I've walked my dog through cow fields in my local area pretty routinely for the last couple of years - following proper rights of way. Normally we circle away from the cows, and definitely don't 'pester' them.
A couple of times recently, we've gathered a bit of an entourage - several of the cows have followed us across the field.
And on a couple of occasions, some of the cows have been frolicsome. They've sort of bounced across towards us - not generally directly at us - and have been tossing their heads a bit.
I'm not normally bothered by cows, but they're still fairly hefty and getting 'bounced into' I suspect might be almost as painful as being directly attacked. So this was a little intimidating.
I'm really not sure if it was playfulness and curiosity or aggression. Nothing really came of it, but we did walk fairly briskly along the edge of the field and out the other side. (Normally - going around the edge to avoid the cows entirely, but that's not always possible).
Is anyone able to enlighten me as to when I should be worrying about cows?
Edit: Several breeds of cow in the local area - some I understand slightly unusual.
To answer questions in comments:
- Mixed cattle, but I didn't spot a bull - just steers and cows. (Some fields do include a bull with their herd).
- The above I'm pretty sure are beef cattle - they're actually these guys: Willow Hill Farm
- I'm aware cattle can get aggressive with dogs - this is why we usually skirt the edge of the field (when we have to cross it at all). In both these cases, they came to investigate.
- I was following legal rights of way, and not trespassing. (Well, aside from perhaps in the very minor sense of 'going around the edge of the field' rather than following the ROW through the middle of the herd).