Tuesday 20 March 2018

Some Advice for Dog Owners

I walk through  the Dells alongside the Water of Leith most weeks. I've met a lot of lovely dogs while doing this, but today was one of the rare occasions when I had a bad incident with a dog. I was cutting back some overhanging vegetation (which is part of my role in patrolling the river) when this dog jumped at me (and not in even remotely a friendly way) and started ripping my cotton carrier bag apart. The owner muttered 'Sorry, very sorry' as she walked past but if your dog is likely to attack people like that you really need to a) train it better and b) keep it on a short lead!

A dog related problem that I encounter far more frequently in the Dells is that of dog poo. It is disgusting how many people let their dogs poo in the woodlands or even worse pick up their dogs poo in a poop bag and then throw it into the trees! If your dog poos, pick it up in a bag and then bin the bag! It's only commonsense! (The anti-fouling sign above is more picturesque than most and can be found near the site of Lindsay's Mill alongside the Water of Leith as it passes through Dean Village.)

There are also seasonal issues related to dogs.

At this time of year many fields are full of lambs and pregnant ewes who will soon give birth. Dogs running wild can panic pregnant ewes and cause them to abort the lambs. There have been several incidents recently where livestock have been attacked by dogs running out of control. To avoid this, if you have a dog, please don't take it into fields where there are young animals.

The same applies to ground nesting birds - from April to July is the nesting season for bird species such as skylarks, which are decreasingly drastically in number. To help give them the best chances of breeding, please keep them on a short lead in open areas where birds might be nesting. An article here from Rob Sheldon explains how the wonderful exaltation of skylarks at Wanstead is under threat from free running dogs.

Outdoor Access Scotland has some good advice for dog owners and professional dog walkers on their website, you can read it here.


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I'm not a big fan of dog owners, very lazy a lot of them round here, dogs are badly controlled and allowed to foul. The dog mess bag trees are a common sight too.

RG said...

A few bad apples make such an impression. The "Scoop the Poop" campaign has gone on so long, there are signs, bins, stations to get a bag out of to use ... patrols, social shaming, .... but still ....