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Lambing Season

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Keeping Dogs Under Control During Lambing Season 

Lambing season is a critical time for sheep farmers, and it’s essential to ensure that dogs are well-behaved and do not pose a threat to vulnerable sheep. Uncontrolled dogs can cause significant harm to flocks, leading to injury, stress, and financial losses for farmers. Here are some important guidelines to follow during this crucial period: 

1. Know Your Responsibilities 

Under the Control of Dogs Act 1986, dog owners are legally responsible for ensuring that their pets are under control at all times. This responsibility extends to sheep fields during lambing season. Even the gentlest family pet can cause harm to sheep and lambs if left unattended. 

2. Keep Dogs on a Leash or Under Close Supervision 

When walking your dog near sheep fields, always keep them on a leash or under close supervision. Dogs have a natural instinct to chase, and even a brief moment of excitement can lead to disastrous consequences for the sheep. 

3. Avoid Letting Dogs Off-Leash at Night 

Night time poses additional risks, as sheep are more vulnerable during darkness. Keep your dog securely indoors or in a fenced area during nighttime hours to prevent any accidental encounters with sheep. 

4. Close Gates After You 

Always close gates behind you when entering or leaving sheep fields. An open gate can provide an opportunity for dogs to enter and disturb the flock. Be vigilant and ensure that gates remain secure. 

5. Report Any Incidents 

If you witness a dog attacking or chasing sheep, report it immediately to the relevant authorities or the farmer. Timely reporting can help prevent further harm and hold irresponsible dog owners accountable. 

6. Clean Up After Your Dog 

Carry waste bags and clean up after your dog. Sheep can ingest dog faeces, which may lead to health issues. Responsible pet ownership includes proper waste disposal. 

7. Train Your Dog 

Basic obedience training is crucial. Teach your dog commands like “leave it” or “stay” to prevent impulsive behavior around livestock. Socialize your dog to be comfortable around farm animals. 

8. Be Vigilant Beyond Lambing Season 

Remember that responsible dog ownership is not limited to lambing season. Dogs should always be under control when near livestock, whether it’s spring, summer, or any other time of the year. 


By following these guidelines, dog owners can contribute to the safety and well-being of sheep during lambing season. Let’s work together to ensure a harmonious coexistence between our beloved pets and our farming communities. 

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