Dogs on beaches – please “scoop their poop”

Please scoop the poop
Please scoop the poop

How do you feel about owners bringing their dogs on to beaches unchecked and without a leash?

Should they be banned in the high season especially on Blue Flag beaches?

The reason I ask these questions is despite signs clearly displaying dogs are prohibited on certain beaches, some owners think this rule does not apply to them! I am not totally unreasonable in that if dogs are kept on a leash and their poop is scooped and removed from the sand it would be a fair compromise. However, they aren’t and it’s not.

This “Piglet Rant” or Victor Meldrew moment”
was finally prompted after many years of observing how some dog owners have a total disregard or respect for other beach users. Enough is enough! Yesterday, we were on the beach and we spotted 3 dogs whose owner seemed totally oblivious to the fact or possibly just chose to ignore that her dogs were cocking their legs and weeing over people’s belongings, my shoes included! Several pooh landmines were also left in the sand one being in the middle of a sandcastle just waiting for the unsuspecting child to discover or someone like me to “swelch” in, as I walked barefoot across the sand.

I am told by one of my dog loving friends who shared a quote from the revered Barbara Woodhouse “there are no bad dogs, just bad owners”

To be honest I do despair as we have twice experienced dogs relieving themselves on our possessions and witnessed the act on other peoples on numerous occasions. You shout at the owners but usually your protests fall on conveniently deaf ears, no apology just a hasty retreat…

Perhaps the sign should read…Please scoop the poop

I am genuinely frightened of dogs and it really annoys me when the owner says in complete surprise and tuts “He wont hurt you” as their huge wet, sandy and very excitable hound bounds over to greet me…

Please share your opinion for and against!

Does anyone know the law regarding dogs on Blue Flag beaches?

26 thoughts on “Dogs on beaches – please “scoop their poop”

Add yours

  1. Even if owners try to pick up, they won’t get it all. People go to beaches to swim in the water, walk on the sand, sunbath, relax. Can’t there be any place where people can be free of the nuisance of bitin, barking, shitting, pissing mutts? Dogs don’t pay taxes. They don’t have any right to enjoy these public facilities.


    1. Hi James,

      Apparently not!
      I went for a walk yesterday on the beach there were several dogs. One owner saw his wet excited dog running towards me and called him to heel. The other owner just ignored the fact her two dogs were causing a problem.
      I rest my case.
      Not all dog owners are inconsiderate however, I don’t think people always think.


  2. the main reason I came to the site was that I trying to find out which beaches in Portugal I could take my dog on when I visit next year


    1. Hi Paul,

      We’ve got off on the wrong foot…please let’s start again. 🙂 You need to find beaches that are not registered as Blue Flag beaches…which part of Portugal would you like to visit …I will see if I can help



    1. Nobody is saying that all dog owners are like that. It isn’t out of line to be critical of dog owners who are inconsiderate, and like many other social situations, the few inconsiderate can ruin it for the rest of the responsible pet owners. My fantasy about the situation is vigilante justice — when the dog poos and the owner ignores it, scoop up the poo and throw it at the owner saying, “Excuse me, I think you left this behind.” It would be worth the utter disgustingness to make one person pay attention to their own actions and have the tables turned on them. One day…


  3. all of you guys sound as if you want to live in a perfect world, WE dont, live with it ! You have judged all dog owners by your own one off encounters. Get a life


    1. Hi Paul,
      No we don’t live in a perfect world but I do try and live in a world where people respect each other 🙂 Dog owners should get a grip and keep their dogs under control. 8) How would you feel if a teenager came along and peed all over your belongings on the beach? Not nice eh?
      Please think about it… 8)


  4. Hi Piglet
    Yep – you’ve hit on a sore point here. I may even beat you in the Victor Meldrew stakes.
    I suppose I should start by saying I don’t much like dogs. I’m not scared of them (well except the viscious sounding ones) but, apart from the obvious company that they provide to people who live on their own, I can’t undertsand why people want to keep an animal that is clearly designed to live in the wild.
    I would ban them from all beaches in the summer – we should not have them inflicted on us when we are lying on the beach and there’s generally no shortage of open space close by inland where people will not want to sit down. I can see the attraction of taking your dog for a walk/run on a bracing winter’s day but the owners must pick up the nasties. Remedy for not doing so – put the dog down. Some will argue that this is unfair on the dog, but if you can’t remove the root cause of the problem then remove the problem itself.
    It’s only an animal after all – if it means more than that to the owner then they have the choice of acting responsibly and with respect for other humans.
    I’ll now stand back and await a verbal assault form dog lovers. Wait until I get going on cats!


  5. I don’t think the problem is the dogs but the owners. It is a case of having respect for other people and treating people like you expect to be treated yourself. You wouldn’t want to have your towel weed on or sit in a dollop of pooh so the logical thought would be that it is necessary to scoop the poop or keep the dogs of the beach. Unfortunately this lack of respect for others is demonstrated in many areas of life and dog pooh on the beach is just one of them. It would never enter my head to have a pooh on the beach and leave it there for all and sundry and if I did I would probably be arrested. Why any different for dogs? Owners should apply this logic and everyone would be happy.

    I think Moon’s comment ref Chicago is a great idea and I wholly agree with Val ref cigarette stumps in the sand. As an ex-smoker I NEVER leave them on the beach and always had a special pouch to put them in and then binned them at the end. I did notice a few years ago in Portugal they were giving out cigarette cones which you could stick in the sand and then use as ash trays – I thought they were a great idea!


  6. Hi Val,

    Perhaps we ought to start a “scoop the poop” campaign to reach out to dog owners.
    Cigarette stumps – I had not even started on that one…but a very good point. A couple of years ago I noticed by the entrance to Monte Clérigo beach, a stand of cone shaped ashtrays which people could take onto the beach for this very purpose. Not seen them since 😦

    Kind regards


  7. Excellent article. Totally agree with your comments, we get very annoyed when we see dog owners letting their dogs poop all over the beach, we often take the dogs to the quiet beaches (out of season only) but always clean up after ourselves and ‘scoop the poop’. Unfortunately it is a lot to do with the mentality of the owners who let the dogs do what they like, rather than the dogs themselves! Another pet hate is people who leave cigarette stumps in the sand! Argh!


  8. Hi Moon Over Martinborough,

    A special dog beach sounds a great idea and a good compromise.

    I checked out the site you mentioned and I liked their suggestion have”A long line if your dog is not off-leash trained (see reliable recall)”

    This is the problem – dogs are just allowed to wander uncontrolled and at will.

    I enjoy reading your blog by the way
    loved the post on Olive oil
    Kind regards


  9. Back in Chicago there was a special ‘dog beach’ that was fenced and owners could take their dogs there and go off leash. There were actually 2 beaches open to dogs in total. It was good for all, as dogs weren’t on the ‘human’ beaches. Plus, people could take their dogs to the other beaches early in the morning. It worked well. Here’s how it works there:


  10. Hi,
    It’s nice to know there are like minded people out there! I find it hilarious I found your brilliant blog when I googled ‘dog pooh and poop!’ 🙂 LOL
    One of our friends has a huge red setter and before you’ve barely set food in the house it has you pinned in the corner with its nose rammed in your crutch and if you turn round to protect yourself its the same from behind…The owners just say…”Oh he always does that”

    hmmm nice, not!


  11. I sympathize. My favorite is when the dog plants huge, muddy paws on your freshly cleaned and ironed pants and slides down leaving big smears of mud, while the owner smiles and says, “Oh, he’s just saying hello!”

    My thought: No, he’s just saying, “My owner is an a**hole and I am completely untrained and out of control.”

    Though all things considered, I’ll take the muddy pants over pissed-on shoes. That’s beyond the pale.


  12. Hi Christine,

    I have not even touched on the subject of dog landmines in other areas but I do know exactly what you mean. I think the beach is bad because we walk around with bare feet and the children like to play in the sand.


  13. Hi
    Interesting reading your blog about dogs on the beach, I get very annoyed when I see people letting their dogs foul all over the place. I cant say I have ever seen a dog on a beach when people have been sunbathing but opposite our house we have an area where the freguesia do their events, many times with families and people regularly use it as a dog toilet. Im always amazed by their lack of consideration of others.


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