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sheep grazing keep dogs on lead to stop dog sheep chasing sign

Escaping dogs in the country are a danger to sheep

Solutions to stop a dog chasing sheep

It’s getting to that time of year when the wildlife is waking up. In early Spring our most common call is I am concerned about my dog getting out and chasing sheep or livestock. Usually owners have tried everything, plugged the hedge, lifted the fence height and all to no avail. If a dog has a high interest in Sheep and has had no training sooner or later he or she will be in with the sheep. For some dogs it’s just the chase, for others it’s the kill. Also a dog with a high prey drive will probably have a high interest in cats or other livestock.

What are the penalties for a dog chasing sheep?

  • Ultimately his life – the farmer has the right to shoot if he considers that the dog is a threat to his flock and there are no reasonable means of preventing it.dog chasing sheep

So What steps can an owner take to prevent their dog chasing sheep?

  • Training – find a good trainer that has a proven track record in this field of expertise (see list below). As Company we recommend a Balanced Trainer. A Balanced Trainer will use multiple tools to train the dog, including an e-collar if necessary.
  • Ensure that the garden fencing is dog proof. If you are rural, even if you don’t have livestock nearby make sure your fence is secure. The wildlife may tempt him out but ultimately he may end up in trouble with a farmer or a vehicle.
  • Walking the dog on a lead where sheep are present. It’s good practice, no matter how good your dog is if there are sheep around pop him on a lead for a few minutes.

Training for sheep chasing

  • Balanced dog trainers will use a range of tools and methods to modify the dog’s behaviour and desire sheep. They will work with you and your dog in a controlled situation and will modify the dog’s desire and interest to chase sheep.
  • Many old school farmers will advocate putting the dog in a pen with an older Ewe. This can be a risky move as a large Ewe can cause considerable damage to a dog when cornered. It is most certainly a harsh method but may ultimately save the dogs life.
  • Some Trainers recommend reward only training. Many dogs will recall well in normal situations using this training method. The issue is if you have a dog with a high drive usually the treat is insufficient to divert the attention and so this method not always successful for sheep chasing.

How can I make my rural property dog proof?

  • Deer or stock fencing may be a solution but can be costly and unsightly. It is also not always effective as dogs will climb up and over or dig under the fence.
  • Electronic dog fences are a great solution as they will back up your current fencing.

Are Electronic Fences banned?

No, electronic fences are not banned and have not been included in the recent e-collar ban proposals. Electronic fences are a great way to give your dog freedom but also keep them safe in the garden. Unlike traditional fences if the dog is trained correctly then the fence will keep even the keenest dog at home. Interestingly, a dog fence can also often be installed on terrain that is not suitable for traditional fencing. A dog fence, often referred to as an electric dog fence, will also cover driveways and vulnerable open areas.

The word “electric” is actually incorrect as there is no electricity in the cable or the collar. As with an e-collar, it is a static impulse that is generated, very similar to a Tens machine. When a dog is trained to an “electric dog fence” he is conditioned to respond a warning beep. The training is gentle and effective, with many owners asking “when will he get the shock?” only to be told that the dog has already received the stimulation.

DogFence Ltd have been installing the hidden dog fences for over 16 years. We have fenced and contained many dogs on their last chance saloon. We offer a containment promise with our Professional Dog Fences but as with all dog ownership this does involve management from the owner.

  1. Put the collar on the dog every day – it’s useless in the draw!
  2. Make sure the collar is correctly fitted – a lose collar can equal a lose dog!
  3. Remember to change the battery at the correct interval – DogFence batteries last 6 months or 2 years depending on the collar and we even offer automatic renewal programmes so you don’t forget.

Conclusion

The majority of dog owners recognise that dogs need to be trained so that they can enjoy walking together. Sadly owners cannot be present 24/7 and it maybe that the dog escapes from the garden and ends up in a field full of sheep. Installing an electronic dog fence gives owners peace of mind whilst allowing the dog the freedom to enjoy the open air.

If you would like to know more about how DogFence can secure your garden give us a buzz. Our lovely office team can measure out your boundary and give options for the fence remotely. Call us today on 01628 476475 or click here for a quote.

Below is a list of Balanced Dog Trainers that we recommend for sheep chasing:

Take The Lead Training – Devon  – Jamie Penrith.

Dutiful Dogs – London & South East England – Nicky Bulter

Southend Dog Training – Essex – Adam Spivey

Paws in Nature – Cheshire – Andrew Lang