Doesn't a lead keep the dog safe?
Yesterday me and the dog had a excellent 4hr dash up Helvellyn, but we started the day on a downer.
On leaving the car park at Wythburn we came across a poster asking had anyone seen this lovely collie lost on the 10th of Sept around 2:00pm around Striding Edge.
Well this is were the whole thing about dogs on leads should start.
If you love your dog so much you go to this much trouble to find it.I think it should be on a lead to start with people should keep control of there dogs on high fells, not only for the safety of sheep and wild life.
Yesterday I walked on Helvellyn and some pratt was throwing stones for his poodle. Later we caught up to this idiot and he was about 300ft down from the path trying to get his ball of fluff back up to the rest of his 15 mates.
I walk a German Shepherd on a regular basis in the lakes, or depending on the risk involved I take a Schnauzer. Either way I first walk the route I want to take so I know which dog to take if any.
I always keep my dog on a lead not just for the dogs safety, but others safety to. If I fall trying to rescue my dog, I put mountain rescue at risk trying to rescue me.
Thanks for letting me winge, say hello to me and the German Shepherd any time you see me, neither of us bite [much].
Dog owners are required to keep dogs under effective control at all times. For the avoidance on doubt, The Countryside Code on the Natural England website is quite explicit about what is defined by the phrase 'Keep dogs under effective control'.
Keep dogs under effective control
When you take your dog into the outdoors, always ensure it does not disturb wildlife, farm animals, horses or other people by keeping it under effective control. This means that you:
- keep your dog on a lead, or
- keep it in sight at all times, be aware of what it's doing and be confident it will return to you promptly on command
- ensure it does not stray off the path or area where you have a right of access
Special dog rules may apply in particular situations, so always look out for local signs - for example:
- Dogs may be banned from certain areas that people use, or there may be restrictions, byelaws or control orders limiting where they can go.
- The access rights that normally apply to open country and registered common land (known as 'Open Access' land) require dogs to be kept on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July, to help protect ground nesting birds, and all year round near farm animals.
- At the coast, there may also be some local restrictions to require dogs to be kept on a short lead during the bird breeding season, and to prevent disturbance to flocks of resting and feeding birds during other times of year.
It's always good practice (and a legal requirement on 'Open Access' land) to keep your dog on a lead around farm animals and horses, for your own safety and for the welfare of the animals. A farmer may shoot a dog which is attacking or chasing farm animals without being liable to compensate the dog's owner.
However, if cattle or horses chase you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead - don't risk getting hurt by trying to protect it. Your dog will be much safer if you let it run away from a farm animal in these circumstances and so will you.
Everyone knows how unpleasant dog mess is and it can cause infections, so always clean up after your dog and get rid of the mess responsibly - 'bag it and bin it'. Make sure your dog is wormed regularly to protect it, other animals and people.
Hope this helps . . .
“I am about to visit the Lake District for the first time with my two dogs (Inuit x Shepherd and Jack Russell cross). I want to be a good example of a responsible dog owner whilst out and about which if we just rein ourselves in a bit can be easily achieved. I love to let my dogs off lead like most other owners but will have them safely attached to me on walks this time via a running waist belt that I use for competing in cani cross. This way they are more secure then if I just 'held the lead' and I am hands free! Dogs raised properly with adequate lead training can enjoy a walk with you just as much this way with the bonus that they will not cause any harm to themselves or others, accidental or otherwise. Picking up after them does not have to be an issue either if you double bag it and tie to the back of your rucksack out of sight, job done till you reach a bin. This will be different for me as my dogs are always normally off lead as I dont have sheep and wildlife to worry about where I live and walk in familiar, local places but I am determined to set a good example whilst away and stay safe and considerate to all. I hope other good dog owners out there who believe, like me, that their dogs are safe and like to have them off lead for whatever reason will, for the sake of all our reputations and our dogs, buck the trend whilst away walking and visiting these lovely places by keeping dogs on lead/very close control and cleaning up after them to replace all the negative stories and comments with good, positive ones on these forums in future.”
Lindsay Pettitt, Southampton
“Well I wrote a piece on dogs off lead (above) and felt confident in the way I put myself.
The only thing is, last year along with my German Shepherd we came into the possession of a lab puppy.
Well at six months old I decided it was time to do its first walk.
Everything was going well we had just left Grasmere and heading up to Helm Crag. We had just got into the valley when about 6 people walking towards us with a rotty and a heinz dog wearing flags over their sacks, frightened the life out of my young lab.
She slipped her lead and I made a grab but she was off.
All I could think was lambs - sheep - shotguns.
I set off running, who was I kidding trying to catch a scared dog running and I thought I was never going to see her alive again.
I kept an eye on the rocks and dry ground for about a mile until I came across 2 people coming towards me.
I asked if they had seen her but they said no so carried on until I came to the National Trust pasture land outside Grasmere and talked to a group of 4 and they said they had seen a pup going flat out.
Well 200 yards further on she was sat shaking. This is why I say sorry to anyone who has lost a dog whilst walking.
Not all loose dogs are at the owners fault. She has not been on the fells since. Thanks to the group of 6 who were walking on Remembrance Day with massive St George's flags on there sacks nice people.”
Rick (the Guy With The German Shepherd)
NB. You may find the pdf booklet: You and your dog in the countryside produced by Natural England useful.
The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those held by go4awalk.com.