General advice

Think carefully before getting a dog: it is a commitment that lasts normally 12 years or more. Choose a dog that is "appropriate" to your circumstances in terms of breed, size and the amount of exercise it requires.

Remember the following:

  • veterinary fees and kennelling are expensive
  • ensure your dog has a collar and tag to identify the owner
  • always take a supply of bags or other means to clear up after your dog when exercising it and use them
  • encourage all members of the family to do the same
  • dispose of dog faeces properly, use dog bins or double wrap and place in litter bins. Otherwise take it home and use your dustbin if necessary
  • join a local dog club and train in basic obedience
  • always ensure your dog is under control and walk it on the lead to be on the safe side
  • embark on a course of regular vaccination and worming
  • vaccination boosters should be given annually
  • worming should be carried out every three months (the most effective worming tablets can be obtained from your vet)
  • share your problems and get expert help

Legal aspects of dog ownership


Dog Prohibition byelaws apply to children's play areas. These are normally enclosed and will be appropriately signed "Dogs on Leads". These byelaws also apply in and around some recreational parks in the district. The areas are signed. The maximum fine for breach of these byelaws is £1,000. There is no Fixed Penalty option. Copies of the byelaws can be obtained from us for a small charge.

Collar and tag

With some exceptions every dog in a public place is required to have a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on it or a disc attached to it. It is an offence to fail to comply with this requirement with a maximum fine of £5,000. There is no fixed penalty option. This is a legal requirement and in addition to any microchip or tattoo that the dog might have.


It is an offence where a dog defecates for anyone in charge of a dog to fail to remove dog faeces straight away, anywhere within Mid Devon in any public place or on any land where the order applies. A maximum fine of £1,000 applies. The offence may be dealt with by acceptance of a £80 Fixed Penalty if appropriate.

Fouling is the most common dog-related complaint received by the council. We provide dog fouling bins wherever possible, although there is no requirement for us to do so.

Dangerous and aggressive dogs

It is an offence to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control. The dog does not have to bite someone, and it includes a dog that is considered acting in a threatening manner. The owner of any dog that is found to act in this way can be prosecuted by the Police.

This can result in fines of up to £2,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment, or up to 2 years if someone is injured. The courts may place a court order on the dog, restrict the owner's future ability to keep dogs or order the destruction of the dog.

Dangerous dogs or dogs that worry livestock are dealt with as criminal offences by the Police, not the Council.

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