Dog control orders

Dog control

If you are in control of a dog, you must (by law) pick up dog mess on any land with public access including:

  • town centres
  • roads
  • pavements
  • public footpaths
  • woodlands
  • agricultural land
  • common land

Use an appropriate bin or take the dog's poo home. Even if you bag it, you will still be committing a littering offence if you do not deal with it responsibly.

Report dog fouling

Dogs on leads

If you're walking a dog, you must keep it on a lead (it's an offence not to). This should be no longer than 2 metres, on land covered by a dog order.

This includes:

  • cemeteries
  • marked sports pitches
  • A and B roads
  • adjoining footpaths
  • verges

It also applies to some car parks, picnic sites and sensitive wildlife areas at countryside sites. This includes:

  • Rushmere County Park
  • Dunstable Downs
  • Houghton Hall Park
  • Sharpenhoe Clappers
  • Sundon Hills
  • Totternhoe Knolls Picnic Site
  • Whipsnade Tree Cathedral

Dogs on leads by direction

It is an offence for a person in charge of a dog to fail to put that dog on a lead, if directed by an authorised council officer, dog warden, site manager or park ranger.

Areas excluding dogs

It is an offence to allow your dog to enter an exclusion area. Exclusion areas include all enclosed children’s play areas and closed multi-use games areas. This also restricts dogs from designated education areas.


The fine for committing an offence contained in a dog control order is a maximum of £1,000.

A fixed penalty notice of £100 may be offered in place of prosecution.

Full legal orders are available on request. Please email:

Reporting a breach of a dog control order

You can report someone who has breached an order to us:

Telephone: 0300 300 8302

You should make a note of what you saw, with as much detail as you can, including (if known) the name, address or car registration number of the person in charge of the dog or a description, what happened, plus details of the date, time, and place.

We may ask you to provide a witness statement. We'll investigate and may take action, which could include issuing a fixed penalty notice or prosecution for the dog's owner.

Public space protection orders

These points are covered by our public space protection orders. These are designed to:

  • cut down dog fouling
  • restrict dogs from places such as children’s playgrounds
  • ensure that dogs are kept on leads in sensitive areas

Full legal orders are available on request. Please email: