothing but YOU. If they are prized bloodlines, 1 sheep could cost thousands. Shame on you. STOP BLEATING, GET AN EXPERT IN AND/OR MAKE SURE YOUR DOG NEVER RUNS LOOSE, unless completely, safely contained in your own backyard.
Dear Mr Angry,

I don't drive from suburbia to walk my dog on the hills, I live smack bang in the middle of open moorland. There is no road, no passing traffic, no mains water and certainly no backyard. I open my door and within 50 feet, I am walking on the moors which I do at least twice a day with my dog.

I have lived here for the last 10 years and know some of the local farmers on 1st name terms. I have talked openly with them about my dogs problem and explained what he has been doing.

Here in Yorkshire, farmers don't wear jackboots and jump on peoples faces, they wear wellies and are a pretty friendly bunch. Perhaps the farmers you know have shaved heads and are members of the BNP or National Front. Or perhaps you don't actually know any real farmers at all, but it's something you once read about in the Sun newspaper.

Obviously I am not letting my dog chase sheep on purpose and as the problem has become worse recently, I have been putting him on a lead most of the time. I don't expect any "self entitlement" at all or am I bleating. I just want to find a solution to the bad habit my dog has developed. If it can't be stopped, then he will be on a lead all of the time.

As I said in my original post, my previous boxer never bothered with sheep at all, so this chasing problem is new to me.

That is why I am asking for ideas on how other members of this forum might have dealt with a similar problem in the past. Hopefully, some of the replies from other members will be a little more constructive, less aggressive and better written.

Bill.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
12,275 Posts
Not read anyones reply, but you need to keep you dog on a lead in the vicinty of livestock until you are 100% confident that he has been cured of this, which may be never. And you dont need me to tell you that even if he is not savaging the sheep then he could still be shot by the farmer for worrying them.

dont know what ofthers have suggested but maybe try a very good trainer or behaviourist even.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Well said Bill. That post was rude and downright threatening and I'm glad it didn't put you off posting again. The more helpful replies you've had are much more in keeping with the normal friendly atmosphere on the forum.

You're in a very difficult situation as I'd imagine a 15 month old boxer will become very frustrated if walked only on lead. I hope you're able to sort it out with training. Angela Stockdale sounds like a promising option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A huge thank you for the help and positive suggestions.

I have now bought an 8mtr flex-lead which is a great help. I will give Angela Stockdale a call on Monday. She sounds as though she knows what she is doing.

I'm not too sure about the comments from some members who say "once a chaser - always a chaser". If that was the case, then Angela Stockdale would be out of work!

Hopefully, as Herbie my boxer is only 15 months old, he should be able to be trained to stop the chasing. But until then, he will be spending a lot of time on the lead.



Bill.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top