dog walk on beach benjamin brunner
Photo by Benjamin Brunner


The right to walk with a dog, including hunting dogs, depends on the existing rights that run with access. For example, if the access is by way of an unformed legal road, those using the road can do all of the things that are lawful on a public road.

Other forms of access may have restrictions on whether or not dogs can be taken. Private landholders may place whatever restrictions they consider appropriate regarding dogs on their land, including prohibiting them. The Dog Control Act 1996 applies to dogs on both public and private land.

Many landholders are concerned about dogs spreading diseases such as sheep measles. People taking dogs into sheep farms should get their dogs dosed monthly, or at least 48 hours before entry, for sheep measles. Application is by a tablet from your vet — straight praziquantel tablets are sufficient.

Enthusiastic or frequent dog walkers may consider a permanent monthly dog treatment programme, a service most vet clinics offer via a mail-out system.

Visit Ovis Management for information on Sheep Measles and treatment for dogs.

Appropriate standards of behaviour for taking dogs into the outdoors require that they are kept under proper control. They should not be allowed to frighten other people, worry livestock or disturb wildlife and should be kept on a short lead or under close control when in a field with other animals. Dog faeces must be picked up and removed.