Leash Your Dog in the Woods From April 1

If you own a dog and enjoy taking them for walks in the forests, please note that in several cantons, including Baselland, Aargau, Solothurn, and now also Basel-Stadt, you have to keep them on a leash at all times if you are in or near the woods from April 1 to July 31. In the Wiese landscape park, which includes Lange Erlen, distinctions are made between locations where dogs are prohibited year-round, areas where they are permitted but must be kept on a leash all year round, and locations where they must be kept on a leash only during the breeding and nesting season. A map showing these locations and their restrictions can be found online at https://www.landschaftsparkwiese.info/hundeplan.

Why is this important? Spring and early summer is the time when most animals in nature have young, and they and their offspring are particularly vulnerable. Therefore, dogs must be leashed at all times when out in the woods to minimize disturbance to other animals.

Additionally, many plants that are sprouting now along the paths and edges of the woods are particularly sensitive this time of year. Therefore, if you enjoy walks in the forest with or without a dog, please stay on the paths and, if possible, stay out of the woods entirely during dusk, dawn, and at night when the animals are most active.

Note that leash laws are a cantonal responsibility, and other cantons may have similar regulations, although the specific dates for the leash requirement may vary. It is important to keep in mind that you are always subject to the law not only of your canton of residence but also of the canton you are currently in, even if you are just passing through or on a day trip. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with the local laws, for example, when going on vacation with your dog. The website “Stiftung für das Tier im Recht” (Foundation for Animals and the Law) has compiled some information and links. https://www.tierimrecht.org/en/legal-matters/Cantonal-Dog-Laws/.

For more information on rules and regulations for dog and other pet owners, also see our article “Owning a Pet in Basel.”