Controlling your dog in public

  • Dog owners are responsible for controlling their dogs in any public place whilst out on a dog walk
  • Every dog needs to be trained to obey basic commands
  • Follow some basic rules and use common sense

Owning a dog is a privilege that every dog owner must take seriously. Dogs must be cared for and raised in a manner that doesn’t harm the animal in any way, and also adhering to specific dog law guidelines. It may seem unreasonable having strict laws that are specific to dogs in place. Yet, they have been implemented not only for the safety and well-being of the dog but also for the safety of society. No matter the breed, or size of your dog, it’s imperative that it responds to basic obedience commands. Every dog, no matter its size or breed, must be trained in basic obedience to ensure that they stay safe in any situation.

The Control of Dogs Order

Any dog in a public place must legally wear a collar together with an ID tag showing the name and address of its owner. A fine of up to £5000 can be given if you don’t comply. There are some exclusions to the law, such as guide dogs, sheepdogs, dogs used for emergency rescue work and several others, but the majority of dogs walking in a social situation need to have a microchip and collar.

Pick up your poop

This is the golden rule of dog walking for every dog owner: always pick up your dog’s excrement, bag it, and take it home – don’t leave it next to a bin or leave it on the street or in the hedgerow.   This can also lead to an on the spot fine in some  boroughs (Finchley, for example, has an £80 on the spot fine)

Don’t trespass

It’s you who decides where to walk, not your pet. Make sure you keep your dog off private gardens and away from children’s play areas. Dog’s urine contains nitrogen, which very quickly kills off lawn areas.

Keep your dog on a lead

Unless you’re out walking in a huge open space, try to keep your dog on a leash at all times. It’s impossible to keep your eye on them at all times when they could encounter another dog or a child, or someone who is afraid of unknown dogs bounding up to them.

Allow some sniffing, but not to excess

All dogs love to sniff around, especially if they meet another friendly dog. It’s their way of sizing up their rival. Of course, allow your dog to sniff for only a short while when of course, the other dog will also like to sniff back. If your dog becomes a bit too amorous towards another dog and tries to mount it, a sharp tug on his lead and a stern “No” command should be enough to cool him down, together with an apology to the other dog’s owner.

Allow him some fun

While following some basic rules and using common sense, a walk with your dog should also be a time for some fun. Dog walking should never feel like it’s a chore for your doggy pal or you.

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