Deer and Sheep: Dogs

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 21st June 2022.

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Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May to Question 1492 on Livestock and Wildlife: Dogs, whether he has made an assessment of the potential difficulties of introducing dogs gradually and positively to (a) sheep and (b) deer using reward-based training methods.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra understands that the right approach for pet owners to take in managing and controlling their dog’s behaviour differs from both person to person and from pet to pet. Consequently the department has not undertaken a specific assessment of the potential difficulties of gradually introducing dogs to livestock but instead, and as stated in answer to Question 1492, advises owners who are concerned about controlling their dog’s behaviour, for whatever reason, to take advice from their vet or a suitably qualified dog behaviourist or trainer. Such specialists would be best positioned to advise on the best approach for their specific case and can be located through The Animal Behaviour and Training Council which can be found at: https://abtc.org.uk/practitioners/.

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