Dogs and dog ownership

Argyll and Bute Council employs four Environmental Wardens, who deal with all aspects of dog control.

  • Promotion of responsible dog ownership
  • Enforcement of Dog Fouling legislation and erection of "No Dog Fouling" signs
  • Enforcement of Dog Control legislation (Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010)
  • Uplift and care of stray dogs

The aim of the Control of Dogs Act (Scotland) 2010 is to promote awareness of the responsibility involved in dog ownership. The Act focusses on the "Deed not the Breed" approach in tackling irresponsible ownership.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 contains a number of provisions relating to dangerous dogs. As this is criminal legislation it is for Police Scotland to investigate and at times local authority officers can provide support and assistance.

If you have a dog complaint please contact 01546 605514, tell us online or call in to your nearest Customer Service Point.

If you are concerned a dog is dangerous, call Police Scotland on 101.

There is a joint protocol that offers guidance on decision-making process that agencies go through when considering how best to deal with complaints relating to irresponsible dog ownership within our communities.

Dog Fouling

Tell us about a dog fouling problem in your area

It’s estimated there are about 12.5m pet dogs in the UK in 2020/2021. That’s up from 7m in 2000/2001. Our dogs are, between them, producing around 3000 tonnes of waste between them a day. That’s a lot of poo – and a stark reminder why we need to clean up after our own dogs.

Argyll and Bute Council is designated under the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act.  This means that it is an offence to allow a dog, for which you are responsible, to foul on designated land and not clean it up immediately. Any area of land which is open to the air, on at least one side, to which the public have access, either with or without charge (including parks, recreation areas, foot paths, grass verges, roadside gutters etc.) is classed as designated land.

Dog fouling is unsightly and irresponsible on the part of the dog owner.  People responsible for a dog who do not move to clear up after the animal will be fined £80 on the spot. The fines can be handed out by the environment wardens, some other Council officers and the Police.

The fine is payable within 28 days, and if it is not paid will increase to £100. Failure to pay could result in court proceedings being taken. Certain offenders could be fined up to £500.

Help us prevent dog fouling

We have launched our We see you campaign.

We have two posters which you can download and display to encourage people to pick up after their dogs and #maketheirpupproud.

We see you

We see you for farms

What can I do to help?

The most important thing to do is to #makeyourpupproud and pick up each and every time you go out with your dog.

What is the best way to clear up after my dog?

Use a doggy bag, or a carrier bag, to pick up the faeces. The bag can be placed in a designated dog bin, a normal litter bin, or if one isn’t available, please take the bag home. On no account leave the bag lying on the ground or hanging from a tree. Wild animals or other pet dogs can eat the bags and become very ill or die.

What can I do about a dog fouling offence?

If you want to tell us about a dog owner who does not clean up after their dog, you should note what happens. As soon as possible afterwards give us description of the dog and owner, plus details of the date, time and place and a car registration number if you can.  If fouling occurs at regular times, it may be possible for a dog warden or officer to witness the fouling and take action accordingly. Sometimes a warning is enough to deter further offences.

What happens if I don’t clear up after my dog?

Leaving the mess behind makes the area look dirty and uncared for. It is also unpleasant if you step in it, and it causes particular problems for people with visual impairment and people who use wheelchairs. It can also lead to a nasty disease called toxocariasis, which is linked to blindness.

What is a Stray Dog?

Any dog loose in a public place with no person obviously responsible for it may be considered a stray.  It is then the duty of the Environmental Warden to seize the dog. If the dog has previously been uplifted by the warden, it will be taken to the nearest boarding kennels available to the warden and detained until the dog is claimed.  Before you reclaim your dog you must visit your local Customer Service Point or phone 01546 605515 to pay the appropriate fine and receive a receipt before your dog will be released from the kennels. Enquiries and payments for detained dogs are only available during normal Area Office hours. If the dog remains unclaimed after seven calendar days it becomes the responsibility of Argyll and Bute Council, who then will rehome the dog wherever possible.  However, if the dog is not rehomed or is unsuitable for rehoming Argyll and Bute Council has the discretion to humanely destroy the animal. Please be aware that kennelling charges may be a significant sum dependent on the duration of the dogs stay.

Kennelling Charges

Dog fees 2024 - 2025
Details of Charge Cost 
Standard Fee (Statutory Fee) £29.80
Daily Boarding Fee £21.00
Kennel Inoculation Fee £59.35
Dog microchipping £52.30

Please note: Payment in advance. Proof of identity must be shown at the Area Office when payment is made.  A receipt will be issued to allow the owner to collect their dog from the kennels.  In order for Kennel Operators to accept dogs there is a requirement that they are inoculated. 

First 24 hour period, statutory charge applied plus boarding fee. The boarding fee only, will be applied for each subsequent day the dog is in boardings.

Legal Requirement

It is legally required for all dogs to wear a collar and identification tag, which gives the name and contact details of the owner.

In April 2016 it became compulsory for every dog to have an up-to-date microchip. This process involves the painless insertion of a small chip in the back of the dog's neck.  This chip contains all the owner’s details and if the dog was seized by the warden, he would scan the dog's neck to reveal the details and then return the dog to the correct owner quickly and safely.  Microchipping can be done by your local vet for around £20, which is minimal in comparison to the possible fees incurred by kennelling your dog as a stray. 
Dogs (when not already microchipped) will be microchipped before being returned to the owner.

Excessive dog barking

We will not investigate dog barking but you can take your own action.

Telling the owner

It is not required before taking legal action as detailed below but, if you think it is appropriate, you could informally speak to the dog owner about the issue. They may not know there is a barking problem as it may only happen at certain times, for example, if the owner is out.

Relevant legislation

The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (under Section 49) allows any person affected by dog barking to take private action.

Any individual affected by dog barking can make an application to the Justice of the Peace (JP) Court for an order to be made.

The application must be made by the individual affected and not by the Local Authority.

If the Court determines that the dog is causing annoyance, it may make an order requiring its owner to take action to prevent the annoyance from continuing.

In terms of this legislation the Court cannot order destruction of the dog.

How to be a "Responsible" owner

  • Never allow your dog to roam around alone.  It could easily cause an accident or be picked up as a stray.
  • Always have a collar on your dog, with name tag and always have it on the lead especially near roads or other animals.
  • Train your dog in basic obedience, and let them know if they have done well.

Then you will gain confidence and trust in each other and create "A Man's Best Friend".

Argyll and Bute Council are associate members of the Scottish Canine Consultative Council.

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