Fell Walking with your Dog the Responsible Way
Q: When do I need to use a lead?
A: Anywhere that sheep or cattle are residing. It’s important to be aware that a farmer has the legal right to shoot your dog if it’s seen to be worrying livestock.
Watch out for our ‘Take the Lead’ campaign, coming soon! Please also be aware of ground-nesting birds between March and August which shouldn’t be disturbed.
Q: What do I do around livestock then?
A: Keep your distance from livestock and move quickly and calmly through their territory. To minimise disturbance, you may find yourself veering off the path slightly. Wherever possible, avoid areas with cows and calves as cows can be extremely protective of their young.
It is also important to respect instructions left by farmers – if you’re advised to not enter a field, don’t risk it.
If you are threatened by cattle, let the dog go as the cattle will chase the dog and not you.
Q: Are dogs automatically fit for fell walks?
A: We wouldn’t recommend taking a puppy for long walks as their bones are still developing and too much exercise can harm this process. Always consider your dogs breed, fitness level and health before planning your route.
Q: Should my dog have ‘mountain’ gear?
A: This very much depends on your dog, but we would recommend a harness with a lift handle which can come in handy on the more craggy bits. A windproof coat for use in extreme weather conditions is worth considering too. We recommend a normal feed in the morning and to carry water for both you and your companion. A dog First Aid kit should also be in your rucksack.
Q: What if me or my dog get into trouble?
A: Establish your location, ideally with a grid reference, dial 999 or 112, ask for police, then the Mountain Rescue.
We would also urge you to take a basic First Aid kit and to check the weather forecast before setting out. Allow plenty of time and don’t ever be afraid to turn back.