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What a responsible dog owner can do - West Dorset

Your dog can be a faithful friend and effective security guard, however, if your dog does not always live up to its reputation, it's not necessarily the dog's fault - it could be yours! We have put together a guide to help you ensure that your dog really is 'man's best friend'. Here are a few tips and helpful reminders.

Ensure your dog carries identification

By law, a dog should wear a collar with a tag bearing the owner's name and address. We advise that you also consider including an up to date mobile phone number. This is so that if the dog goes missing, the finder will be able to contact you directly. From 6 April 2016 it is compulsory for all dogs to have a microchip fitted with their owner's details to be registered. Responsible owners would also ensure that their details are kept up to date with the microchipping company.

Clear up after your dog

Everyone knows of the potential for dog faeces to carry disease as well as unpleasant odours when caught on shoes or wheels of wheelchairs, prams, bikes or scooters. It is an offence not to clear up after dogs and offenders will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). There are a few exceptions but, in general terms, any open land that the public has access to, whether by payment or not, is covered by this legislation, unless you have the direct permission of the land owner.

Keep your dog under control when on and off a lead

The person responsible for the dog should be able to ensure that the dog will return to heel when requested and will respond to simple commands. That person should also be able to hold or restrain the dog should the need arise. Dogs should be under the control of a suitable person at all times.

Prevent your dog from straying

Please ensure that your home and garden is secure.

Do not leave your dog in a hot car

Even an open window may not be enough to be sure a dog will not over heat. It may be better to leave dogs at home where they have the comfort of shade and available drinking water. See RSPCA Dog Advice & Welfare (opens in a new window) for more information about your obligation to your dog.  If you are concerned about a dog left in a car on a hot day please dial 999.

Make sure your dog doesn't bark excessively

We all recognise that dogs bark, however, excessive dog barking is both stressful to the dog and upsetting to those listening to it.  If you believe that you have a problem or have been advised that your dog barks excessively then consider what action you can take to resolve the problem. It may be that your dog is bored or anxious when left alone. A low volume radio left on can help to settle your dog but you may want to think about training your dog or speaking to a dog warden for initial advice.

Comply with local Dog Control Orders

There are a number of control orders in West Dorset covering various locations. Information signs are provided in these areas to show where the areas of concern are and the nature of the order associated with it. See our  Dog Owners Guide to West Dorset (pdf, 1Mb) (opens in a new window) for further information. If you are going to visit other areas, please ensure you check with the Local Authority for that area if any restrictions apply.

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