Council calls for responsible dog ownership
The Highland Council’s Environmental Health Service, working with Police Scotland, would like to remind all dog owners it is the owners’ responsibility to ensure that their dogs are kept under control at all times and not causing alarm, or fear to any person or animal.
The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 requires dog owners to ensure that their dogs cannot cause other people to be apprehensive that they that they themselves, or any other person, or animal might be harmed.
The onus is on the owner to make use of a lead, muzzle or other control method to ensure the safety of the public and other dogs and animals.
If dog walkers are uncertain if other dogs and people are in the vicinity, especially if their own dog is nervous or reactive they should keep their dog on a lead until it is safe to let them off.
Dog owners who fail to take appropriate measures to prevent their dog from being out of control risk being served with a control notice placing a legal requirement on the owner to keep their dog under control. A breach of a control notice is likely to result in court action with the possibility of a ban from owning or keeping dogs and a fine.
If a dog bites or attempts to bite a person this should be reported to Police Scotland in the first instance as it may be investigated under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Good training, socialisation and obedience methods can help prevent your dog from being out of control and minimising the risks to others.