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About sheep worrying (I'm, or rather my dog is, the alledged worrier)

(22 Posts)
Boynamedsue Thu 09-Mar-17 15:58:04

I took my dog for a walk through a field today, its the first time we've been through it because its been a bit of a bog but I can see it from my house. There is a public footpath through the field and four horses in it. There is an adjacent field separated by a stream and a fence which has some sheep in. My dog and I stuck to the footpath and he was on a lead at all times. As we turned back towards the lane there was a land rover parked at the end of the path and a woman tooting her horn furiously, beckoning me over. She then proceeded to berate me for allowing my dog to keep stopping 'by the sheep'. She said if her father (presumably the farmer) saw then he would shoot him. My dog did stop to sniff the grass and have a wee but he didnt make a sound or come within 30 feet of the sheep. I'm not sure he even saw them! Like I say, I can see the field clearly from my house and loads of people have off lead dogs in there, chasing balls etc. I understand the dangers of sheep worrying but AIBU to think she totally over reacted to an on lead dog sniffing grass in a different field?

TENSHI Thu 09-Mar-17 16:03:26

Lambing time isn't it?

Have just been heping to deliver twins and triplets.

You need to be very careful about scaring sheep so keep your dog on a tight lead when around them rather than those retractable ones.

From what you say you don't seem to have done anything wrong.

WildBelle Thu 09-Mar-17 16:06:00

Yes she sounds bonkers. And I say that as someone who grew up on a sheep farm.

Boynamedsue Thu 09-Mar-17 16:06:49

Oh yes, I should add that hes a greyhound so its a short lead, not a retractable.

butterflymum Thu 09-Mar-17 16:09:04

You and your dog don't seem to have come under the definition, but either way, lots of helpful advice at:

www.nationalsheep.org.uk/dog-owners/sheep-worrying/

Sparklydress Thu 09-Mar-17 16:15:13

Yes, ridiculous. It's fine if the dog is on a lead.

Areyoufree Thu 09-Mar-17 16:23:08

Was he mouthing threats at them? Making gun gestures with his paws?

Sparklydress Thu 09-Mar-17 16:25:12

Yes he was

MrsTwix Thu 09-Mar-17 16:26:07

If he's on a lead then she is BU.

LadyPW Thu 09-Mar-17 16:27:51

Just stick to a different field in future. If someone's dog has been worrying the sheep then they're not going to be kindly disposed towards any dog. Play it safe.

stephenisjustcoming Thu 09-Mar-17 16:32:13

Maybe she mistook you for a less responsible owner who's been letting their dog loose in there before?

I err on the side of caution around sheep at this time of year. Dog stays on the lead, and we don't go near fields with sheep, so as not to startle them. DH worked on a farm in his youth, and is forever going on about how surprisingly prone they are to tippling over dead.

Fantasticmissfoxy Thu 09-Mar-17 16:32:47

I was fully expecting to come on this thread and lose my temper with someone who was letting their dog 'play' with the sheep or similar! But no, on a footpath and on a short lead in an adjacent field definitely does not constitute sheep worrying, you did nothing wrong. (Former sheep farmer)

Areyoufree Thu 09-Mar-17 16:32:50

@Sparklydress Good work, sir!

haggisaggis Thu 09-Mar-17 16:34:47

I've looked at that attachment, and according to the rules for Scotland if there were lambs you would actually be in the wrong - which has surprised me:
•Not take your dog into a field where there are lambs. Go into a neighbouring field or onto adjacent land. In open country, keep your dog on a short lead (2 metres or shorter) when there are lambs around and keep away from them.
The rules for England seem a bit more vague in comparison

CallingGloria Thu 09-Mar-17 16:35:20

This will confuse the nasty lady...

Floralnomad Thu 09-Mar-17 16:41:32

She needs to get a grip , if her father did shoot your dog , whilst he was on a lead ,attached to your hand I think he'd find himself in trouble . I have a lot of sympathy with farmers having to deal with irresponsible dog owners but this is just ridiculous .

PossumInAPearTree Thu 09-Mar-17 16:48:25

I think I'd be having a word with the local pcso. Threatening to shoot on lead dogs on a public footpath who aren't doing anything wrong is not very good and I say that as someone brought up on a sheep farm. You're not allowed to shoot towards a public footpath.

NavyandWhite Thu 09-Mar-17 16:48:56

Public footpath and dog on lead? She's wrong. And a twat.

PossumInAPearTree Thu 09-Mar-17 16:50:55

haggis. She didn't go into a field with sheep, she was in a neighbouring field.

I think the reasons why the law is vaguer for England is because we don't have right to roam. So we can only go in fields with footpaths. I think in Scotland can you go anywhere or have I got that wrong?? I certainly walk through fields with lambs in in England, there will often be signs saying young lambs, please keep dogs on a lead.

brasty Thu 09-Mar-17 16:51:49

Unless it is a retractable lead and the dog was on a long lead, she is wrong. Sheep though who are pregnant easily miscarry if frightened by a dog, so understandable if farmers get worried about any dogs. Having to deal with multiple ewes who have miscarried after a stupid owner has let their dog run around, is not pleasant at all

MycatsaPirate Thu 09-Mar-17 16:51:51

She's wrong but I can understand her fears. It's been on our local news where a farmer lost several sheep who were lambing because of dogs harrassing them.

I'd just avoid that field until lambing season is over.

Boynamedsue Thu 09-Mar-17 16:58:01

Thanks everyone, I was worried I'd missed something as I'm fairly new to owning a dog. I could understand if he was going mad barking over the fence, on lead or not but he was far too distracted by the exciting new grass to even notice they were there. Maybe they've recently had a bad experience and are over cautious.

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