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Responsible dog ownership

Owning a dog brings great happiness but is also a big responsibility. Not only will the dog take up your time and cost you money, you must also make sure that it is well behaved and doesn't cause a nuisance to other people or dogs. 

Read Southwark's Dog Strategy 2011 to 2014 to find out how the Safer Southwark Partnership delivers services that promote the value of dogs and encourage responsible dog ownership across the borough including those dangerously out of control.

Follow these basic tips to prevent your dog from becoming a nuisance

    • Train your dog in elementary obediance and make sure it is under control at all times.
    • Do not allow your dog to foul in public places. If it does, make sure you clear up the mess and dispose of it safely - this means either double wrapping it and disposing of it in a bin, burying it deep in the garden or using a chemical loo.
    • Do not allow your dog to bark constantly - this will upset your neighbours and is also a sign of a badly trained and unhappy dog. If your dog barks too much, get advice from a dog trainer.
    • Do not leave your dog alone for long periods. Dogs are sociable animals and need companionship. If you're going on holiday, make sure someone is there to care for your dog or else take it to a kennels. You might want to take your dog on holiday. Find out about pet passports.
    • Take your dogs for regular supervised walks - only let it off the lead when it is away from other animals and in a safe environment away from roads.
    • Make sure your dog is microchipped. This is a legal requirement and failure to do so could lead to a fine. Also, your animal should always wear a collar with the owners name and contact details when out of the house.
    • Never take your dog into food shops.
    • Make sure your garden has a suitable fence so that your dog cannot escape or cause a nuisance to passing people or to neighbours.
    • Register your dog with a vet and take it for regular checkups. Your vet will advise you on worming, flea control, vaccinations and any other health issues.
    • Make sure your dog always has access to fresh drinking water and has a healthy diet.
    • Make sure your dog has a clean, dry, warm place to live and sleep.

      Unable to cope with your dog?

      People's circumstances change all the time, and even the best intentioned dog owners may find themselves unable to look after their dog properly.

      Whatever happens, don't abandon your dog on the street where it could get injured, killed or cause a car accident. Someone else may be able to provide your dog with a good home and there are plenty of organisations that can help. You can start by getting in touch with Southwark's dog warden or by contacting the organisations listed at the bottom of this page.

      Thinking of getting a dog?

      Dogs live for around 14 years and are a big commitment. Before you do, consider the following

      • Lifestyle - do you have the time, suitable accommodation and willingness to care properly for the dog? regardless of the weather.
      • Environment - are there suitable facilites near you to exercise your dog on a regular basis, if not where would you take it?
      • Budget - dogs are expensive to keep. You will need to pay for its nutritionally balanced diet, visits to the vet, vaccinations, and medical treatment for any illnesses or accidents. You may have to take out insurance to cover expenses for your dog in case of illnesses, accidents and if your dog causes damage or harm to property, people or other animals - can you afford it?

      Training your dog

      It's best to start training while your dog is still a puppy. It's never too late to train, but an older dog may need to go to dog training classes run by a professional trainer and require additional tiem to correct any behavioural issues.

      Dogs learn by linking actions and results. So if you praise your dog immediately after it obeys your commands, it will repeat the behaviour to get the same praise. The basic commands are to 'sit', 'stay', 'come' and walk to 'heel'

      You can get further information about training from the following organisations

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      Noise & Nuisance

      Tel: 020 7525 5777

      Fax: 020 7525 2378



      Contact us

      Southwark Council
      PO BOX 64529
      London SE1P 5LX

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