Responsible dog ownership

Dorsetdog - Responsible dog ownership

Walking the dog

It is advisable to train your dog to walk on both the left and the right side of you. This allows you to keep the dog on the opposite side of you when passing any danger, i.e. aggressive dogs or road traffic.

By training your dog to walk on both sides, if you do decide to show the dog then you will be able to ensure that the dog is always on the judges side of you.


A microchip is a small electronic chip with a unique identification number, which is inserted in to the dog. This tiny chip does not cause any discomfort to the animal.

The benefit of a chipped dog is that should a dog be lost or stolen, if the dog is found again then any vet will be able to scan the chip and contact the registered owner.

Animals have been returned to their owners up to 10 years after the animal first went missing.

Click on this line to jump to our page dedicated to Micro chipping


Any dog in a public place must by law have a collar on it at all times. A collarless dog is classed as a stray dog and may be en-pounded.

And dog must by law have a tag on its collar. The tag must show

Your family name

Your address

Your postcode

It is also a good idea to have a mobile phone number and your Vets phone number on the tag. Your vet can store details of where the dog should go in the event that you should be unfortunate enough to be involved in a serious accident.

Another item to consider putting on the tag is "Microchipped" as this may help to deter someone from stealing your dog.

Dog waste

As a dog owner or dog walker, you are required by law to pick up after your dog.

Waste bags should be tied so that they seal in the contents and its smell. Tying the bunny ear handles together does not seal the bag. The bag should be tied by wrapping the bag around your finger, and then pushing the top of the bag through the hole that your finger formed.

Dog waste should be collected and disposed of properly. Throwing a bag of dog waste in to the local bushes is an offence of littering - and liable to a fine in excess of £1000.00

If no litter bins exist in the area where you usually exercise your dog, then do consider contacting the local District Council and ask for a litter bin to be installed. The bin will have to be located on the edge of the Public Highway, so that the dustbin crews can access it.

Click on the image below to go to the PDF. Feel free to download the PDF and print it off

Dog bin - Vs - litter bin

Red dog bin

A dog bin is usually red, has a closed lid and is usually the responsibility of the Parish Council or land owner to empty. The refuge collectors/dustmen will not empty these bins. The contents of a dog bin are tied up in a black sack and put out for the dustmen to collect.

The smell of dog waste is trapped in the dog bin, making it unpleasant for users to open and for someone to empty.

Contrary to belief, the contents of dog bins go to landfill, and are not specially treated.

Litter bins

Litter bins are emptied by the District Council’s refuge collectors/dustmen during that neighbourhood’s weekly dustbin collection round.

Litter bins are open topped, or have large holes for placing litter in. This allows the smell of dog waste to disperse.

It is permissible to place wrapped dog waste in litter bins.

Ideally, you should use bags that will prevent any smell from escaping from the bag. Supermarket carrier bags are not suitable for placing dog waste in as the smell escapes.

Tesco or Asda’s Value food bags are nice thick bags and cost around 40 pence for 50.

Putting open bags of waste in to a litter bin is unacceptable, please always tie the bag to seal the smell and contents in.

Barking dogs

Barking dogs are a nuisance and can result in legal action against the owner. This includes where a dog constantly barks in a home and disturbs neighbours.

Training to stop a dog from barking is easy, and you should consult your local dog warden and local training club for advice on the matter.

Do not give the barking dog a treat in the belief that the treat will stop the dog from barking. The dog will learn that if it barks - then it will be rewarded with a treat.

In control and in sight

A dog that is running around out of your sight is classed as out of control. You do not know what the dog is doing whilst it is out of your sight, or if it is fouling somewhere, or fighting another dog.

Ideally you should take the dog to training lessons even if you feel that your dog is well trained. Training classes teach socialisation as well as obedience.

If the dog is on the other side of other people in the area, then again it is classed as out of control.

You should remember that not everyone likes dog, and some are frightened by any size of dog. Saying "oh he wont hurt you" as it jumps all over a stranger is unacceptable, and you must get it under control immediately.

Children and dogs

When out walking your dog, be aware that some children are terrified of dogs. Please do not allow your dog to run up to children, as they might be frightened of all dogs, no matter how small or harmless they are.

If a child stops in their tracks, or freezes, then please do call your dog back immediately. Owner's call of "He wont hurt you" or "It's ok, he wont bite" are not acceptable and you should always call your dog back and keep them close. The downside of not keeping your dog under control near a child, is the risk of the child kicking your dog.

A dog should never be left alone in a room with young children, no matter how timid you think the dog is. Too many children have suffered serious accidents (including fatalities) purely because of adults leaving allegedly harmless dogs alone with the family children.

Attacked dog

If another dog attacks your dog then you have an ethical duty to report it to the local District Council's Dog Warden and also to the Police before it attacks anyone else's dog - or worse - attacks a child.

You will need to note the breed and colour of the dog - and who was walking the dog. If possible, you should find out where the person lives.

Look to see if anyone witnessed the attack, and ask for their phone number.

If the dog walker came by car, then you should try to note down the registration number.

The owner may claim that the dog has never done this before. However, it may be that the dog has regularly attacked other dogs and simply got away with it by the owner saying this.

Feeling sorry for a little old lady and not reporting to the local dog warden that her dog has just made your dog bleed is wrong. The dog might regularly attack other dogs and have numerous muzzle orders on it.

Useful numbers

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council - 01202 123456

Dorset Council - 01305 221000

Dorset Police - 01305 222222 or 01202 222222

Weymouth Town Council - 01305 239839