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NEWS RELEASE No: 1658020 APRIL 2016

Is your dog a Forestry Commission England top dog?!

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Walk your dog in the forest

Forestry Commission England have produced a variety of fun, free dog training activities to keep your dog’s tail wagging throughout Walk Your Dog Week starting on 25 April -1 May, as they believe a dog is never too old to learn new tricks.

In a recent survey carried out by Forestry Commission England, only half of owners described their dogs as very well behaved, with their dog coming back to them first time when called. With our forests providing miles of paths to explore it’s easy to see why our four legged friends are off having too much fun.

To help dogs and keepers, the free dog training activities are a great way for owners to learn how to keep their dog under control and to ensure they have as much fun on their visit to the forest as possible.

To support great behaviour Forestry Commission England has also produced simple steps on how your pet can be a ‘top dog’ in the Forest Dog Code. These straightforward steps ensure your dog is kept safe, well behaved and doesn’t leave any little surprises for other forest visitors. And should your dog forget their way back, with the introduction of the new micro-chipping law, you’ll be much more likely to be reunited with your beloved pet as quickly as possible.

Walk Your Dog Week also aims to improve the well-being of both owner and pet by encouraging people to get outside, walking their dog every day. The government recommends that we get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day and what better way to do it than with your four legged friend?

Working with a range of partners, Forestry Commission England provides owners with access to all of the best information ensuring your furry friends are kept happy and healthy.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary said:

“Walk Your Dog Week very much fits in with the promotion of responsible dog ownership and we are thrilled to be able to support it. The campaign encourages dog owners to get out and about with their four legged friends whilst learning new skills.

“We believe that lifestyles are becoming more and more sedentary, and it seems that our pets unfortunately can often bear the brunt of this.  Anyone considering getting a dog should always do the proper research beforehand and be aware of the commitment and responsibility associated with dog ownership, to ensure they will have the time and resources to properly care for the dog and do their best to keep it happy and healthy.  There are many fun and interesting ways to keep your dog fit and healthy, such as the Kennel Club’s Get Fit With Fido programme, which has a Slimmer of the Year competition for dog owners and their dogs who are wanting to lose weight or keep up their fitness.

“No matter where you live you are never far from a Forestry Commission woodland, so we’d recommend responsible owners make the most of this and go and explore the British countryside with your dog.”

Forestry Commission England also has a wealth of other information and ideas for dogs and their owners looking for a great day out. More information is available at


Notes to editors

1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment.
England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.
2. The Dog Walking in the Forest Survey was promoted via Forestry Commission England’s social media channels and ran from 14.03.2016 to 28.03.2016. 1482 people responded.
3. The Forestry Commission works in partnership with the Kennel Club which is the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners. 
4. From 6 April owners of dogs in England found by the police or local authorities not to have a microchip will have the benefits explained to them and be given a short period to comply with the microchipping law. If they do not, they could face a fine of up to £500.
The compulsory procedure is inexpensive and ranges from £10-£30, with many charities and animal shelters offering to carry it out for free. Find out how to get your dog microchipped including how to get this done for free here: 

Media Contact
Rebecca Ulewicz
Media Relations Officer
0300 067 4107