Visitors and their dog resting at a seated area on the visitor centre trail at Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 44417

Working with dog walkers

Taking the Lead

Dog walking is one of the main reasons why many people visit the outdoors, with research showing that one or more dogs accompanies an adult on 48% of all visits to the Scottish countryside.  Dog walking makes an important contribution to people’s enjoyment of the outdoors, as well as their physical health and wellbeing and wider appreciation of nature and landscapes.

However, issues associated with the proper control of dogs remain one of the problems most often cited by land managers, and can be time consuming for access authorities to deal with.

The guidance provided here is aimed at land managers who are experiencing dog-related access issues, and at access officers and others who may also have a role in helping to address these concerns. The overall aim is to support both responsible access by dog walkers and responsible management by landowners.

Taking the Lead is available in a series of 4 linked documents or single online document.

Find out more:

Scottish Outdoor Access Code leaflet for dog owners   Dog waste and disease poster   Risk of the spread of disease in livestock from dog faeces - Briefing Note for Access Authorities   Managing access with dogs in protected areas to safeguard breeding birds   Sign templates