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Dog Walking Code

Dog Walking Code

To help keep the New Forest special, local people have agreed this code of practice for dog walking throughout the National Park.

It is supported by all the organisations on the New Forest Dogs Forum.

Help keep the National Park clean

  • Pick up after your dog wherever you are, especially where people walk, play, park or picnic.
  • Put bagged dog poo in a dog bin or litter bin, or take it home.

Stay safe and keep dogs under effective control

  • Wherever you are in the New Forest, you must ensure that your dog does not chase or attack livestock, deer or any other wildlife. Keep your dog close to you and in sight at all times – if necessary use a lead.
  • Keep your dog to the main tracks when birds are nesting on the ground (usually March – July).
  • Throughout the year, prevent your dog from disturbing birds on the coast.
  • Keep well away from any work taking place and observe warning signage.
  • Dogs must be under close control when on a public right of way (for example through farmland); keep them on the path and do not allow them to stray onto adjacent land.

Be considerate to other forest users

  • Keep your dog from jumping up at or approaching other people, especially children
  • Keep dogs away from picnics, horse riders and cyclists, and prevent excessive barking
  • Show respect for other dogs (especially timid ones); if an approaching dog is on a lead, put yours on a lead too
  • Be especially careful to keep groups of dogs under effective control
  • Consider moving aside to let other walkers, cyclists and horse riders past
  • If you cannot reliably and quickly call your dog back to you and away from people or other dogs, please keep it on a lead.

If you follow the New Forest Dog Walking Code, please display one of our dog window stickers available at information points, visitor centres, vets etc. or you can order one by e-mailing us at


Ranger Dog


'Please pick up after your dog and take bagged waste home if there is no litter bin.'

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