Tips for dog owners

Dog-friendlyness of walks

Dog bans affecting any routes or beaches that routes pass are indicated in the "dogs" box on the walk.

For the vast majority of walks where there are no dog bans, the suitability almost entirely depends on the individual dog. Knowing your dog better than anyone else, the factors to consider are:

  • All coastal walks involve unfenced cliffs.
  • A few walks involve very short sections of busy road to cross between footpaths; others involve longer stretches of quieter lanes. This can be seen on the route map for the walks.
  • The majority of walks involves stiles. In the cases where there are none, this is indicated in the "dogs" section of the walks. Very few have dog gates. Dogs may need to be lifted over some depending on the construction of stile vs the size and athleticism of the dog. The construction of stiles in Cornwall is extremely variable ranging from classic wooden stiles over fences to ancient stone footholds over hedges. Where we have been given feedback about routes with difficult stiles, this is displayed on the walk. We have also create a list of walks where stiles are reported as ok. We are adding more over time as we receive more feedback.
  • Livestock is difficult to pre-empt as animals are moved all the time (both due to crop rotation between arable/pasture and as grazing is cycled through fields with grass) so could be encountered in any fields along a route; the vast majority of footpaths pass through fields. Livestock grazing is used for land management so animals may also be encountered on the Coast Path. We have created a list of routes where livestock is least likely but this comes with no guarantees!

Dogs, walkers and livestock

The Ramblers Association and National Farmers Union suggest the following "dos and don'ts" for walkers regarding livestock:


  • Stop, look and listen on entering a field. Look out for any animals and watch how they are behaving, particularly bulls or cows with calves
  • Be prepared for farm animals to react to your presence, especially if you have a dog with you.
  • Try to avoid getting between cows and their calves.
  • Move quickly and quietly, and if possible walk around the herd.
  • Keep your dog close and under effective control on a lead around cows and sheep.
  • Remember to close gates behind you when walking through fields containing livestock.


  • If you are threatened by cattle, don't hang onto your dog: let it go to allow the dog to run to safety.
  • Don't put yourself at risk. Find another way round the cattle and rejoin the footpath as soon as possible.
  • Don't panic or run. Most cattle will stop before they reach you. If they follow just walk on quietly.

If there is an attack or dangerous incident we suggest reporting this to the landowner if it is obvious where they are located, and to the Local Authority Countryside Team (, or 0300 1234 202 in an emergency) who are able both to follow up with the landowner and to escalate further where appropriate.

Your feedback and tips

  • Please let us know if you find the stiles particularly problematic on a route.
  • If you're a canine professional (e.g. professional dog walker or publish a guide for dog owners), we'd be interested in your tips for dog owners for a particular walk and would be happy to include a website link to your business.

More information for dog owners