As we head into Autumn the shooting season has started. This can make walking with your dog an adventure. Some dogs will be excited if they hear the local shoot and some will be scared by the gunfire.
Be aware of which days your local shoots take place and where. Most shoots are carried out on private land but the shoot may take place across a public right of way such as a footpath or bridleway. Most shoots will stop the drive to allow a member of the public to use the right of way but it is an offence to stop the lawful activities of the shoot.
If you do find yourself near a shoot put your dog on its lead, this safeguards your dog from straying into the drive, being mistaken for game, or from bolting if frightened by the noise of gunshot. It is not unknown for these accidents to happen.
Some people are happy to pay a lot of money to attend a shoot and will become a bit trigger happy, shooting at shadows! I advise that you and your dog are wearing high viz clothing when out in the countryside, especially at this time of year.
The vast majority of shooting people are very friendly; every one is enjoying the countryside in their own way.
Don't forget that even off season there are people out and about with guns; this could be farmers protecting their stock and crops from pests as well as an increasing number of poachers. As soon as you hear the sound of guns try to work out where it it coming from and if possible take your dog in the opposite direction and put it on a lead.
Keep your pet safe