Discussion Forum
Dog Safety

From Mike Hatfield
Saturday, 5 January 2008

Warning to all dog owners:
When walking up Horsehold from Hebden Bridge please keep your dog on the leash. Recently a 12 year old girl was walking her pet when it entered a field not fully fenced and devoid of livestock. The pet was shot dead without warning by the owner of the land.

Posted by Danny Thompson
Sunday, 6 January 2008

I won't comment on the allegation itself, but a piece of legislation relevant to farmers, land owners and dog walkers can be found here

Posted by Julie C
Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Dog owners look out. My terrier was attacked by a Japanese Akita on Saturday 5th Jan. in Old Town. These dogs weigh 30 to 40KG and are very ferocious, it was completely unprovoked and this was a very scary encounter. My dog is now recovering after a trip to the vet but was badly hurt and traumatised.

Posted by Jim Band
Tuesday, 8 January 2008


Are you certain your terrier didn't mutter something derogatory about the Akita'a mother under it's breath? I've heard that terriers can be quite cutting at times. A vet once explained this behaviour to me as something to do with little dog complex.

Posted by Andy M
Thursday, 10 January 2008

Have they offered to cover your costs?

If not the owners are obviously more obnoxious than the dogs.

Posted by Julie C
Friday, 11 January 2008

Domesticated dogs are apparently descended from one pair of dogs from China 9000 years ago. Each type has been selectively bred to suit a human purpose. The Akita was for hunting bears, the terrier to hunt rats. Yes terriers are prepared to give other dogs a bit of 'lip', but on this occasion mine didn't even see the attacker coming as it was the other side of a hedge, and it jumped on her back. I don't think that ferocious breeds are appropriate in our society, they are usually bought to bolster the weak egos of their owners. The one in Old Town was being fostered, I think for the RSPCA, I hope they cough up for the vet.

Posted by Don Smith
Friday, 11 January 2008

t would be good if the field where the dog was killed could be specified? I take my dog up and around horsehold quite alot,and some footpathes run through, or very close to badly fenced fields..and i would like to avoid my dog being used for target practice...

Posted by Simon C
Sunday, 13 January 2008

Simple answer to this: keep your dogs on a lead and under control.

Why should others have to suffer because folk cant be bothered to look after or train their dogs properly?

Posted by Jacob G
Monday, 14 January 2008

I don't understand your posting Simon. Could you clarify what you mean by 'suffer' and how it is appropriate in this context?

Posted by Anne Handley
Monday, 14 January 2008

Thank you Danny for the link to the legislation. It clearly makes no difference whether a field is fenced or not. A farmer can protect his land, his livestock or even someone else's land or livestock if they have implied permission. I don't see anything about having to put a notice up. And the 'get out clause' is that if the owner of the livestock has reason to believe the dog is worrying or about to worry livestock, then it's justified.

As a dog owner I find this disconcerting - supposing your dog looks like one that was worrying a farmer's sheep a few days earlier? He would no doubt 'believe' that it was about to worry sheep.

I think Simon's response is too black and white. It's difficult to define 'under control' and what on earth does he mean by 'why should others suffer?'. Unless he is referring to the Akita, which obviously wasn't under control, caused actual harm to another animal, and did cause upset to others.

Posted by Rev Tony Buglass
Monday, 14 January 2008

Sorry, Anne - I disagree. Simon's answer defined very clearly what he meant by under control: on a lead. If your dog is on a lead, you can stop it from worrying sheep or even appearing to worry sheep. If you do not have it on a lead, you do not have it under control. When we had a dog, the only place it was allowed off the lead was in our (enclosed) back garden, or on the beach, where there was no traffic and no sheep. Anyone who lets their dog run free in town is risking a road traffic accident, and in the countryside is risking livestock or their dog.

Posted by Kathy R
Monday, 14 January 2008

Two people told me over the weekend of a Japanese Akita dog being off lead on the market and later on the footpath near Holme House. Surely there aren't two of these dogs in Hebden and if it is being fostered by the RSPCA (as Julie suggests) how can this be explained.

Posted by Simon C
Monday, 14 January 2008

Thanks Reverend for your input that is exactly what I meant.

Why should livestock owners suffer at the hands of people who think they have the right to allow their dogs to roam out of control in the countryside?

If you can't or won't control your dogs dont have them. If you insist on owning and walking dogs in the countryside buy a lead and use it.

As for the poor woman whose dog was attacked by a loose dog at Old Town I cant understand why people have to own dogs like that. The dogs are not only a danger to other dogs but also to people.

What would have happened if it had been a child walking the dog that has been attacked?

Posted by Michelle J
Friday, 18 January 2008

I would just like to comment on the dog that was shot on farmland near Horsehold. I know the area very well and I also know the farmer who shot the dog personally. The field that the dog was shot in is indeed fenced off behind a stone wall and is home to a very large number of free range hens. Of which many were worried by the dog and this is why the farmer had to take the action he did.

I would also like to add that there was no one with the animal, ie, a responsible owner. When the farmer's son went looking for an owner to the animal he found them at the bottom of the woods near Stubbing Wharf.

Now I understand that the owners of the dog must be feeling very emotional. However, one cannot blame a farmer for protecting his livestock and having to resort to shooting the poor dog when no one was around to take charge of or control a dog with the taste for blood.

My sympathies lie with the farmer whom I'm sure did not want to shoot a perfectly healthy animal. Knowing this gentle man it would have upset him deeply. I also respect him for taking responsibility and dealing with it the only way he could. If only owners of dogs could accept responsibility for their animals whilst out walking in areas with livestock, these unpleasantries would not happen.

Posted by Lynda H
Monday, 28 January 2008

In reply to Julie C's comment on akita dogs being 'ferocious'; have you owned an akita? Please don't tar all dogs/breeds with the same brush! I have two japanese akita bitches and neither of them are ferocious - in fact they have both been chased by a yorkshire terrier. Maybe you should point the finger of blame at the owners. Why do some children grow up never being in trouble yet others are troublesome from a young age? Parenting?!