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How we're working with Forthglade for dog-friendly visits

Dog enjoying a Forthglade treat at Attingham Park, Shropshire
Dog enjoying a Forthglade treat at Attingham Park, Shropshire | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Walking with your dog is a lovely way to experience nature and spend quality time together. To help both of you get the most out of the places in our care, we've partnered with natural pet food maker, Forthglade. Together, we're working to make visits with your dog the best they can be.

About the partnership

This ongoing partnership is based on our shared love of open spaces and the special relationships between dogs and their owners.

Together we'll make sure you and your dog get the most out of the gardens, woodlands, fields, parkland and beaches we look after. We're also supporting the co-branded Forthglade range of natural meals and treats, designed to help your dog stay happy, healthy and full of energy for their outdoor adventures.

The Canine Code

We’ve worked with our partner Forthglade to come up with this Canine Code, which helps to make sure everyone can enjoy their day:

  • Keep them close: using a short lead helps to keep your dog from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animals. It's essential to use a short lead around sheep. But if cattle approach you, it's best to let your dog off the lead, and call them back when it's safe to do so.
  • Pick up the poo: please always clear up after your dog. If you can't find a bin nearby, take the poo bags home with you.
  • Watch the signs: keep an eye on local signs and notices wherever you're walking. They'll tell you if a beach has a dog ban, for instance, or if a path has been diverted, or if you're in an area where dogs can run off-lead.
  • Stay on the ball: remember that not everyone loves dogs, and some people fear them. So make sure your dog doesn't run up to other people, especially children.

Pawprint rating system

We’ve worked in partnership with Forthglade to create the pawprint rating system below, which shows the facilities for your dog at our places. To find out what is on offer at the places in our care, check the visitor info tab on the property web page you want to visit.

Visitors walking their dogs in the garden at Sizergh, Cumbria
Visitors walking their dog in Cumbria | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Best: Three pawprints

Three pawprints shows the very best places you can visit for a day with your dog. You’ll be able to take your dog to most areas, including indoors for a cup of tea and a treat. There’ll be clearly-signed dog zones and dog-friendly experiences.

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The Dogs Welcome Project

From improving dog-friendly trails to providing more waste bins and wash down areas, we're working with Forthglade to make sure you and your dog feel welcome. Here are some of the improvements we're working on.

A woman washing a dog with a hose
A visitor washing their dog with a hose after a muddy walk | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Dog wash areas

Dog wash areas have been installed at some of our holiday cottages, campsites and properties, with more in the pipeline. You'll be able to wash your dog in designated areas after a muddy walk.

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Top tips to help walk your dog on the lead

When dogs pull, walking them on the lead can be quite a challenging experience. However, there are times when, to help protect wildlife and allow everyone to enjoy their day, walking dogs on the lead is essential. To help make lead training easier, our partners at Forthglade have come up with a few top tips so both you and your dog can get the most out of a walk on the lead throughout the places in our care.

A visitor's arm is visible holding a dog's lead beside the Rotondo at Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire.
Dog walking at Stowe, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Begin with the right tools

Use a comfortable lead and collar that doesn’t tighten when your dog pulls. A front-fastening harness or headcollar can help dogs learn to walk on the lead, making for a more enjoyable walk.

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Do you speak dog?

Understanding body language helps us to know how our own dog is feeling, and better understand the dogs we meet. Every dog is different. Ask before approaching any dog and respect their space, that way everyone feels happy when out and about.

A still image taken from an animation depicting a dog feeling anxious, with its tail wrapped round close to its body.
An example of a dog showing anxious behaviour | © National Trust

If a dog's feeling shy or anxious

They may hide behind their human, avert their gaze, or roll onto their back. Their tail might be tucked in and sometimes they'll lick their lips or yawn as a sign of stress. Some anxious dogs wear a yellow bandana or lead to indicate 'please leave me alone'.

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A dog's dinner we're proud of

The Forthglade dog food range, which is available on their website, is expected to contribute a minimum of £50,000 to our cause.

The funds will go towards ensuring that dogs and their owners can get even more joy from the countryside we care for. Any measures we take will balance the needs of the landscape and surrounding wildlife with those of other walkers and visitors.

The range, which includes natural ingredients such as duck, venison and green beans, will be accompanied by a variety of hand-baked grain-free natural dog treats and a natural dried dog food product. We'll also be handing out free treats for your dog to try at some of the places we care for and our dog-friendly holiday cottages.

We’re so pleased to be supporting the wonderful work achieved by the National Trust and thrilled to have the Trust associated with our range of natural meals and treats for dogs. We look forward to further bringing to life the National Trust’s Dogs Welcome activity.

A quote by Gerard LovellForthglade managing director
Two walkers with dogs on a grassy area next to a stone bridge, crossing a broad, shallow river

Where will you go next with your dog?

From walks for the whole family to quiet spots to enjoy with your dog, find a walk everyone will love.

Our partners


We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade so that you and your dog can get even more out of the special places we care for.

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Two people leaning against a wall, with a fluffy golden-brown dog looking at a packet of treats

Visiting National Trust places with your dog 

If you’re bringing your dog to the places we care for, here’s information on the Canine Code and pawprint rating system to plan your visit.