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Did you know that Tuesday 21st January is “Squirrel Appreciation “day?

I bet your dogs did!

They all seem to love the idea of a chase after a squirrel, although not sure that’s the real idea of the day.

What I do know is that many of us love to see our dogs run but not many of us consider what it’s doing to the dog.

Maybe they are stopping too hard and hurting themselves or maybe twisting and causing an unknown sprain. Or they are learning a new habit which will lead them astray and what started as a bit of fun becomes a problem as the squirrel becomes another dog or even a child.

Even worse once that chase instinct has been born, your dog becomes a liability. I have worked with dogs who chase bikes, cars or even trains. So much so that they find it difficult to stop and their walks must be carefully planned. What a shame.

We all want our dogs to have enriched walks and lives with us, but we do have to be mindful of what we allow them to do. If you are forever allowing your dog to chase after a ball, aren’t you really teaching to chase? Let them play ball but maybe by throwing it to the side or dropping it behind you, the game is more structured and fun. Less chance of injury and less opportunity to practice the chase.

So, on squirrel appreciation day, be aware of what you allow your dog to do and maybe teach them to sit and stay at the park bench whilst you watch these industrious little animals. Happy watching.

Check our dog training page for some fun things to do with your dog.


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