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Training Dogs for Herding: Permissible?

12 February, 2019
Q My husband and I live on a sheep farm and use our dogs to do farm work. Is it haram to teach other people how to train their dogs for herding?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

It is allowed to train and use dogs and other animals as well, for shepherding, hunting and guarding. It is also allowed to teach other people how to train their dogs to do so.


In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

It is perfectly fine for you to use dogs for herding. Allah says about training dogs and other animals to hunt, “And as for those hunting animals which you train by imparting to them something of the knowledge that God has imparted to yourselves-eat of what they seize for you, but mention God’s name over it. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is swift in reckoning.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:4)

The hunting animals include dogs, as well as hounds, falcons, etc., that are trained in hunting.

Therefore, it is fine to train dogs for shepherding sheep or cattle. You are also allowed to teach others how to train their dogs for such beneficial services.

It is worthy of remembering that scholars agree that we are allowed to keep dogs for hunting, shepherding, policing and guarding and as guides for the blind, etc.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.