Being a responsible dog owner

 

 

 

 

 

 

The outdoors is essential for dogs and their owners. In Scotland, you can walk your dog on most land as long as you follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and keep your dog under proper control.

 

Outdoors with your dog

Poorly controlled dogs are a serious concern for farmers, other land managers and visitors to the countryside.

Dogs can:

  • Worry or attack livestock, for example causing pregnant ewes to miscarry or resulting in injury or death

  • Disturb wildlife, including breeding birds

  • Scare other people

Dog waste also spreads diseases to people and animals, particularly in fields with livestock or where fruit and vegetables are growing.

Terrier sitting on grassy patch with hills in the background.
Don't allow your dog to approach animals or people uninvited. Don't linger if wildlife is disturbed by your presence.
Don't allow your dog to approach animals or people uninvited. Always keep your dog in sight and under control. If in doubt use a lead..
Do not allow your dog to approach animals or people uninvited. Where possible avoid fields with animals. If threatened by Cattle, release lead for quick escape.
Finish the jobbie - bag it AND bin it. Take it home when there are no bins available.

Important things to remember

  • Do not allow your dog to approach animals or people uninvited (in open country, it may not be obvious when animals are around)
  • Where possible avoid animals - release your dog if threatened by cattle and don't linger if wildlife is disturbed by your presence
  • Always keep your dog in sight and under control – if in doubt use a lead
  • Don’t take your dog into fields of vegetables and fruit unless there is a clear path
  • Always bag and bin dog poo – take it home when bins aren’t available

Advice for farmers & crofters

To help address any problems caused by dog walking:

  • Consider public access and assess relevant risks

  • If necessary, use helpful signs to highlight issues to dog owners, removing them when not required

  • Suggest reasonable alternative routes if needed

Dog on a walk surrounded by autumnal leaves on the ground.
Blue sign on fence next to path advising of dates sheep are lambing in the field.
Two children walking a dog on a path.
Dog walker and dog on path covered in sand surrounded by farmland.