Keeping your dog on a lead is an absolute must when you are walking near sheep. Farmers will often place signs on gates to warn walkers that they need to be extra careful, but this is not always the case. Your dog may be the friendliest and least aggressive pooch ever, but even if it runs towards a sheep just wanting to play this can cause undue stress in the sheep.
We are just about to enter into the busiest time of year for lambing. A pregnant ewe that is stressed by a boisterous or exuberant dog could abort her unborn lamb; or if she has a lamb by her side she may lose sight of it and become separated if she is scared off by a dog.
Please be extra vigilant and if you are unsure about footpath routes, knock on the farmer’s door and ask him or her for advice.