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Dog walking

Seasonal advice

Be alert on your dog walks during lambing time.

Lambing has started!

We all love seeing new lambs in the fields so please be extra vigilant when out walking with your dog so that you, your dog and the lambs stay safe.

Here's what you can do:

  • Be alert to where sheep and their lambs are. If they’ve been brought down from the hills to lamb and to escape harsh winter weather, you may find them in fields nearer to home where you wouldn’t normally expect to find them.
  • Do not take your dog into fields where there are lambs, calves or other young animals. Go into a neighbouring field or onto land next to it.
  • With many sheep being pregnant at this time of year, consequences can be serious if the sheep are frightened into running away, whatever the cause. Sheep are naturally scared of dogs and both fright and running can cause sheep to abort their developing lambs. Other consequences could be the sheep abandoning lambs already born. Any incident that requires veterinary assistance is distressing and costly. Distressing for the dog owner, the farmer and his family and costly if ongoing veterinary care is needed or if animals die. 
  • Remember that a farmer could shoot your dog if it's caught worrying livestock.
  • Be sure to not let your dog out on its own. Ensure he/she is always left somewhere safe and enclosed with no opportunities to escape. Research is showing that many sheep worrying incidents are caused by local dogs straying from home or being let out to walk by themselves.
  • The evenings are getting lighter, but if you will be walking at dusk or in darkness make sure you know where your dog is at all times. He/she should be under proper control so that there’s no likelihood of running off and chasing or attacking sheep/lambs. Wearing hi vis clothing or lights can help you keep an eye on your dog and make you both visible to others when near traffic or on shared use routes.
  • Could your dog’s recall be better? Check out these links to dog training videos:

Dogs Trust training videos

Kennel Club Scotland