Tale of Tails

Countryside Code


Author: Phoenix Giraffa

The Countryside code. Does that sound familiar? Most people don’t know what it is or that it even exists, BUT it is a very important thing to know and understand otherwise it can have a devastating impact on nature, you and farmers. No one wins if it is not obeyed.

It is imperative you train your dogs around livestock of any sort, the less they care about them the better. Buckley has been brought up around cattle, sheep, donkeys etc. As much as he loves to say hello through a (non-dippable) fence he’s also very happy to just walk past them. This is down to work we’ve put in from 9 weeks old – it’s hard but worth it.

Safety measures are still put in place though, he’s on a long-line in places I know livestock will be, and on a lead if walking through a public foot path that has livestock around (even with electric fences).

If a farmer or a small holding owner catches your dog worrying any of their livestock, and this includes chickens, they can legally shoot your dog and charge you for the damages. This does happen as well, it’s no myth. People in my village have lost their dogs this way.

Eli demonstrating impulse control around a horse

Train your dog to ask permission before going to any fields if you have them off lead, this can help gate dipping and also stops them entering fields where animals maybe kept but the gate has been accidentally opened or if animals have broken out.

Impulse control is super important. It can make the difference between a dog gate-dipping and worrying those animals or them staying either by your side or blanking the animals, even if the animals are running or moving away. It can be the difference between life or death for more than one animal. Impulse control is essential around all other animals including pets, trained animals and wild animals.

**relevant reading**

Government Online Publication of Countryside Code
RSPCA Blog on Sheep Worrying

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