Dogs must be on a leash when you are visiting forests and nature areas according to Denmark’s Protection of Nature Act.
A visit to the countryside should be enjoyable and trouble-free for you and your dog. However, please remember that dog owners are responsible for controlling their dogs’ behaviour in public. By law, you must control your dog so that it does not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife. Dogs must basically always be on a leash when you are visiting forests and nature areas according to Denmark’s Protection of Nature Act.
Avoid taking you dog into fenced nature areas with farm animals.
It is best to avoid encounter livestock. If a farm animal chases you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead – don’t risk getting hurt by trying to protect it.
On beaches from 1 October until 31 March you are permitted to take your dog off its lead – provided that you keep it under absolute control. During summer season from 1 April until 30 September dogs must be kept on a lead. The fine for not having your dog on a lead is 2000 DKK (270 EUR). Please notice, on some beaches dogs are total banned. You should therefore always read the local signage carefully.
Why must my dog be kept on a lead?
Many children and adults are afraid of dogs, and these people also have the right to feel safe in the countryside and at the beaches. They have no way of knowing that your dog would never do them any harm.
Besides dogs allowed to run free can frighten and cause distress to wild animals in the countryside. The smell of a dog means that it can take some time before some animals dare to return to their pastures or young. Dogs off their leads can start to roam, and there have been instances of roaming dogs that have mauled wild animals.
Who enforces the law?
In public nature areas including the beaches, it is normally government officials like forest officers or rangers who enforces the law. In urban areas it is always the Police.
Remember that the basic rules still apply even if where there are no signs.
Source: The Nature Agency, VisitNature.com, NaturGuide.dk