I'm looking for advice on hiking Ben Bulben with dogs.
I'm planning on doing it in a few weeks with a friend and he has two border collies. They aren't trained at all, don't come back when called and often go for other dogs. He's kind of oblivious to this though.
I'm concerned that it's not a great idea to bring them on this hike considering we will most likely be on land with sheep. I don't want to end up 'worrying' sheep or worse still, endangering access for other walkers in the future.
I usually park in Cartronwilliamoge and head up from there.
Has anyone got any advice for me?
These dogs are like wild animals. We live in Dublin. The owner takes them from his house to the car on a lead and then straight to the beach where they run free.
They aren't trained to walk on leads and I'd rather climb Ben Bulben blindfold and on my knees than with one of these dogs on a lead.
I look after them a bit here in Dublin and walking them to the park on lead is like torture.
If you're not going to put them on a lead then the only advice that can be given is don't bring them. Even if they were well behaved they shouldn't be on the hills without one.
I'll try and convince him to leave them behind so.
I often brought my own dog on hikes back when he was alive and able. I always had a lead but never needed it for him as he was well trained and behaved.
If I were you I'd not even go walking if he has the dogs with him. Even dogs on leads can worry livestock and farmers, especially this time of year when ewes are carrying. There's plenty of beach in that area for him to let them off for a decent run. Otherwise leave them behind you and don't make things awkward for everybody.
The sheep up there will have cliffs on 3 sides and sheep farmers around there have been known to be very short tempered and without doubt will own shotguns.
There's nothing about this situation that would make me optimistic about having anything but a terrible outcome
There's plenty of beaches up here to run the dogs on if she wants to bring the dogs but otherwise she's risking their lives if she brings them onto a farmers land
Previous hike I went on there were signs on the road saying "dogs that worry sheep will be shot".
There shouldn't even be a need to put up those signs...
It is mighty decent from landowners / farmers to allow strangers like ourselves to roam their private property. It is a privilege, people should not abuse it as if it were a right and they shouldn't bring dogs at all when there are sheep around.
He's leaving the dogs behind so it's all good!
Thanks for the replies.
If he's going to let them off the lead then put bulletproof vests on them
It's not the dogs I'm worried about. It's the sheep and other walkers access.
Hear hear about access, it remains a delicate issue in that area.
I'm too new to post a link apparently, but check out the Truskmore entry on Mountain Views for a very recent incident.
Would that be this one leading up to the Brockaghs?
As an aside, I assist with the training of search and rescue dogs, which are regularly "stock tested" with the assistance of a friendly local sheep farmer to make sure they pay no attention whatsoever to sheep, or any other wildlife for that matter. This is a precondition to them being allowed on the hills within the national park off leash.
But, and it's a big but, very occasionally one will have a lapse and start chasing deer for example, in which case it's the end of the line for them as far as their search and rescue career is concerned, no questions asked.
So for anyone who says that their dog is well behaved and never chases anything, just bear that in mind, it doesn't matter how well trained their dog is, and believe me these dogs are trained to a much higher level than any household pet, you can never say they'll never start chasing anything.