Don the collie leaped on to the mini-tractor while farmer Tom Hamilton, 77, was tending a lamb in a field next to the busy M74 motorway in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. The sheepdog then managed to lean against the controls of the tractor, which had been left standing without the handbrake properly on.

Mr Hamilton looked up in horror as the tractor shot out of the field, crashing through the fence and shooting across the northbound carriageway before smashing into the central reservation. Fortunately drivers managed to avoid the hazard, and four-and-a-half-year-old Don was found safe and well.

Mr Hamilton, who has run the sheep farm for 52 years, said: “I had not put the brake on the tractor, and when I turned round I got a fright as the vehicle was careering down the hill, through a gate and on to the M74.” Quoted in the Daily Telegraph, he added: “Don was fine and did not bark during the incident.”

The public were alerted by Traffic Scotland, who tweeted to tell of an incident “due to dog taking control of tractor”. It then added: “No, not joking” before later describing it as “the weirdest thing we have ever reported.”

Police have not said whether Don can expect points on his licence. That would be a bit ruff – but the lucky outcome should certainly give his owner paws for thought.