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Dogs in Public Places


Public places are for the enjoyment of everyone, and when you take your dog into a public place you must make sure that it does not interfere with the safety or enjoyment of other people.

Properly Restraining Your Dog

When your dog is out in public, whether walking to the shops or visiting a park, it must be under the effective control of a competent person at all times. This means that it must be on a lead and under the control of someone who is capable of restraining the dog. Small children, for instance, may not be able to control large dogs and under these circumstances an adult should walk the dog.

It is recognised that dogs benefit greatly from the chance to run freely, and for this reason the Companion Animals Act requires councils to provide off-leash areas for the exercise of dogs.

These areas may only be available for limited hours, but at any time there must be at least one place in each council area where dogs can be exercised without a lead.

Find locations and information about leash free areas.

Cleaning After Your Dog

If your dog defecates in a public place or on someone else’s property, it is your responsibility to remove the faeces immediately and dispose of them properly.

Councils have a duty to provide bins for the disposal of dog faeces in places where dogs are often exercised, and you should look for these bins in your area.



Last updated on 8 July 2015