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Border collie sitting in a patch of heather

There are few things in life more joyful than a happy dog. Treat your pooch to a walk in the forest for a good dose of fresh air, and more exciting new smells than he can wag his little tail at.

This week is National Dog Week (22nd-28th September) so there’s no better time to spoil your furry friend rotten. The National Week dates back to the 1920s and is intended to educate dog owners or potential owners on how best to look after their canine chums.

Elderly couple walking two dalmations along a forest path

Doggie data

From the big wiry ones, to the tiny fluffy ones: dogs of all shapes and sizes from up and down the land are one of our most frequent types of visitor to the forest.

The results of our All Forests Survey 2 showed dogs (and their owners!) are one of our most frequent visitors – with 43% of people visiting the forest to take their dog for a walk. In fact, dog walking is the most popular activity in the forest according to our survey, beating mountain biking and picnicking.

Forests in the Scottish Lowlands and the North Highlands were the most popular places for regular dog walking, while the Cowal and Trossachs area had the fewest dogs.

If you’re looking for a longer walk, head to Tay Forest Park – this is where people spend the longest time, with the average length of a walk at 1 hour 49 minutes. For a holiday or short break, most people head to Lochaber, Argyll, or The Great Glen in Inverness-shire.

Human and black dog about to go paddling at a beach

Waggy tails welcome

Don’t forget, dogs are welcome in all our forests, so use our forest map for more walkies inspiration.

We’d love to see your pooches enjoying the woods, so Tweet us your pics or share them with us on Facebook.