Under the Hunting Act, the period for keeping dogs on leashes ends nationally on Sunday 20 August. This period lasts annually from the beginning of March until 19 August, when the dogs must be kept on a leash.
Please remember that, even after the end of this period, you must have a permit from the landowner or hunting rights holder to keep your dog loose. In protected areas, dogs must always be kept on a leash. Even after the end of this period, according to the Public Order Act dogs must always be kept on a leash in built-up areas.
“This year, dog owners must be especially careful at the end of the period for keeping dogs on leashes, as a lot of bird flu cases have occurred during summer. When moving in nature, a dog may come into contact with a sick or dead animal,” reminds Hannu Liedes of the Finnish Kennel Club.
“When you are in nature with your dog, make sure that your dog does not eat or bite on prey, nor any birds or other animals that died naturally.
If the dog has been able to toss around or eat a dead or a sick bird or other animal and the dog's general condition deteriorates, it is advisable to take it to a veterinary surgeon.”
In built-up areas, a dog may only be kept off the leash in dog parks, dog training areas and enclosed yards. However, the dog must always be supervised by its owner or holder in these areas.
The Public Order Act also states that a dog may not be off the leash on an exercise track or similar running track. Dogs off the leash are not allowed on public beaches, children’s playgrounds, market places during trading hours, ski tracks maintained for public use or sports fields, unless otherwise stated. Marked dog tracks are an exception. Dog owners and holders must also ensure that their dog's faeces is not left on the ground in a maintained section of a built-up area.
You can read more about dog restraint regulations here.
A responsible dog owner knows dog etiquette and follows it to ensure that the dog’s encounters with fellow dogs, other animals and humans alike go as smoothly as possible.
“Recall is one of the most important things an owner can teach their dog. Sometimes it may even save the dog's life. It is important to teach your dog to reliably return you from when it is a puppy,” advises Liedes.
Tips for teaching recall can be found, for example, on the hankikoira.fi website (in Finnish).
For further information, please contact:
Secretary of Trial and Competitions Committee of the Finnish Kennel Club
tel. +358 9 8873 0287