Visiting with your dog
Dogs 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.
To make sure you and your pooch have plenty of fun, please follow our simple code. It applies to everyone whether you're walking your own dog or you've employed a dog walker to do it for you.
Please keep dogs on a lead
We ask that you please keep your dog on a lead:
- During the lambing and ground nesting bird season 1 March – 31 July
- At all times when near or around livestock
- During warm weather when there is a risk of adders in the undergrowth
Never let your dog chase animals or birds
- 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.
- A dog chasing livestock can cause the sheep, cow or pony great distress
- A farmer can legally shoot a dog that is ‘worrying’ livestock
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 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. Outside of these times please keep your dog under effective control if 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.
- Make sure your dog is regularly wormed to protect it, other people and farm animals
Poo and poo bags
We know what goes in must come out! This applies to all our Dartmoor animals and wildlife, sadly sometimes this includes discarded poo bags. Animals will eat them or smaller wildlife will get stuck inside them, in both cases this can be fatal.
- Please bag your dog poo and take it home with you, we don’t provide dog bins.
- You can hang the bag on your rear wiper or tow hitch to take it home ‘odour free’.
- We also sell Love Moor Life Dicky Bags in our Visitor Centres, to safely store the offending item until you get home.
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 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.