Dems da dog walking rules!

12th October 2016

Blog

You’d think exercising your treasured canine would be straightforward, and how you go about it – entirely your choice.

Well perhaps not!

Maybe it’s because of the horror stories we see on the news, all too often, about canine cruelty or aggressive behaviour that has led to injury (or worse), but central government, local authorities and insurance companies are setting out an increasing number of rules for dog owners and professional walkers.

urDog has carried out some research, and we thought you might like to digest a summary of what we’ve gleaned:

I name that dog in one

A dog must wear a collar and a tag when in public. The tag must have your name and address on; your telephone number can be helpful too. Without a collar it is possible that your dog may be seized and treated as a stray.

It is now compulsory for owners to have their dogs microchipped (if they are over 8 weeks of age). They are responsible for keeping the contact details up to date.

Danger, danger!

It’s against the law to let any dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, such as:

* in a public place
* in a private place, e.g. a neighbour’s house or garden
* in the owner’s home (fair enough especially if you don’t live alone!)
For clarity – ‘out of control’ can mean if it injures someone, makes someone worried that it might injure them, if it attacks someone’s animal, or if the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal. (we’ve all heard of the rule that a farmer is allowed to kill a dog if it worrying their livestock).
The penalties for dog owners can be pretty severe from an unlimited fine, to imprisonment. Scary stuff. The outcome for the dog of course can be even more uncompromising.
No go zones

Certain public land areas are ‘no go’, or ‘careful as you go’ zones for dogs.

They’re covered by Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) and within these you may have to either keep your dog on a lead, not venture in to them at all, limit the number of dogs you have with you, and/or clear up after your dog (although we can’t imagine a time or place when you wouldn’t do this.
urDog contacted Lambeth and Southwark for a full list of these places, and we’ll publish them here as soon as we hear back.

Scoop that poop

urDog is out all day and every day, and is constantly surprised at the number of people who don’t clear up after their dogs. Come on owners, sort it out.

Here’s what the officials in Westminster have to say about it:

You can be given an on-the-spot fine if you don’t clean up after your dog. The amount varies from council to council. It’s often £50 and can be as much as £80.
If you refuse to pay the fine, you can be taken to court and fined up to £1,000.
Some councils have stricter rules on dog fouling. They may make owners carry a poop scoop and disposable bag when they take their dogs out to a public place.

Useful references can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/control-dog-public/overview
https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs
https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/8277/law.pdf

For our clients based in Lambeth:

https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/sites/default/files/pnp.animal-welfare-charter.pdf

For our clients based in Southwark:

http://www.southwark.gov.uk/info/100006/environment/449/responsible_dog_ownership