- There is growing evidence that pet owners experience improved
physical, mental and emotional health
- Studies have shown pet owners have lower blood pressure and
- Research has demonstrated that pet owners have lower levels of
mental stress and feelings of loneliness and depression and higher
Under the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005, local
authorities were given the power to introduce Dog Control Orders
(DCOs) in order to address dog related issues in open spaces. The
DCOs can include dog exclusion orders, dogs on lead orders, dogs on
lead by direction orders, removing dog foul orders and orders
limiting a number of dogs walked by one person. Any proposed DCOs
must be advertised for consultation in local newspapers.
Whilst no record is held regarding how many DCOs have been
implemented in England and Wales, access officers in local
authorities have indicated that there has been an increasing amount
of restrictions placed on dog owners every year. This trend has
impacted on dog walkers, some of whom have been dispersed onto
sensitive land which has caused wider negative effects to both
plant and animal life, and thereby causing further restrictions
being placed on dogs and their owners.
From October 20th 2014, Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs)
will be introduced under the Anti-social behaviour, Crime and
Policing Act 2014 and will replace DCOs. The local authorities will
have similar powers to introduce orders, except there will be no
requirement for them to advertise PSPO consultations in local
The KC view
The Kennel Club campaigns for dogs to enjoy maximum access to
the UK's open spaces. We do not oppose restrictions, as long as
they are evidence-based and proportionate and, in cases where
access is restricted, that alternative suitable space is provided
for owners and their dogs.
The Kennel Club engages with councils to discuss problems and
possible solutions to avoid the introduction of restrictions.
Detailed studies have shown that greater compliance can be achieved
by engaging positively with dog owners through themes that are
important to them.
These positive alternatives embody the principle of integrated
access management, which recognises the many benefits dogs bring to
society, is balanced against the need to address dog associated
Where we are
The Kennel Club established a dog owners group,
KC Dog in 2005, in order to establish a grassroots group of
activist dog owners to campaign and keep updated about Dog Control
Orders and other access issues that affect them.
Access issues largely stem from the introduction of either Dog
Control Orders which local authorities were permitted to introduce
following the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 or
Public Space Protection Orders, which replaced Dog Control Orders
under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2015. The
Orders can be introduced to exclude dogs from certain areas, ensure
dogs are kept on leads in certain areas and limit the number of
dogs a person can walk for example.
Some Orders may be considered reasonable by local dog owners,
whilst others may be more restrictive and therefore less welcome.
Public Space Protection Orders are not required to be published for
consultation via the local media, as was the case with Dog Control
Orders. However, Defra do advise that prior to introducing Public
Space Protection Order, local authorities consult with local dog
owners groups such as KC Dog.
KC Dog is free to join. If you wish to sign up and receive our
quarterly newsletters, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.