Countryside and Livestock
At some point in time you will probably visit the countryside with your dog and probably encounter livestock. You may already live in the country. An absolutely essential and potentially lifesaving lesson your puppy must be taught is to ignore livestock (Sheep, Cows, Horses, Deer, Hens).
A farmer is legally entitled to shoot any dog on sight if it is off lead in a field with his livestock (irrespective of whether the dog is actually worrying livestock or just sniffing in the hedgerows). If this happens there is no excuse, no second chance and nobody’s fault but yours.
Not only will you have seen your beloved dog shot dead, you may also have a bill of thousands of pounds for damage done to sheep / aborted lambs / panicked and stampeding cattle etc.
Your dog should always be on a lead in farming areas. The primitive instincts to chase and hunt can override the very best obedience training and once your dog has learnt the fun to be had chasing those big white fluffy bleating things it is a lifetime habit that cannot be unlearned.
For your own safety please exercise caution near cattle. A public footpath may well run through a field stocked with cattle, but that does not mean it is safe. Young cattle are large, curious, boisterous creatures and cows with calves at foot can be protective and aggressive, particularly towards the perceived threat presented by a dog. Dog walkers have been killed by cattle so my advice is don’t walk your dog amongst herds of cattle. The same caution should be exercised in our National parks. Although you are welcome to explore in these vast open areas of Fell, Moor, Hill and Forest these are also agricultural areas where farmers run their business of rearing Sheep, Cattle, Deer and Ponies. Your dog should always be on a lead where there is a chance you may encounter livestock. Just because you have the freedom and right to roam does not mean your dog has.
Please remember to “Poop Scoop” in the countryside, just as you would at home. The countryside has become the playground of many and we still have the responsibility to keep it clean and tidy for all users. Canine faeces carries a bacteria responsible for causing abortion in cattle so please always clean up after your dog.