Our publication “Welcome to The Vale Commons” includes a note entitled ‘Dogs on the Vale Commons’.  This is an extract from a more comprehensive note which David Chamberlain, the States Veterinary Officer prepared at the request of the Commons Council.

The note is published here in full.

1) Walkers must not exercise dogs in areas where they are prohibited.  See schedules parts I to IV of The Control of Dogs Ordinance, 1992.  Dogs are prohibited from specified areas at all times and from specified beaches between the 1st May and the 30th September (both dates inclusive).

 2) Walkers must clear up faeces immediately after it is deposited in public places by dogs of which they are in charge. 

 3) Walkers must have a means of removing deposited faeces with them at all times when they are exercising dogs in public places.  So as to be clear a dog walker must have at least two empty waste bags on them for every dog they are in charge of.  Faeces and waste bags must be placed in appropriate receptacles.

 4) Walkers must exercise no more than five dogs at any time and must keep them in their sight to ensure that their activities are monitored at all times.  Walkers who allow the dogs under their control to mix with other groups of dogs on walks remain responsible for the safety and behaviour of their dogs. The Summary Offences (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1982, Section 2 Offences in connection with animals, fireworks or disturbances, etc. subsection 1) points a), b) and c)   

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5) Walkers must assess how robust a dog is, the dogs’ temperament, fitness and determine the current stage of the sexual cycle of entire females so that dogs are exercised in a public place only if it is safe for both the dog and the public.

6) Walkers must only walk dogs that they are capable of managing.  Walkers must not walk dogs, individually or as part of a group, that could overpower them or drag and pull them over.  Only persons over 16 years of age should walk dogs in public places.

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7) Where is it permitted only dogs with a reliable recall should be allowed to exercise freely off a lead.  If uncertain the walker should assess a dogs’ recall in an enclosed area before allowing the dog to exercise freely in an open space.

 8) Walkers must not use long-lines, extending leads and stretchy leads on more than two dogs at one time.  So as to be clear a walker may still exercise up to 5 dogs at a time but no more than two must be controlled using long-lines, extending leads and stretchy leads.

 9) All dogs that are exercised in a public place by a walker must wear flat, non-tightening collars around their necks bearing on it or having attached to it a disc with the initials of the Christian names of the registered owner/keeper followed by their surname and the distinguishing letter of the parish where the owner/keeper has their ordinary place of residence.  This is in accordance with The Dog Licences (Guernsey) Law, 1969. Walkers may also want to consider placing a second disc on the dog’s collar with their mobile phone number on it should a dog escape them while it’s under their control.

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10) The duration and intensity of exercise provided for a dog by a walker must be appropriate for the dogs’ age and health status.  The walker must also take into consideration the weather and environmental conditions when determining the appropriate duration and intensity of exercise to provide a dog.   In a group the maximum duration and intensity of exercise provided must be no more than the weakest member of that group can manage in the prevailing conditions.

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11) Walking dogs in extreme weather conditions should be avoided.  The ability of dogs to cope with extreme weather conditions varies depending upon age, breed, health status and the state of the dogs’ coat.  Dogs must not be exercised in temperatures equal to or exceeding 24°C in the shade.

Responsible dog owners are always welcome on the Commons.  Sadly some dog owners have little or no control over their pets.  In these cases they should be kept on a lead at all times.  Remember other users of the Commons may not be comfortable around dogs which are not on a lead.   IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that your dog does not trouble other users of the Commons, their pets or livestock.

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