Controlling your dog in public

3. Public Spaces Protection Orders

Some public areas in England and Wales are covered by Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) - previously called Dog Control Orders (DCOs).

In public areas with PSPOs, you may have to:

  • keep your dog on a lead
  • put your dog on a lead if told to by a police officer, police community support officer or someone from the council
  • stop your dog going to certain places - like farmland or parts of a park
  • limit the number of dogs you have with you (this applies to professional dog walkers too)
  • clear up after your dog

PSPOs only apply to public land.

Penalties

If you ignore a PSPO, you can be fined:

  • £100 on the spot (a ‘Fixed Penalty Notice’)
  • up to £1,000 if it goes to court

You can’t be fined if you’re a registered blind dog owner.

PSPOs in your area

Local councils must let the public know where PSPOs are in place.

Example If dogs aren’t allowed in a park, there must be signs saying so.

If the council plans to put a new PSPO in place, it must put up a notice and publish it on its website.

The notice must tell you:

  • where the new PSPO will apply
  • if there’s a map and where you can see it