Visiting with your dog

Your dog will love all the different smells and exciting places to run about, but please remember that Dartmoor is a working landscape providing grazing for cattle, sheep and ponies, both on the commons and in enclosed fields.  

We kindly ask that you be a responsible dog owner and follow our Paws on Dartmoor advice:

Keep your dog on a lead

  • During the lambing and ground nesting bird season 1 March – 31 July
  • When near livestock
  • During warm weather when there is a risk of adders in the undergrowth

Never let your dog chase animals or birds

  • A dog chasing livestock can cause the sheep, cow or pony great distress
  • A farmer can legally shoot a dog that is ‘worrying’ livestock
  • Ground nesting birds, such as the skylark, meadow pipit and curlew can be scared away from their nest by a loose dog, meaning their eggs will get cold and the chicks die.

Clear up after your dog

  • Bag it and bin it at home as there are no dog waste bins provided.  

Countryside access with your dog

  • On public rights of way, your dog should be under effective, close control.  Please keep you and your dog to the line of the path and if livestock are present your dog should be on a lead
  • On most areas of Access Land or common land your dog should be on a short fixed lead of no more than 2 metres between 1 March and 31 July.  Outside of these times please keep your dog under effective control if grazing livestock is present.
  • If cattle chase you, then it is safer to let your dog off the lead – don't risk getting hurt trying to protect it.
  • At certain times, dogs may not be allowed on some areas of access land or may need to be kept on a lead.  Please follow any official signs.
  • Always clean up after your dog and dispose of any mess responsibly.
  • Make sure your dog is regularly wormed to protect it, other people and farm animals

If you are not that familiar with Dartmoor, why not join a guided walk?  The Moorland Guides offer selected guided walks where you can bring your dog along, so have a look at their website for details

For details of dog-friendly accommodation and places to visit, go to the Visit Dartmoor website.

Dogs are welcome inside our National Park Visitor Centres at Haytor, Postbridge and Princetown - and there is always a bowl of water provided.

Look out for ticks

The livestock and wild animals on Dartmoor do carry ticks and there is a chance you or your dog may pick one up when visiting Dartmoor.  If you should find a tick, remove it as soon as possible as some ticks can carry diseases.  

For more information about ticks and their safe removal:

Reporting uncontrolled dogs

If you see any uncontrolled dogs whilst you are out on Dartmoor, please contact our Livestock Protection Officer on 07873 587561, giving details of the location, type of livestock (with brand or colour markings), nature of injury, description of dog and owner and a vehicle registration.