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Question
Posted by: CEE | 2012-10-24

Scared puppy during walks

My 10 month old puppy loves and enjoys his walks, but recently where we stay there is a lot of blacksmith Plover birds which are very agressive whenever they see us taking walks. they usually dive at us and attempt to poke the dog. this has made him very uncomfortable during walks and at times refusing to go. the problem is he gets a bit destructive if he does not go out. what do i do.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi there, your easiest solution is avoid the area where the Plovers are, especially at this time of year where they are likely to have nest on the ground. Try to determine when they come towards you and walk in the opposite direction. They normally come from the aea where the nests are to keep us away.
If they come close, chase them yourself or you could first desensitize your dog to the noise of say a horn (like a small vuvazela or a child play horn) and then when the birds approach, blow the horn which should chase them away.
I had a similar situation where I used to walk my dog with the Plovers trying to dive bomb us (i did not like it either), what I did when this happened as I did not have a horn with me, was to wave a stick above my head in circles to keep them away and change direction. Next time I took a horn and blew it hard but still changed direction. Had to do this twice and then the birds ignored us and kept their distance. You too need to respect that this is their home and that could well have eggs and chics in the nests and this is their way of protecting them. Give it a go and do let me know how it works for you. thks S

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2012-10-25

Hi there, your easiest solution is avoid the area where the Plovers are, especially at this time of year where they are likely to have nest on the ground. Try to determine when they come towards you and walk in the opposite direction. They normally come from the aea where the nests are to keep us away.
If they come close, chase them yourself or you could first desensitize your dog to the noise of say a horn (like a small vuvazela or a child play horn) and then when the birds approach, blow the horn which should chase them away.
I had a similar situation where I used to walk my dog with the Plovers trying to dive bomb us (i did not like it either), what I did when this happened as I did not have a horn with me, was to wave a stick above my head in circles to keep them away and change direction. Next time I took a horn and blew it hard but still changed direction. Had to do this twice and then the birds ignored us and kept their distance. You too need to respect that this is their home and that could well have eggs and chics in the nests and this is their way of protecting them. Give it a go and do let me know how it works for you. thks S

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