Taking your dog for a walk in the countryside is great fun and good for your health and wellbeing, but please make sure you know your access rights. 

Below is a short summary of the key things to remember. For more information, download the Scottish Outdoor Access Code for dog owners leaflet or the entire Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Access rights apply to people walking dogs as long as their dogs are kept under proper control. Your main responsibilities are:

Farm animals

  • Never let your dog worry or attack farm animals.
  • Don't take your dog into fields where there are lambs, calves or other young farm animals.
  • If you go into a field of farm animals, keep your dog(s) on a short lead or under close control and keep as far as possible from the animals.
  • If cattle react aggressively and move towards you, keep calm, let the dog go and take the shortest, safest route out of the field.


  • Don't take your dog into fields of vegetables or fruit unless there is a clear path, such as a core path or right of way, and keep your dog to the path.

Ground nesting birds

  • During the breeding season (usually April-July) keep your dog on a short lead or close at heel in areas such as moorland, forests, grasslands, loch shores and the sea shore to avoid disturbing birds that nest on or near the ground.

Recreation areas and public places

  • Avoid causing concern to others by keeping your dog close at heel or on a short lead.

Dog waste

  • Pick up and remove your dog's faeces if it defecates in a public open place.

Places you can't take your dog

There are a few places in Perth and Kinross where you can't take your dog due to the special circumstances of the site.  Due to ospreys nesting, you cannot take your dog to the Loch of the Lowes wildlife reserve.  Some stately home gardens also have restrictions, so it is best to contact them directly to check.

Scottish Outdoor Access Code