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Top Ten Tips For Dogs In The Countryside

By law, dogs must be controlled so that they do not scare or disturb livestock or wildlife. On open access land, they have to be kept on short leads from 1 March to 31 July and all year round near sheep. Close supervision is also required on public rights of way.

  • Never allow your dog into fields where there are young animals.
  • Never allow your dog into cultivated fields unless you are on a right of way and then keep your dog on the path.
  • It might be only ‘play’ to your dog but never let your dog worry farm animals.
  • If you go into a field of farm livestock, steer well clear of them and keep your dog on a short lead to avoid potential confrontation.
  • If cattle do react aggressively or with curiosity and head towards you, let the dog go and calmly take the safest route out of the field even if it means retracing your steps.
  • During the bird breeding season (usually April- July) keep your dog on a short lead in sensitive areas such as moorland, forests, open grassland, lochs and by the sea.
  • Bear in mind ‘poop and scoop’ wherever you and your dog are even, or especially, in remote places to avoid spreading parasites to wildlife?
  • Many reservoirs and streams are used as drinking water sources so keep your dog out of the water.
  • As a courtesy to others, slip the lead on your dog when walking towards others on a narrow path.
  • What are exuberant expressions of fun and greeting by your dog may be misread by other people and can frighten children. ‘Don’t worry – he won’t hurt you’ is not an acceptable alternative to close control.


Credit: Cumbria Tourist Board/Tony West

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This entry was posted on Saturday, September 1st, 2012 at 10:55 am and is filed under Activity, Advice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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