+353 761 002667 wmnp@ahg.gov.ie

Dogs & Horses

Dogs are welcome in the National Park, but dog owners are asked to comply with our Code of Conduct, below. Specialised dog activities, such as dog trials, also occur. Search and Rescue Dogs (SARDA) may be seen training or working in the National Park on occasion.

Owners of dogs, horses, and other domestic animals must at all times be responsible and be aware of wildlife and other people. If you have any queries, please contact us.


Limited horse-riding occurs in the National Park, by permit only.

Dog Trials

Gun Dog trials are carried out in the National Park under permit. Shooting is not permitted while trialing.

Code of Conduct for Dog Owners

Dogs that are under control are welcome in the National Park, but owners must at all times be conscious of their responsibility to other visitors and wildlife. The following points will help dogs, their owners, other visitors and wildlife to have a safe and happy day.

  • Always carry a lead and use it when necessary. This may mean keeping your dog on a lead at all times.
  • Be honest with yourself regarding the obedience of your dog. To be safe off lead in the National Park means that the dog stays to heal when asked to do so, and always returns when called, irrespective of distractions. In reality, few dogs are this well-trained.
  • Be aware that the National Park has hazards for dogs. Every year, dogs are killed or seriously injured falling off cliffs. Many go missing; not all are found again.
  • Be aware that the National Park is primarily for the conservation of nature. Wildlife must never be stressed by your dog. Deer and goats are regularly attacked by dogs, especially in Glendalough. Injured wildlife often does not survive after such an attack. Even if wildlife is not physically attacked, dog owners should be aware that wildlife that is disturbed when foraging for food may suffer harm as a result.
  • Be aware that the National Park is also home to farm animals, especially sheep. Farmers are entitled to shoot any dog that worries their stock.
  • Be aware that other people may not love your dog, and may even be scared of it. Please put your dog on a lead around other visitors.
  • Please carry poo bags and use them. Dog poo is not pleasant for other visitors and may be harmful, especially to young children. Dog poo, if left, introduces nutrients in wild habitats and may adversely affect the ecology. Please always pick up after your dog.
  • Most of the National Park is wild and has no bins. Dog poo, once bagged, must be carried home. Be aware that leaving a full bag on the side of the trail is even worse than not picking up after your dog.