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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

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 !

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 😂😂😂

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

That's okay BlueSlipperSocks grin

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.

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.

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


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

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).

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.

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

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.

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??

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

typo - this would certainly be enough, not another

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)

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.

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.

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.

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