What applies when the dog is loose in the forest?

Letting your dog run free in the woods and countryside gives your dog very good and beneficial exercise. It is a good terrain to train the dog's muscles to reduce the risk of injury. But there are places where you should think extra carefully before letting your dog loose. In this article, we'll go through what you should consider when you let your dog loose in the woods.

This applies in the woods

If you know that your dog can't quite manage to stay close to you all the time or doesn't come every time you call it in when it's loose, you'd better keep it on a lead - otherwise there's a good chance it will run away and you'll lose each other.

Between 1 March and 20 August, you'll need to keep your dog under extra close supervision when you're out in the countryside. This is stated in section 16 of the Act (2007:1150) on the supervision of dogs and cats. It states that dogs must be prevented from running loose in areas where there is wildlife - during this period, many wild animals have young and it is important that we look after them.

However, there is no law about leashes in the wild, if your dog is well trained and you know for sure that it won't run away from you for more than a few metres, it can be allowed to run loose.

This applies in a national park

You can't let your dog loose in national parks and some nature reserves - there is a law that your dog must be on a lead. On the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's website, you can find the rules, known as regulations, on what applies in Sweden's various national parks.

Strict responsibility

All dog owners have a so-called "strict responsibility" for their dog. This means that you as a dog owner are responsible if your dog causes damage or disturbs wildlife in the wild. You are also responsible for knowing what laws and rules apply.

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