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Too much trouble to put dogs on leads? (Possible trigger warning)

(77 Posts)
Parly Thu 07-Mar-19 01:28:20

May be upsetting for some

In the last five years or so we've seen a sharp rise in the number of dog related attacks to sheep. The most recent happened a couple of days ago with fifteen sheep dead and a horse suffering injuries too.

The owners of one which was killed by a farmer we know went to the local and national press and of course, to social media calling for him out as a disgrace and to be prosecuted.

Poor chap was devastated and said the warning shots and first one to the dog barely registered. Second one made him stumble but he still tried scrambling on his feet again . Third finally brought him down sad

Despite this, we still keep seeing loose dogs on farmland that won't respond to owners or stop for love nor money.

Why don't / won't people just put their dogs on a lead particularly when walking through farmland? angry angry

Brilliantidiot Thu 07-Mar-19 02:14:36

The simple answer I guess is they don't care about the concequences.
I love dogs, I adore my two little shits terriers, but I do realise they're dogs, they have instincts and they can sometimes be stronger than training. I realise dogs have their own thought process and it's simply not as sophisticated as ours, they don't think things through. They learn by repetition and re-enforcement. Many people don't know how to train dogs properly, I'm no expert but I know enough to realise one of mine has poor recall (rescue) and is ignorant going deaf with age. She's never so much as lifted a lip in aggression in all the years I've had her. Would I trust her in a field full of sheep? No, because she's a dog. Other one has amazing recall. Will break off anything and come when called, she does show aggression to other dogs but has never towards people or other animals. Would I trust her in a field full of sheep? No, because she's a dog. The potential is there. If we go near livestock (and that includes past fields where they could get through fencing) the leads go on. If we come across children, the leads go on.

I live rurally and every year at this time of year the social media posts about sheep attacks start, and it's horrible. And when I used to ride regularly, have had dogs snapping round horses heels on more than one occasion, off lead and out of control. There was a video doing the rounds on Facebook a few months ago where a dog was harrasing a group of riders on the beach. Owner had no control at all and the dog went for one of the horses faces. Horse tried to get away and that caused the child to fall off. Some of the comments were awful, saying that's what happens when horses are ridden by children, horses shouldn't be on the beach, posh people always blame others, the horse was to blame for reacting how it did....... The horses were walking the surf line quietly and calmly, the dog approached them, and even with a dog running around them barking didn't react, it was only when it lunged for the smallest pony that pony reacted by swinging away, which tbf, a professional adult rider would have had difficulty sitting through.

I think it's a combination of the 'I have the eight's culture that seems to exist and people not bothering to take the time to understand dog behaviour and train them properly. A lovely cuddly pet at home can turn into a killing machine in the wrong circumstances.

MidniteScribbler Thu 07-Mar-19 02:16:33

Some people are fucking idiots.

Brilliantidiot Thu 07-Mar-19 02:17:28

I have the eight's?
That's meant to read 'I have the right'
Stupid autocorrect.

Bookaree Thu 07-Mar-19 02:22:18

People are selfish and ignorant "awww they're only playing with the sheep" hmm.

k1233 Thu 07-Mar-19 02:26:10

Brilliant, I was riding my horse one day on a dog on lead path. Of course a person walking along thought that didn't apply to them or their dog and it was off lead. I stopped and saw it sizing up my horse. I gave my horse a big pat and told him "it's alright sweetie if he runs at you you can kill him" - never seen a dog get put on a lead so fast! Reality was if it had gone for my horse he would have left me behind as a distraction while he exited stage left LOL

I grew up on the country and have zero tolerance for wandering dogs. Dogs ripping livestock to pieces for fun is just horrible - it's by no means a quick and painless death for the victims. Agree with shoot first and kill the offending dog.

LeesPostersAreInFrames Thu 07-Mar-19 02:26:57

They think it won't happen to them.

They're not the ones with the heartbreak and financial losses.

They get away with it a lot... until they don't.

Fkn morons.

Justagirlwholovesaboy Thu 07-Mar-19 02:34:04

After watching a video of a dog on Facebook harassing a seal (not aggressive but stressing it out) I worry about dog owner mentality. I have always owned dogs. Terriers I’ve always kept on a lead, even with recall they can’t help but chase. I has a collie who I never even bothered taking a lead out with, brighter than me and could probably walk himself and care nothing of distractions. I do think people should have a license to own a dog and should be held responsible for their actions

k1233 Thu 07-Mar-19 02:37:20

The least believable shot dog I heard about was a dachshund that was apparently attacking sheep. By itself probably not a threat but it was with a husky, and that's probably what was doing the killing. Then again I think I remember reading not so long back someone was killed by a pack of dachshunds, so maybe they are more capable of killing than they appear.

Parly Thu 07-Mar-19 02:51:51

@Justagirlwholovesaboy @k1233

Totally agree and find people getting uppity over the breed or size of their dogs and not realising they need not be aggressively chasing or physically attacking sheep for a farmer to kill them.

I have sheepdogs / collie that are well trained and safe as houses but when we're on farmland that isn't owned by people we know they go on the lead.

There's the people that argue to death it's not a risk because they are such small dogs they can't do harm. They can and do very often.

Then there's owners of a breed who will immediately jump to their dog's defence saying it's a lack of understanding and unfair to pick on their dog "just because it's (insert breed here)"

Most people shouldn't own dogs anyway they're barely safe and responsible enough to make toast never mind anything else angry

MidniteScribbler Thu 07-Mar-19 02:55:00

Dachshunds may be small, but they were bred for hunting. They are persistent and feisty little buggers. I can well imagine a dachshund worrying sheep and causing damage.

Just because a dog may not be physically capable of mauling an animal, doesn't mean they can't do damage. I've seen sheep go into fences to avoid a dog, or running into a dam and getting stuck.

Thatsnotmyotter Thu 07-Mar-19 02:56:35

People always think their dog couldn’t possibly do anything harmful though, don’t they? And I say this as a massive dog lover!) Recently near me a dog walker let two greyhounds off lead and they took down two deer in broad daylight in front of other walkers. I appreciate that the deer weren’t someone’s livelihood but still rather traumatic for all involved tbh.

User12879923378 Thu 07-Mar-19 03:03:05

"Recently near me a dog walker let two greyhounds off lead and they took down two deer in broad daylight in front of other walkers."

My grey has no recall and is only walked off the lead in enclosed areas dog walking friendly areas. I'd never let him off the lead on the road or in farmland. He's very gentle and fine with other dogs but has been mauled two or three times whilst on the lead by loose out of control dogs. Must say I can't imagine him bringing down a deer but I have no intention of ever finding out if he can.

Seahorseshoe Thu 07-Mar-19 03:03:11


OnlineAlienator Thu 07-Mar-19 03:03:52

I think it hurts people's egos to admit that Rex will abandon them and ignore their incredible dogwhispering skills to have fun doing what they love - chasing and killing! Or they just cant be arsed actually managing rex in the first place.

phpolly Thu 07-Mar-19 03:25:06

We stayed recently at a National Trust property with our dogs whom we walked on leads, as required, in areas with livestock as well as wild animals. Of course there was some idiot with a huge white poodle off lead that chased the deer and also harassed our two dogs. When I reported dog and owner to the NT manager, he said that someone else had already reported them and that the man's response was basically "dogs will be dogs." Isn't that the point of keeping them on lead in certain circumstances? I do not understand people who think the rules somehow don't apply to them. And as a responsible dog owner, nothing bothers me more than the irresponsible dog owners that give all of us a bad name.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 07-Mar-19 03:37:40

YANBU at all.
Loose dogs who chase livestock, whether on farms or in parks, are a menace. And the owners who can't recall them or refuse to put them on leads are a menace too.

Even with people! I read this with horror recently - the owners of the attacking dog didn't care a shit about the victim's dog, they just punched him because he was trying to separate their dog from his own assistance dog. The level of entitlement that abounds these days is horrifying and yes, I do believe people who are caught allowing their animals to maim or kill other animals or people SHOULD be prosecuted and banned from ever owning a dog again.
Of course I know that random accidents do also occur - but the owners in these cases are usually mortified and take massive precautions afterwards to ensure that it never happens again, or if they worry that it would, they have their dog put down anyway.

They have the potential to be dangerous animals. Even the ones who apparently are "lovely gentle breeds" can be dangerous. Like this family pet, for e.g., which appears to be a labrador cross, although if you google child maulings by labradors and retrievers, you will get results.
No dog is completely safe at all times.

OnlineAlienator Thu 07-Mar-19 03:42:31

That poor baby sad suffering due to incompetent adults. Why do we expect the dogs to endlessly put up with our shit without comment?

Brilliantidiot Thu 07-Mar-19 04:18:57

Both of those links are awful, total idiocy. The one about the assistance dog is just beyond belief.
And it seems like dogs are status symbols for some, instead of a family pet.
"Look at me with my lovely dog that loves me so much it won't behave like a dog"

OutOntheTilez Thu 07-Mar-19 04:29:02

Thank you to all of the responsible dog owners who have responded here. I’ve never owned a dog in my life but I like them well enough.

OnlineAlienator, that’s a frightening video. Poor little baby.

A little off-topic, but many years ago when my brother, sister and I were all little, we were at my grandparents’ house and my siblings were in the backyard with my grandparents’ German shepherd. DB and DS were playing in a cardboard box when suddenly the dog jumped on the box, breaking it, and then began attacking them. Never before had he ever attacked anybody.

My dad was watching from the window and literally tried to climb out the window in his terror to save them, but he couldn’t get the window open. We ran into the backyard and scared the dog away. DB and DS were scratched up and crying, but not seriously hurt. They were more shocked from the attack. God bless my grandma, but she was upset and crying too, not for her grandchildren, but because my dad was pissed at the dog. She kept saying, “But he’s such a good dog!”

And yes, he always was, and he never did anything like that again. But you never know what can trigger a dog to attack and therefore, when in public, they should always be kept on a lead. Not in our situation in a private backyard necessarily, but in public places and near farmland with other wandering animals. It’s common sense.

Justagirlwholovesaboy Thu 07-Mar-19 04:42:26

My last dog never got over an off lead out of control dog biting his bum as a puppy, he was amazing with people but not with other dogs after that

FairfaxAikman Thu 07-Mar-19 05:47:31

We are tenants on a farm. I know my girl is bombproof enough to be walked off-lead past a field full of sheep - but I still don't do it.

claptomania Thu 07-Mar-19 05:49:21

It’s not an offlead dog problem, it’s an irresponsible dickhead problem. I have a rescue sighthound, and would never, ever allow him offlead in the countryside. Because I understand a dog is a dog, no matter how well trained.

There should be much better regulation of who is allowed to own dogs IMO, and maybe even some compulsory training or testing, as with driving.

Santaclarita Thu 07-Mar-19 06:10:43

I think it should be the law to keep your dog on a lead. It sucks for the well trained ones and responsible owners but the idiots are growing in number and need to be controlled somehow since they aren't capable of doing the right thing.

My horse will attack dogs that enter his field with full intention of killing them. He got attacked as a youngster and he won't forget that. If I am not there, he will attack.

Cherrysoup Thu 07-Mar-19 06:58:02

It doesn’t matter what size the dog is, it can still chase and harass livestock. Even if there is no physical damage done, a ewe could well abort due to the stress. I think owners who allow their dogs to roam in fields with livestock deserve everything the farmer does, including having the dog shot.

havingtochangeusernameagain Thu 07-Mar-19 07:00:04

It's just another symptom of the entitled society we live in. Dogs are expensive to have and therefore a status symbol. So how dare you say that my "furbaby" can't do exactly what it likes?

TheClaifeCrier Thu 07-Mar-19 07:08:12

It's worse this time of year because the ewes are pregnant and just being chased by a dog can cause them enough stress that they miscarry.

I live in the Lake District and I see it all the time. I've seen a dog go in and out of a field of sheep by slipping under the gate, and every time it was retrieved by the owner they failed to put it on a lead so it did it again a few minutes later.

I'm fed up of irresponsible dog owners. I posted here a few weeks ago about my kids getting repeatedly jumped on by dogs with bad recall when out hiking, leading to them developing a fear, and most posters agreed that the dog owners were irresponsible but I did get a couple of owners telling it was my fault for not teaching my children not to be afraid hmm

I wish dog ownership was more regulated. There are too many entitled pricks out there who think their dog can do what it likes.

WhoWants2Know Thu 07-Mar-19 07:27:19

I'd be quite happy with a law prohibiting dogs from being off lead outside certain designated areas that are enclosed.

Out of all the off lead dogs I've ever met, the ones walking to heel or with perfect recall were in the minority.

AleFailTrail Thu 07-Mar-19 07:30:32

Two points here:
One being that, as I said in a previous thread, if you think terriers are cute/harmless little yappers then you want to see a pup take out a rat the size of it in one bite. Pure aggression in a fluff ball.
Two; I know as a distant acquaintance a man whose horse was badly hurt by a dog running at it in its field and biting a leg. This horse was trained at the time for films/acting/battlefield re-enactments and had to retire from that due to becoming nervous. And the dog owner had the gall to try and sue him for his horse crushing the dog! The horse had reacted by trampling the dog. I didn’t hear the outcome sadly, this was a fair few years ago. The dog wasn’t even an ‘aggressive’ breed, a collie or something like that IIRC.

Huntawaymama Thu 07-Mar-19 07:55:44

Sheep farmer here, we've lost lambs because their mothers have miscarried following being chased by dogs.

We've also lost 3 ewes from dog attacks. It might not seem like many but it's brutal and heart breaking for us and shouldn't happen. Everyone knows the law

I know if my husband caught one he'd call the police at have it destroyed, it's not worth all the heartbreak for your dog to have a run around someone else's field

anniehm Thu 07-Mar-19 08:05:15

It depends if there are livestock - most fields don't have sheep in them so well trained dogs are fine off lead - we simply call him back and put him on a lead if we see sheep or horses, for cattle we just make him walk to heel as often his presence causes cows to chase us (we can instruct him to go ahead and wait at the style). Ok I have actually trained my dog and he's been loose with sheep accidentally and he rounded them up.

thecatsthecats Thu 07-Mar-19 09:43:08

Re the seal - we found an injured seal on the beach at Bamburgh and a family with their dog were standing by too.

Their dog wasn't nipping at it, but was prancing around its face and mucking around, and the poor seal was obviously distressed. The owners were bloody oblivious!

Soubriquet Thu 07-Mar-19 09:53:21

I don’t think some people realise just how sensitive sheep can be

Your dog may “only be playing” but to the sheep, especially if pregnant, it could be seen as a danger. They end up aborting their own pregnancies when that happens.

I remember walking through a field with my dog and my nans dog. It was clear, until we rounded a corner and suddenly there were sheep everywhere.

I knew the two dogs wouldn’t have done anything. Mine was so lazy he wouldn’t have even chased a sheep, but I also knew it sometimes can just take a dogs presence to cause panic. I immediately got both dogs on the leads and turned round and went back to find an alternative route

Soubriquet Thu 07-Mar-19 09:58:33

And that poor baby. That dog couldn’t have given any more obvious “leave me alone” signs

The stupid owner completely ignored it and as a result the baby was bit

MoanaMakeWay Thu 07-Mar-19 10:05:12

I have a sibe and was visiting a friend in Norfolk, very open fields for miles.

As I was getting her out of the car, her plastic collar clip hit the edge of the boot and smashed. She ran for it. Sibes have a high prey drive and are a nightmare to get back as they just run and run. I panicked massively then heard gunshots and I just remember running through a field calling her and squeaking her toy but fearing the worst. It was terrifying and I was petrified she'd cause damage to livestock, though I couldn't see any.

Thankfully, she came bounding back across the field as my friend arrived home to tell me there was no adjacent livestock and the bangs were bird scarers. We'd been very, very lucky.

Now I use a buckled collar and a harness anywhere I think there is a risk of surrounding livestock. She never goes off lead anyway apart from at dog training in an enclosed arena. I thought I was careful but accidents happen and now I'm more careful.

Some people just don't care. They don't understand that even a dog playing with a sheep can cause it to miscarry. So many dog owners are entitled.

Junkmail Thu 07-Mar-19 10:06:58

I’ve been caught short once when sheep appeared out of nowhere but my dogs recall so there was no disaster. I genuinely think some people just don’t care. I don’t get it. Every year there are pleas to keep dogs on lead around livestock and every year it’s ignored. It’s awful. Some dog walkers are so oblivious to the environment and to others when they are out I just despair and really don’t know what the answer is.

The thing I find bizarre is that people don’t even seem to care about their own dog’s safety either. I have seen a dog kicked nearly to death by a horse, jaw completely shattered, it is lucky to be alive. The owner had allowed the dog to approach a horse off-leash and nearly lost her dog as a result. Why did she not think of the risks involved? Another recently incident a man allowed his dog to run off-leash across the car park in front of my car as I was leaving. I rolled the window down and told him this was dangerous and he got extremely defensive and angry. I was stating a fact. Some people have strange thought processes when animals are involved. I don’t know if it anthropomorphism or what but animals are animals and don’t understand the danger the same way humans do. It’s our job to protect them and I really do think that some owners forget that.

MoanaMakeWay Thu 07-Mar-19 10:08:59

I agree Junkmail. A lot of people here seem to walk their dogs next to busy roads off lead. They think it's clever because their dog is so well trained.

I witnessed a bomb proof border collie jump due to a car backfire once and he went under a van. If he'd have been on a lead he would have survived. These people care more about being seen with the perfect dog than their actual dog.

Brilliantidiot Thu 07-Mar-19 10:15:56

@k1233 and @AleFailTrail

I had a few incidents when I had a horse years ago, I help a friend with hers in return for riding a couple of days a week and he lives with dogs, but we have encounters where we ride still - and dogs running into the horses' fields. Our horses ignore them, or if chased a well timed double barrel, or head down, ears back, teeth out charge does the trick! We're allowed to take our dogs but as long as they're under control and I introduced mine to the horses slowly, the horses did the warning. The dogs learned pretty fast. The horses and dogs respect each other and mainly ignore each other now.
Worse however are those bloody extendible leads. A friend's horse needed tendon surgery and is now a totally different animal from the lovely, fit and lively cob she had. She's a nervous wreck out hacking. An idiot let their dog run round the horse on one of those leads, dog was barking, lead got wrapped around legs and all 3 ended up on the floor. Dog and rider unhurt, horse badly injured as the thin lead wrapped tight around her back legs, causing major injury to the tendon. Owner blamed rider for 'not having control'
I hate to think that the poorest of society, but also responsible, would miss out on loving an animal, like pensioners who's main company and reason to go out could be a dog, I probably wouldn't have been able to afford a dog license etc a few years ago, however something needs to be done. I don't know if a license again would achieve anything - people shell out £100s for designer dogs that they can't control, so buying a license probably wouldn't phase them. But it's getting worse and innocent people, animals and dogs are suffering.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Thu 07-Mar-19 10:21:08

When I was a child we were walking a friend's horrible little daschund on the moor. It scarpered, and ended up chasing a flock of sheep for a mile.He was a nasty piece of work and I have no doubt if he had the opportunity he would have bitten, but at the very least the sheep were stressed out and running over the roads.
Thirty years ago and I still remember our horror. Livestock come before dogs.

Slowknitter Thu 07-Mar-19 10:23:24

YANBU. My dog shows no interest in sheep, but I still put him on the lead if we go anywhere near sheep. It's a no brainer. Nobody knows 100% that their dog wouldn't chase sheep, even if it has never done so before.

TheFaerieQueene Thu 07-Mar-19 10:25:42

It is ridiculous. I walk though an estate parkland every day as part of my dog’s walk. There are sheep there at the moment, so my dog is on a lead. There are signs up to say dogs should be in a lead, but no, some people are just too full of themselves to think it applies to them. These sheep are obviously pregnant so it is important for them to not be stressed.
Luckily my dog isn’t in the slightest bit interested in the sheep - just their poo.

Thesnobbymiddleclassone Thu 07-Mar-19 10:26:31

Nobody ever thinks their precious dog will be the one to lash out and attack whether it be a sheep, a child or anyone else. They think their dog will never do it so don't see why they should keep them on a lead.

It's infuriating. I live in a rural areas where there is farmland and families that go out in walks and it's astounding how many dog owners don't even carry a lead with them!

Insecure123 Thu 07-Mar-19 10:31:41

grew up on a farm, live on a farm, my dogs all raised on the farm and have great recall and don't even look at livestock. The still go on a lead everytime I am near a field of livestock. Dogs are dogs, they have instincts which cannot be 100% trained out of them.

If a route i am on leads through a field of cows I just won't walk through it. We will go through sheep on lead, I wouldn't feel comfortable going through cows.

I have had many attacks on my chickens from out of control dogs too!!!

On a point away from livestock I have seen people walking right through the middle of the farmers fields and letting little fido run riot too - completely off the path at the top of the field. not a care in the world that they are walking on someone else's property/crops!

There was a post on FB this Morning where a herd oc Highland cows had to be sold. The family had farmed/grazed their herd on this bit of NT ground for generations I believe, without issue. Someone walked the route with their dog of lead, which worried/upset the cows and the cows reacted. Walker complained to HSE - the herd is gone! There are many who fail to see being able to walk such nice paths and routes on others land as a privilege and don't respect it as such! It is very sad

RhymingRabbit Thu 07-Mar-19 10:39:12

We need to reintroduce dog licenses and registration. It should be issued in two parts. Part 1: Needs proof that dog was purchased from a registered/licensed breeder or a registered rescue centre, dog has been chipped and has current vaccines etc. Part 2: Issued within a year upon proof that dog and owner have attended registered training centre, and certificate from vet that dog is healthy. Anyone found to have a dog with no license is fined a hefty sum. Money made from dog licenses/registration/fines goes towards rehoming, cleaning up the tsunami of shit on our streets.

AnnaComnena Thu 07-Mar-19 10:41:40

A lot of people here seem to walk their dogs next to busy roads off lead. They think it's clever because their dog is so well trained.

Even when they're on lead they can be dangerous. I once saw a woman walking two medium sized dogs on leads (not extendable). They both suddenly lunged into the road barking furiously at something on the other side. Fortunately the driver approaching was going slowly enough to be able to stop before he hit them. Then he had to wait while the woman tried to haul the dogs back onto the pavement - they weren't big dogs, but they were too strong for her.

'On lead' doesn't always = 'under control'. One rarely sees a dog walking to heel any more, on or off lead.

twistable Thu 07-Mar-19 10:49:10

I'm so fed up of entitled dog owners and their "babies". Dogs off leads, no acceptance that some people just don't like dogs or are wary of them, dog shit everywhere.

Entitled pricks

RhymingRabbit Thu 07-Mar-19 10:56:45

Me too @twistable. I live in a very naice area where it seems having a dog completes ones Boden family. Houses are expensive, and schools are good, but you can't go for a walk without dodging piles of steaming dog shit. It enrages me. Shit on the pavements, shit hanging from trees, shitty little black bags left in clusters at the side of the pavement. Not to mention the local sustrans path that is unusable to runners, cyclists (or anyone in clean clothes) at certain times of day because dogs will just bound up and have a good old jump. It boils my piss.

Honestly DOG LICENSES and compulsory training (both owner and dog) - if you can't afford them tough shit, you can't afford a dog.

MereDintofPandiculation Thu 07-Mar-19 11:03:38

* I remember reading not so long back someone was killed by a pack of dachshunds, so maybe they are more capable of killing than they appear.* Dachshund means "badger hound" (dachs is German for badger. Badgers are vicious things, and dachshunds were bred to help hunters by following badgers down their burrows.

CallMeRachel Thu 07-Mar-19 11:10:55

I think some dog owners are caught out unaware when the empty fields they walk in daily or weekly with their dogs are suddenly filled with sheep one day - with no warning signs.

I think farmers should put signage up and lock gates as a basic and obvious preventive measures to stop the accidental walkers going in. However, others who allow their dog to run free knowing there is sheep in the field are unbelievably stupid.

RhymingRabbit Thu 07-Mar-19 11:14:57

I think farmers should put signage up and lock gates as a basic and obvious preventive measures to stop the accidental walkers going in

I think that farmers probably have enough to do and dog walkers should do a bit of research before they choose to walk on someone else's land with their dogs off lead.

Insecure123 Thu 07-Mar-19 11:15:44

I get what you are saying Rachel but dogs shouldn't really be running about the field anyway. They should be sticking to the footpaths/edge of the field. Even where there is a right of way through it ie a footpath that field is still someone else's property.

I have had this when my chickens have been attacked "oh but yesterday they were in that field" yes but this is a farm, stock moves and your dog should always be under control in the event that, as a farm. there is a high chance of there being livestock round every corner

I do appreciate what you are saying but I don't think a field being empty one day is a strong enough argument. It is a dog owners responsibility to keep a dog under control

twistable Thu 07-Mar-19 11:27:21

Rhyming rabbit yep. So disgusting

Must've pointed out dog shit to my kids about 50 times on a walk the other day. We were walking in zig zag lines just to avoid it.

The problem is whenever you say anything to any dog owner they'll tell you they ALWAYS pick theirs up. Hmm, well some selfish arsehole is leaving it there.

Pinkblanket Thu 07-Mar-19 11:30:03

My dog is never off the lead, for a variety of reasons, many other dogs off leads are a complete menace, making dog walks ridiculous stressful. It's astonishing how many people have no control over their dogs.

Crunchycrunchycrunchy Thu 07-Mar-19 11:46:00

Because people can be incredibly ignorant to a dogs natural instincts. Our dog is soft as muck but I don't ignore the fact that he is scared of horses. He doesn't mind sheep but is a lot more intrigued by them around lambing season.

His recall is pretty solid but even with that being the case I would never let him off lead around livestock.

I am gobsmacked by the amount of people I see letting their dogs loose on moorland where there are lots of sheep, goats, and horses unfenced. I don't like using long leas or retractables, but in these situations I always will.

Crunchycrunchycrunchy Thu 07-Mar-19 11:51:26

Re the owners threatening to go to the press about the farmer shooting their dog - it is the law that farmers can shoot dogs running loose around livestock. They don't even have to fire warning shots. If I was the farmer I'd be considering some sort of action against them because of their threats - and that is coming from a complete dog lover. He clearly wouldn't have taken pleasure in doing what he had to do. Owners should know the laws around owning dogs and take caution to protect their own dogs safety.

LimitIsUp Thu 07-Mar-19 11:51:49

"I think it should be the law to keep your dog on a lead"

^^ this is not reasonable and it is disproportionate. I walk my dogs responsibly in the countryside (where I live) all the time and neither myself nor my dogs deserve to be penalised for the incompetence of a minority. It helps that we have tried and tested routes so I know what is coming up around the corner...

However I understand that this is a problem and I would like to see dog licencing introduced with a fee attached, and in addition all prospective dog owners to be required to undertake (and pass) a theory test on dog ownership before being granted a licence. A bit like the theory element of the driving test. This would certainly be another to put off the trend followers with their Instagram designer dogs hmm who know not one jot about dog ownership and dog behaviour. Yes there would be significant costs for administration for this, but these could be covered by the licence fee (would help with job creation too)

LimitIsUp Thu 07-Mar-19 11:53:02

typo - this would certainly be enough, not another

JaneEyre07 Thu 07-Mar-19 11:55:23

We're surrounded by farmland and most of the footpaths in our village are now "no go" areas as the sheep have all been brought in close to the farms. I won't even walk mine on a lead through them.

I honestly think we need to bring some sort of licencing back in for owning dogs. You should have to register your dog on a national scheme and prove that it's being taken care of and kept under control.

MaxNormal Thu 07-Mar-19 11:57:44

Twelve dead sheep and two dead dogs thanks to someone's dick headedness.

EhlanaOfElenia Thu 07-Mar-19 12:41:28

YANBU - I walk a friend's Alsatian on National Trust land, there are no livestock around so I let her off the lead - in fact I wouldn't even walk her anywhere near livestock because I think she'd go for the chase.

She ignores people, horses and cyclists, but is too dominant with other dogs so will be aggressive to them if they don't submit. As soon as I see a horse or a cyclist I call her back to me and make her sit by my side waiting for them to go past. Every single one of them has said or waved a thank you. The fact that they are so appreciative is likely quite telling as to how rare this is.

When I see other dogs I put her on the lead and walk her and if I have to walk close by them I pull her in very close to me, almost holding her by the collar, but the number of times the other dogs come bounding over to her and I have to warn the owner that she WILL go for them if they don't leave her alone. At least with a large Alsatian I've never been ignored and they've always called their dog back - although a couple of the more dopey over friendly ones have needed to be growled at by her before they would go back.

FairfaxAikman Thu 07-Mar-19 17:21:31

Crunchy we had a local farmer recently shoot a dog. It had had warning shots on that occasion and had form for worrying sheep (if memory serves this was actually the third incident).
Poor farmer was the one getting death threats and people were threatening to harm his dog.
Shooting is not a decision most of them take lightly.

BlueSlipperSocks Thu 07-Mar-19 17:30:10


I think it should be the law to keep your dog on a lead

Even when it's safe to let them off? How would dogs get to burn their energy if they had to be kept on lead at all times?

There are many places safe to let dogs off lead. There are many places where the law stipulates dogs must be kept on lead...for good reason. What makes you think ALL dogs should be kept on a lead at ALL times? Why??

Rade Thu 07-Mar-19 17:37:57

I think it should be the law to keep your dog on a lead
I have twice been chased by dogs off leads. There is a playing field near me where dog owners let their dogs off leads. I was walking across the field one day when four dogs came hurtling towards me barking. Completely ignored their owners screaming at them.I was utterly terrified and panicked and have never walked across there since.
Then last week I was walking past the field and two dogs came charging across the field, jumped the wall, crossed the road and came up to me barking. Again owners screaming at them. This time I yelled at the dogs but they ignored me and kept running roung me barking.
Dog owners what is the best thing to do in these circumstances? I wasn't bitten and I never used to be wary of dogs but this has scared me.

LimitIsUp Thu 07-Mar-19 17:47:07

BlueSlipperSocks - I was quoting someone else and refuting what they said, which hopefully you will have picked up if you read my post

nomoneyinmuck Thu 07-Mar-19 17:51:28

Just to inform even if a dog is on a lead and walked through a field of in lamb ewes this can cause the animals huge distress as they are in the presence of a predator.

BlueSlipperSocks Thu 07-Mar-19 17:57:19

Rade... I don't know where you live but where I live dogs are not allowed on public playing fields, on lead or not. Maybe give your local council a call and relay your experiences? Ask them to bring in a ban on dogs in places where children play.

I have always had a dog, or two...but I agree that some owners have no idea about basic dog training (I come across these idiots, and their dogs, every day).

However, I know many very well trained dogs and I don't agree that ALL dogs should be kept on lead at ALL times. In my area there are many lovely, walks where dogs are safe to be off lead.

My dog is no problem to anyone. He doesn't jump, bark, invade anyone's space. He has excellent recall. Why would I need to keep him on a lead? The only time I need to leash him is when numptys allow their off lead, boisterous, or sometimes reactive dog, to get in his face. My dog doesn't mind but I put him on a lead just to let the other dog owner know I'm not impressed with their dog training skills.

My dog walks to heel, when requested. But I always leash him around livestock (Just in case).

BlueSlipperSocks Thu 07-Mar-19 18:03:24


My apologies I picked your post up from someone else's quote. Sorry! 💐

CallMeRachel Thu 07-Mar-19 18:38:03

I agree farmers have enough to do and shouldn't have to put signage up, but, non country folk have no idea that livestock is suddenly move fields.

People are creatures of habit, they were there yesterday or whatever, let dogs off-lead then disaster strikes. In that case the farmer ends up with a whole lot of work and loss so why not just put up signs?

It may be obvious to some but others do need it spelling out. Having written warnings would help put the blame back on the owners if the dog were to end up shot as clearly they ignored the signs.

I wouldn't walk my dogs in a field with any animals in, I find it strange how people do that.

Crunchycrunchycrunchy Thu 07-Mar-19 18:39:02

Dog owners what is the best thing to do in these circumstances? I wasn't bitten and I never used to be wary of dogs but this has scared me.

Dogs can bark for a number of reasons other than aggression. You'd know about it if they were thinking about biting you, in which instance you do what you can to protect yourself from injury. If they are exciteable and barking, stand still, don't look at the dogs, keep your arms folded and shout to their owners to get their dogs.

If you shout at the dogs it's likely they will think you are joining in a game and therefore be more interested in you.

LimitIsUp Thu 07-Mar-19 18:50:13

That's okay BlueSlipperSocks grin

CherryPavlova Thu 07-Mar-19 19:44:19

Ours is rarely on lead. We keep him away from other dogs and unknown humans as much as possible as his big, very strong and nervous. He prefers isolation and pottering through the woods or over the downs.
He’s only chased sheep twice - both times when they were being moved down the road and half of them came into our garden. Turns out he’s a a utter sheepdog than the shepherds borders. Had them rounded up and into their new field in minutes.
Seriously we always discuss where the livestock are locally with the farmers and shepherd and just don’t go in those fields. It’s not difficult to run them off lead with a little consideration and thoughtfulness.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 08-Mar-19 02:32:53

I think (although I know it's more work for the farmers) that if they put signs up on their fields/gates saying much of this:

Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, if a dog worries livestock on any agricultural land then the owner or person in charge is guilty of a criminal offence and can be fined up to £1,000. ... To protect their livestock, the farmer has the right to kill the offending dog.Feb 17, 2017

it might help. It warns the entitled bastard owners that THEY are committing a criminal offence by allowing their dog to worry livestock, AND it points out that the farmer has the legal right to kill their dog, plus they could be fined as well.

Of course some people don't think it applies to them, EVER - but at least they wouldn't be able to claim ignorance.

Scrowy Fri 08-Mar-19 23:34:26


It depends if there are livestock - most fields don't have sheep in them so well trained dogs are fine off lead - we simply call him back and put him on a lead

Where are you calling the dog back from? confused if you are on a footpath on private land then your dog should also be on the footpath, at heel with you.

A footpath doesn't mean 'this field is here for your dog to play in' it means 'you are allowed to pass through on this path'.

Even if there isn't livestock in the fields at that time there may be ground nesting birds and other wildlife that depends on not being disturbed.

Anyone who lets their dogs run around on farmland should be ashamed of themselves. Ignorance is not an excuse.

OP I had my own thread on this a while ago grin

JaniceBattersby Fri 08-Mar-19 23:51:15

Scrowy is absolutely right. Dogs go off and shit on that field and if they’re somewhere away from you, you’re never going to be able to find it to pick it up.

I agree that we need to have a robust dog licensing scheme and that no dogs should be walked off the lead in public places. There are too many total bellends about. And I know that dogs like to have a run around but tough. Dog ownership is not compulsory. If you have a breed that needs a big place to run around then you provide that place or don’t buy that dog. Buy a rabbit or something instead.

I’m absolutely sick to death of stepping in dog shit, of dogs jumping up at my children, chasing their balls when they’re trying to play football in the park, running alongside them when they’re cycling...

All of my children are now terrified of dogs because of entitled dog owners. Hell, I’m even becoming scared of dogs because so many people think that dog rights trump human rights.

LittleCandle Sat 09-Mar-19 00:13:44

When I was a kid, we lived in a house that backed onto a field. There was about an 8 ft drop from the field to the garden, due to being on a hillside. It wasn't unusual to come home and find a sheep in the garden.

One morning, I was getting dressed and saw the show chows from further along the road harassing the sheep. One tried to jump over the wall. There were also lambs, although not tiny lambs. I rushed out, grabbed the stepladder and scaled the wall and literally had to kick the dogs away from the sheep. The owners were a good half mile or more away in the field, totally oblivious.

DM called the police and the farmer. The dogs had been collared and I had been subjected to a lot of abuse by the owners (I was perhaps 15 or 16). Their dogs were champions, therefore could do no wrong. When the police arrived to question them, they tried to bribe the police to not say anything. However, I had given a statement by then. I know that some sheep had to be put down. I can't remember exactly how many. The dog owners were fined heavily and the dogs PTS. They also did a sad face interview to the local paper, but luckily it backfired, as it was a small town in a fairly rural area.

BlueSlipperSocks Sat 09-Mar-19 17:19:57

I get the impression that JaniceBattersby lives in a dog-shit ridden village, where feral dogs have taken over the asylum and all humans (except her and her terrified children) are crazed lunatics!

I have no idea what gives me that impression 😂😂😂

RhymingRabbit Sun 10-Mar-19 13:17:12

In fairness to @Janice, I do live in a shit-ridden village where there are a lot of responsible dog owners but far too many crap ones. I literally can't find a way to school that doesn't involve having to dodge shit. Yes dogs off lead do approach my small children at speed and jump on them...and me !

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