The dates for this summer's Sheep Safe dog training courses have been announced.
Courses with dog trainer and behaviourist Sue Harper are aimed at teaching owners how to encourage their dogs to ignore livestock. The six-session courses will begin on the 27th June, 8th August and 12th of September.
Sheep Safe courses were launched over 6 years ago with the help of local dog trainer Sue, in an effort to reduce the number of dog attacks on livestock on the Malvern Hills and Commons.
Beck Baker, Community and Conservation Officer, said "Sadly, dogs chasing and attacking sheep is a common occurrence on the Malvern Hills and Commons."
"We’d like to remind dog walkers that any dog, big or small, docile or aggressive, has the potential to chase or kill livestock so all dogs should be kept on a lead near grazing cattle and sheep. The simple solution of putting a dog on a lead will help keep sheep and lambs safe."
"The Sheep Safe courses are a good way of teaching dog walkers how to handle a situation where they might unexpectedly come across livestock on the Hills and Commons but we would encourage people to put their pet on a lead whenever they are near the cattle and sheep."
The Trust also publishes Stockwatch, a weekly update with the locations of cattle and sheep within the Malvern Hills grazing projects. Stockwatch can be found on the Trust's website, social media and in the Malvern Gazette.
Livestock are an essential part of the management of the Malvern Hills and Commons. The cattle and sheep eat the bramble, scrub and young trees and this maintains the open grassland habitat. This keeps the landscape special and benefits the geology, archaeology, wildlife found here, as well as maintaining access and views for visitors.
Those wishing to find out more information or book a place on the course should contact Sue Harper on sharperdogs[@]hotmail.co.uk or phone 01684 568067. All courses will be run with Covid safety measures in place. Spaces are limited and places on the course will be granted on a first come, first served basis. An initial telephone assessment will be required to assess the suitability of the training for your dog.