Home Community and neighbourhoods Taking the lead while walking your dog

Taking the lead while walking your dog

by Cathy Sheel

Dogs need daily exercise to keep them fit and healthy. However, it’s also important to make sure you’re responsible for your pet’s behaviour and actions while on their daily walks.

Some helpful advice to bear in mind:

  • Make sure your dog’s collar, harness and lead are fully functioning and fit for purpose before going on any walk and make sure your dog’s tag and microchip details are up to date.
  • When passing another dog on the lead, always check if it’s okay for your dog to say ‘hello’, rather than just allowing them to approach.
  • If you see an on-lead dog and your dog is off lead, call your dog back, give them a treat and put them on the lead until you have passed them. There may be a good reason the other dog is on the lead – maybe the dog is fearful or uncomfortable around other dogs. Simply shouting to the owner ‘it’s ok mine’s friendly’ isn’t okay.
  • If your dog doesn’t have good recall them simply clip them back onto their lead when there are distractions.
  • While you are out and about, watch out in particular for yellow leads, harnesses, collars or bandanas. These are often used to indicate a dog is nervous or fearful of other dogs. Give them space.

Here’s some information about subsidised dog training sessions from The Dogs Trust.

And remember the rules

Knowsley Council has introduced a range of measures to promote responsible dog ownership in the borough following feedback from the public.

People who fail to comply with the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) face fines of up to £100. The PSPO requires people in charge of dogs to:

  • Always carry a bag or other means of cleaning up after your dog at all times and dispose of in the nearest bin.
  • Keep your dog on a lead at all times in council-owned cemeteries, allotments and golf courses.
  • Don’t take your dog into enclosed children’s play areas, games areas or areas used for sport and leisure.
  • Remove your dog’s mess if it fouls.
  • Put your dog on a lead if instructed to do so by an authorised officer.

Anyone found guilty of breaching the order is liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to £1,000.  Depending on the behaviour in question, the enforcing officer could decide that a fixed penalty notice of £100 would be most appropriate sanction.

Incidents of dog fouling can be reported on Knowsley Council’s website. There’s also information about reporting stray dogs and dangerous or aggressive dogs here.