Penalties handed to irresponsible dog owners are not centrally collated, and no national register is kept, a Scottish parliament committee has heard.
The news follows widespread concerns about sheep worrying by unruly dogs, particularly during lambing season.
It is also likely to lead to concerns that those with bans on dog ownership or previous fines could easily forgo their penalty.
The warning has come after the issue of irresponsible dogs was raised at the Scottish parliament during the Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment (Raine) committee.
The session sought to gather expert views on animal welfare and ideas for future policy.
Isles MSP Beatrice Wishart was told the best means to ensure a well-trained dog was to place a lead on them in public, and oral training. But so-called “shock collars” were flagged as unnecessary.
After the session Ms Wishart said: “I was told today that there could be some practical steps that could be taken to target irresponsible owners, and I support education about the problem.
“I supported the members bill on the protection of livestock in the last parliamentary session but the concerns of a local crofter who told me he thought that the law had not gone far enough led me to ask for the experts’ views.
“I look forward to the opportunity in committee to look at what more can be done.”