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The dog walkers code

• Walking • Aug 18, 2015 • 5 minutes

The dog walking code has been created to help keep you, your dog and wildlife safe and happy in the countryside.

Taking a dog is a great way to get yourself out and about in the countryside. The dog walking code is a set of guidelines that have been created to help keep you, your dog, other people and wildlife safe and happy while exploring.

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We've all heard of the Countryside Code, which contains some useful advice for dog walkers. Natural Resources Wales has extended this with The Dog Walking Code that contains more suggestions on ensuring your activities don't affect domestic animals, wildlife and other countryside users.

  1. Ensure your dog is under effective control
    This means you have a short lead with you and use it when needed, such as around livestock, near cliff edges or where signage requests it. Don't let your dog off the lead unless you can keep it in sight and close enough to come back to you on command.
  2. Prevent your dog from approaching horse riders, cyclists, or other people and their dogs uninvited.
    Some animals (and people) don't like being approached by unknown dogs!
  3. Keep both yourself and your dog on rights of way and existing paths.
    Don't go into crops, including grass, and avoid making existing paths wider.
  4. Never let your dog worry or chase wildlife or livestock.
  5. Follow advice on local signs to reduce disturbance to plants and animals.
    Some areas may be out of bounds at specific times, such as for nesting season or when specific plants are flowering.
  6. Stay SAFE around farm animals and horses:
    Stop, look and listen before entering a field; be
    Aware of any animals present and keep your dog on a short lead when they are.
    Find the safest route around animals, giving them plenty of space and using paths or access land where possible.
    Exit the area calmly and quickly if threatened, releasing your dog to make it easier for you both to reach safety.
  7. Always bag and bin your dog’s poo wherever you are.
    You can use any public waste bin or your bin at home. Dogs poo can transmit disease that are bad for both both animals and humans
  8. Never leave bags of dog poo lying around, even if you intend to pick them up later.
    Containers and deodorised bags can make them easier to carry.
  9. Ensure your contact details are on your dog’s collar and it's microchipped (and the information up to date), so you can be reunited quickly if it is lost.
  10. Keep your dog’s vaccinations and worming up to date to help prevent the spread of parasites.
  11. Ask other dog walkers, look at OS Maps Greenspace, contact your local authority or look out for signs to get more information about what to do and where to go in your area.

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