Visiting with your dog

Visiting with your dog

Help keep Dartmoor special

Enjoy a dog-friendly day out while protecting our wonderful wildlife and precious places

Follow the Ranger Code

Dogs love Dartmoor's different smells and exciting places to explore but please remember it is a working landscape providing grazing for cattle, sheep and ponies both on the commons and in enclosed fields.

Whether you're here with your own dog or are a professional dog walker, make sure you protect our special places by following some simple rules.

Dogs on leads

Please keep dogs on a lead

  • During the livestock breeding and ground nesting bird season 1 March – 31 July
  • At all times anywhere near livestock
  • During warmer weather when our population of adders are likely to be basking in patches of sunshine.

Remember: don't let your dog chase animals or birds. Livestock worrying - when a dog chases, attacks or causes distress to livestock - is a serious concern and can have devastating impacts for the animals and their keepers. It's lawful for farmers to shoot dogs to protect their livestock.

Report livestock worrying to police on 101 or by contacting Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society on 07873 587561 giving as much information about the incident as you can.

Keeping your dog on a lead helps protect our birds which nest on the ground, such as skylarks, meadow pipits and curlews. A loose dog can easily cause them to abandon their nests, eggs and chicks - a real tragedy for our wonderful wildlife.

Countryside access with your dog

  • Keep your dog under effective and close control on public rights of way. If livestock are near, put your dog on a lead.
  • On areas of Access Land designated under the Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000, your dog must be on a short fixed lead of no more than 2 metres between 1 March and 31 July. At all other times keep your dog under effective and close control.
  • If cattle chase you, it's best to let go of your dog and call them back when its safer.
  • Follow any official signs or notices you come across. At certain times, dogs may not be allowed on some areas of access land or may need to be kept on a lead.

Pick up the poo

Always clear up after your dog. If there isn't a bin nearby, take your poo bags home with you when you leave. Our visitor centres sell special odour-proof and leakproof containers for clean and dirty dog poo bags.

You might be interested in...

Go on a dog-friendly guided walk with the Moorland Guides.

Look for dog-friendly accommodation, cafes and places to go at Visit Dartmoor

Pop into one of our National Park Visitor Centres to buy dog-friendly products

Protect your dog from infections by checking for ticks after your visit.