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Dog control

The Public Spaces Protection Order Control of Dogs 2023 came into force on 20 October 2023 and is in place to enforce responsible dog ownership. 

The Public Spaces Protection Order – Control of Dogs 2023 specifies six offences:

  1. Failing to remove dog poo straight away
  2. Not carrying something with which to pick up dog poo
  3. Allowing a dog to enter land from which they are excluded
  4. Not keeping a dog on a lead where this is required
  5. Not putting a dog on a lead when ordered to do so by an authorised officer
  6. Walking more than six dogs at any time

1. Dog fouling

Dog walkers must always clean up their dog poo. Let us know if you see someone who doesn’t clear up after their dog.

How you can help

We ask for your help in tackling this problem by reporting dog mess and telling us who is not clearing up after their dog. This will help us to take action against irresponsible dog owners and also get the mess cleaned up. If you see someone who doesn't clean up after their dog and wish to report them, the following information would be helpful to us:

  • Time and date the offence was committed
  • Precise location of the offence
  • Description of the person in charge of the dog, including clothing worn
  • Identity of the person, if known, and how you know them
  • Description of the dog concerned and dog's name, if known
  • What you observed at the time of the offence
  • Any conversation that may have taken place

All of this information is of great value to the investigating officer and increases the likelihood of a conviction. Tell us who is not cleaning up after their dog by reporting it to us.

2. Carry something to pick up dog poo

When walking your dog, you must carry a plastic bag or something else which you can use to pick up dog poo.  Put the wrapped waste in a dog waste bin, a litter bin or your home waste bin.

3. Areas where your dogs are not allowed

You are not allowed to let your dog enter any children’s play area, bowling green, croquet lawn, skate park, putting green, crazy golf or school grounds that are totally enclosed and have exclusion signs at the entrances.

4. Areas where your dog must be kept on a lead

Dogs must be kept on a lead in the following areas at all times:

Efford Cemetery

Houndiscombe Park

Moor View Park

Pounds House

Stoke Damerel Park

Thorn Park

West Hoe Park

Weston Mill Cemetery

In addition to the specific areas, dogs must be kept on a lead on all Council owned/managed sports pitches within the marked pitch/playing area. Details of these pitches can be found on the map. 

5. When will an authorised officer ask you to put your dog on a lead?

If your dog needs to be on a lead to prevent a nuisance or if its behaviour is likely to cause alarm, distress or disturbance to any other person, animal or bird and it needs to be on a lead to prevent this, you may be asked to put your dog on a lead.

6. How many dogs can you walk?

You are not allowed to walk more than six dogs at any given time.  This applies to both domestic and commercial dog walking.


If you do not comply with any of the requirements of the Public Spaces Protection Order - Control of Dogs, you may receive a Fixed Penalty Notice for £100. If you do not pay the fine you may be prosecuted.

Where can I walk my dog with no restrictions?

The areas highlighted above are where dogs are excluded or where they must be kept on a lead.  However, you are allowed to walk your dog off its lead in all other parks and open spaces in Plymouth, including nature reserves and the foreshore.

Dog attacks

Dog attacks can be very distressing. If a dog has attacked somebody or puts a person in genuine fear for their safety, this should be reported to the police on 101.

What the Police deal with:

  • Dogs acting in a dangerous or aggressive manner (giving people reasonable fear of attack)
  • Dogs worrying livestock on agricultural land
  • Road traffic collisions involving dogs
  • Control of guard dogs
  • Dogs being used for illegal purposes (i.e. poaching)
  • Dogs in cars on hot days
  • Banned dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991