I was unloading my labradors at a well known beauty spot this week when a passing dog, overcome by excitement, ran towards us.

I asked my dogs to sit quietly while the owner called her dog back. It went part way towards her then ran off again in another direction.

“You could have waited until we walked past,” she snapped.

So there we had it. Her dog’s disobedience was my fault.

In my experience the most unruly dogs belong to owners with the longest list of excuses.

I can’t tell you how many handlers with no control of their dogs whatsoever blame their bad behaviour on responsible owners who have their dogs on leads.

It’s a total cop-out.

If my dogs misbehave it’s not their fault or the fault of some innocent bystander. It’s my fault. I have a duty to teach my dogs what behaviour is acceptable. If I don’t there’s no one to blame but myself.

Every unruly incident tells me what training I need to do. I recently acquired a new dog. He’s quite respectful but inclined to jump up at people. That’s not a trait I admire so I must train him not to do it.

Chasing is a very dangerous habit. I’ve seen three dogs killed chasing rabbits across roads. So it’s important to show him that chasing cats, birds, squirrels and especially livestock is not acceptable.

I take my young dogs on lead to places where I know there will be rabbits etc and if they show the slightest inclination to run I correct them immediately.

I rarely have trouble with chasing.

I aim to have well balanced, sociable dogs that are welcome wherever they go. If they misbehave there’s only one person to blame...me.

If you want a calm, sociable dog you can take to the pub or walk quietly without pulling your arm off come to my two-day master class on May26 and 27 and I’ll show you how.

You will find full details on my website vicbarlow.com or text me direct at 07590 560012.

By our columnist The Dogfather