10th December 2019

Dogs off lead on or near roads can be a danger to themselves and others.

Loose dogs have chased and bitten walkers, joggers and cyclists, and if they run into the road they might cause an accident.  Recently a loose dog chased a cat which was then sadly run over and killed.  This was distressing to the cat owner, the driver, and the dog owner and these situations are totally avoidable.

If your dog is not on a short lead on pavements and roads you could be issued with an £80 fixed penalty so please keep your dog and everyone else safe from harm.




Almost everyone who owns a dog is responsible and considerate to others, as well as caring for the wellbeing of their dog. Dog owners enjoy the time they spend out walking with their dogs and there are health benefits for both owners and the dogs themselves. Unfortunately we know that not all dog owners think about the impact that their dog might have on other people, and not all dogs have been properly trained or socialised. We have written this article so that everyone, whether a dog owner or not, knows a bit more about how to be responsible and what to do if you encounter someone who causes problems by not being as considerate as we would all like.


Various controls have been in place across the country for many years which require owners to pick up after their dogs, to avoid certain areas or to keep them on leads. These controls were revised in 2017 and new Public Spaces Protection Orders were introduced. There are 5 types of control:

  1. Dog owners must always pick up wherever they are.
  2. Dog owners must keep their dogs on a lead on roads and pavements.
  3. One person can only walk up to 6 dogs at once.
  4. Dogs must not go into children’s play areas at any time or on most of the beaches during the summer.
  5. Dogs must be kept on a lead in some specified areas (such as formal gardens).

In addition to this there are controls under separate legislation for dangerous or nuisance dogs.


Dogs must always be kept under close control, even when off the lead. If they have not been trained to respond immediately to the recall, they should not be let off the lead in any area used by other members of the public. At home all dogs must be kept secure within their own house or garden. If a dog does cause a problem, such as attacking other dogs or pets, fouling or continually escaping we recommend that the issues are raised with the dog owner if possible. Alternatively advice can be obtained from the council by contacting the Environmental Health team using the Report It facility on our website, by calling on 01395 517456 or by emailing environmentalhealth@eastdevon.gov.uk . If an incident is reported then full details of the situation, the dog and its owner, dates and times must be included. If the dog owner is not known our response may be limited but it is still worth reporting concerns because we may be able to help using local knowledge. Where a dog has been involved in an incident resulting in a dog bite on a person then the full details of the incident should be reported to the Police using the 101 service.

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