Saturday, March 12, 2011

Teaching dogs not to chase birds

Training dogs not to chase birds can be a challenge, but we are making progress
with Del and Major, using praise and food rewards for good behaviour.

Teaching dogs to retrieve balls and sticks is a strategy we find helps keep the dog's attention away from birds. With a ball or stick in her mouth, Del is oblivious to everything else on the beach!

The beach is, of course, a place where birds congregate, and sometimes in large numbers. There's a small protected cove situated west of Grossard Point where plovers hold 'meetings', with up to 100 birds in attendance. How I would love to be able to take the minutes of their meetings!

Do they complain about dogs and work out strategies to tease nuisance dogs? Or are they more concerned about the ever-decreasing number of shellfish on the reef, caused by storm water rushing into the bay -- stormwater polluted with detergents and pesticides?

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