The dog walking code has been created to help keep you, your dog and wildlife happy and safe in the countryside.
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.
- Ensure your dog is under effective control, which means you have a short lead with you and use it when needed (e.g. around livestock, near cliff edges or where signage requests it). You do not let your dog off the lead unless you keep it in sight and close enough to come back to you on command.
- Prevent your dog from approaching horse riders, cyclists, or other people and their dogs uninvited.
- Keep your dog with you on paths or access land and don't let it stray into crops including fields of grass, fruit and vegetables.
- Never let your dog worry or chase wildlife or livestock.
- Follow advice on local signs to reduce disturbance to plants and animals.
- Stay SAFE around farm animals and horses: Stop, look and listen before entering a field; be aware of any animals present. Always keep your dog on a short lead. 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.
- Always bag and bin your dog’s poo wherever you are. You can use any public waste bin or your bin at home.
- 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.
- Ensure your details are on your dog’s collar and it is microchipped, so you can be reunited quickly if it is lost.
- Keep your dog’s vaccinations and worming up to date. Ask your vet for more information.
- Contact your local authority, or look out for signs, to get more information about what to do and where to go in your area.
With thanks to Teddy and Rio for the photos!