Dorset Dogs encourages positive management for dogs in town, coast and countryside and promotes responsible dog ownership.

What we believe

Dogs are wonderful for people’s physical health and emotional well-being, and if that goes hand in hand with responsible dog ownership there are brilliant benefits, not just for people but also for the value, care and future protection given to our countryside and green spaces, and the wildlife that lives there.


Dorset Dogs

Who are we?

Dorset Dogs was set up by a group of land managers who were also dog owners.

We recognised from our own experience that there are issues to do with dogs out and about on their walks (eg fouling, or disturbance to wildlife, grazing animals or other people) but we wanted to find more positive ways to manage those issues and also to recognise the benefits that dog owners can bring. We work together with other dog owners and land managers to do this, as well as dog, conservation and countryside organisations, charities and businesses.

People walking with dogs are often the main visitors to green spaces and the countryside. We are ‘eyes & ears’, discouraging anti-social behaviour simply by being there, or reporting fires or other incidents. Some dog owners also take part in voluntary work at their local site, for example litter-picking, conducting wildlife surveys or carrying out practical work. In 2020 we partnered with Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to introduce our K9 Firewise Patrol. The patrol involves local dog walkers looking out for fires and potential fires, and reporting incidents directly to the control room of the emergency services. The dog walking volunteers get induction training and some merchandise to identify their presence to fellow walkers. These early interventions can bring a stop to fires or help to report them before they get out of control.

Dorset Dogs - Who we are

Dog owners who live in or visit Dorset can become members of Dorset Dogs, by signing up to the Doggy Do Code and keeping in touch with local dog and countryside information.

There are now nearly 2500 Dorset Dogs human members and even more canine ones!


Dorset Dogs is part of the newly formed Southern Counties Canine Access Management Partnership (SCCAMP) along with Devon Loves Dogs, Heathland Hounds, New Forest National Park Authority, South Downs National Park and Bird Aware Solent.

Dorset Dogs provide information about places to go with your dog, events including an annual Dogs Festival, survey work, consultancy, seminars, webinars, promotion of the ‘Doggy Do Code’, innovative campaigns and other work with dog owners, dog and countryside organisations, charities and land managers.

hengistbury head project

Hengistbury Head is a local nature reserve (LNR) on the south coast of England with over 1 million visitors per year. This is a varied site consisting of a mixture of habitats including heathland, saltmarsh, coastal and ancient grassland. The site is managed by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council.

Funding was awarded by Natural England for a dog walker engagement project to take place over the course of two years. This project looked to trial a range of engagement interventions on a busy, diverse site to test their effectiveness in situ. The project was managed by Dorset Dogs, BCP Council and the Dorset Heaths Partnership.


Visit Dorset Dogs

Love Dogs… Love Nature