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Professional Dog Walkers’ Charter

Professional Dog Walkers’ Charter

The New Forest is one of the most important areas for nature conservation in Europe. As a national park it is a protected landscape and recognised to be of the highest national importance for the natural beauty of its landscape, the value of its wildlife habitats and cultural heritage. It is also a place which gives opportunities for many people to enjoy these qualities. 

Many people enjoy the New Forest for all types of outdoor recreation including dog walking. It is vitally important that everyone walking with a dog adopts the best practice set out in the New Forest Dog Walking Code to ensure that they do not damage the special qualities of the Forest or interfere with the working practices that help maintain the landscape. 

Dog walking businesses have an additional duty to operate responsibly. They also have an excellent opportunity to set a positive example to other dog walkers. However, there are currently no specific national regulations for commercial dog walking, except where it is done as part of a daycare or home boarding service.  

The New Forest Professional Dog Walking Charter (PDWC) promotes best practice for dog walking businesses operating throughout the National Park. Businesses signing up to the PDWC are committing to follow the guidance available, alongside local codes of practice. In doing so they will operate and conduct themselves in a professional manner; consider the welfare and behaviour of the dogs in their care; and minimise their impact on the wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park. 

It is supported by the New Forest National Park Authority, New Forest District Council, Test Valley Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Constabulary, Natural England, Forestry England, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, National Trust, Bird Aware Solent and New Forest Dog Owners Group.

If you walk dogs in Dorset, please follow the Dorset Dogs Professional Dogs Walkers Charter.  

If your dog walking business would like to sign up, please read the Professional Dog Walkers’ Charter and fill in your details below. If you have any questions please email Feedback on the operation of the scheme is also welcome to the same email address.

Sign up to the Professional Dog Walkers' Charter
We will include your business information on our website so that customers can choose responsible dog walkers. Would you like this to include your business telephone number? *
We will include your business information on our website so that customers can choose responsible dog walkers. Would you like this to include your mobile telephone number/s? *
From time to time we might like to contact you in relation to further information outside your legitimate interest with news and events relating to dog walking in the New Forest. Would you like to be kept informed of dog related news and events in the National Park through email newsletters? *
Please select any of the following that applies to your business
Please provide a brief bio/description of your business. Alternatively, we will use your website or social media to form one. Max 1000 characters.

Maximum file size: 25.6MB

We will include your business information on our website so that customers can choose responsible dog walkers. Would you like this to be linked to your social media or website page? *
By signing up to the Charter will you be changing any of your work practice? If so, how?
DECLARATION: By signing up to the New Forest Professional Dog Walkers' Charter (PDWC) I agree that my business operates in line with the terms laid out in the Charter. Please note that if your business is seen operating in breach of the terms of the Charter, you will be asked to remove any branding or association with the PDWC and you will be taken off the website database. *

How we will hold your information

We will hold your information securely and it will not be used for any other purpose, nor will it be supplied to anyone outside the New Forest National Park Authority* without first obtaining your consent (unless we are obliged by law to disclose it). You can ask us not to contact you again by contacting and we will remove your details from our database. More details on how we hold personal information can be found at: Should you require any further information about how your details are processed or would like to access any information we hold about you, please contact our Information & Data Protection Officer (

National Park Volunteer and Access Officer


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