Taking Dogs Into the Country Side - ScoutHelp

Our actions can affect peoples lives and the safety and welfare of there animals. If you take your dog into the countryside, you need to keep it under proper control and to clean up after it.

Public rights of way

You do not have to put your dog on a lead on public paths as long as it is under close control. As a general rule, you should keep your dog on a lead if you cannot rely on its obedience.

On a bridleway or byway where you may meet horses you should keep it on a lead as you are liable for damages if the dog scares or harms the horse or rider.

You must be especially careful around livestock. If your dog worries farm animals it can have serious consequences. Not only can you be prosecuted and fined, but you may be ordered to pay compensation and have the dog destroyed. ‘Worrying livestock’ means attacking or chasing any farm animal or poultry.

Don’t allow your dog to run through arable crops or to flush out game from hedgerows or scrub. It is not appreciated by the farmer, and can harm wildlife, especially nesting birds.

Access land

While exercising the new access rights with a dog, you must use a fixed lead no more than two metres long at all times near livestock. You may also find that dogs are excluded from grouse moors or from lambing enclosures at lambing times.

Livestock and dogs You are likely to meet livestock in the countryside, and sometimes they may react to your presence, particularly if you have a dog with you. When you enter a field that contains livestock move carefully and quietly, if possible walking around them. While sheep and lambs may run away, cows and heifers are naturally inquisitive and may follow you across a field.