Perfect Pooches: Respect wildlife and livestock, and keep your dog on a lead!

At this time of year in particular there are lots of young animals and birds in our parks and around the countryside and it is more important than ever that we keep our dogs on the lead around them.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 12:30 pm
Always keep your dog under control and on a lead where signposted

I heard from a reliable source recently that some goslings were attacked and killed at my local park by a dog that was not on its lead.

There are no signs around the duck pond requiring dogs to be on a lead and I have instigated a campaign to ask the council to rectify this oversight.

As we’ve endured lockdown after lockdown, dog ownership has increased and also walking in the countryside.

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I’ve been shocked to learn that so many people allow their dogs to run freely with livestock, many of the animals are killed by dogs, or become so stressed that they die, their young are killed. It’s heartless.

Did you know that under our laws farmers are perfectly within their rights to shoot and kill any dog if they believe that dog is causing distress to their livestock?

I urge you to familiarise yourself with the countryside code.

I found these tips on the Woodland Trust website

l Please keep your dog in sight, under control and, where signposted, on a lead.

l Keep your dog on a short lead in areas with livestock and ground-nesting birds, particularly during nesting season (usually March-July).

l Ensure your dog is trained in basic recall. If not, please keep them on a lead at all times.

l Stick to paths when walking your dog to protect precious ground flora and tree roots.

l Clear up after your dog and take any waste home with you if you can’t find a bin.

l Be respectful of other wood users, including other dogs. If the dog approaching is on a lead, put yours on a lead too.

l If the weather’s warm, please provide your dog with water if you are planning a long walk.

Next time we can look at improving your dog’s recall.

(Rachel is the owner of ViP Dog Grooming in Wakefield and has worked with dogs her whole life)