Dog owners face fines of up to £1,000 when walking their pets this Christmas and beyond.

Those who refuse to clean up their pet’s mess could be hit with a £1,000 fine for breaking this common rule.

Anyone walking a dog is obliged to pick up their poo in public areas, however, this rule is often ignored by many.

If you’re with the dog the responsibility is yours - even if the pet does not belong to you.

How much dog walkers could be fined

The Dog Fouling Act (2016) places responsibility on the person “in charge of the dog” at the time of the misdemeanor.

Dog owners can be fined between £50-£80 on the spot if they fail to clear up after their dog’s mess.

That fine can escalate to £1,000 if you refuse to pay and the case is taken to the courts.

In some constituencies, you can be struck with a penalty for forgetting to carry bags or pooper scoopers when walking your pet.

The fine varies between councils and refusing to pay can land you in court.

People with disabilities restricting sight or mobility are exempt, including pet owners that are registered as blind.

Local authorities can implement a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to exclude dogs from certain areas or to have them on their lead.

If PSPO regulations are ignored, you could face a fixed penalty notice of £100 on the spot.

Those who go to court for breaching a PSPO or a Dog Control Order could be fined up to £1000 if prosecuted.

What other fines could dog walkers could face?

Dog walkers could also face a fine of up to £1,000 for taking a dog off its lead in certain areas across the UK.

Although talking your pet off its lead is permitted in the majority of UK parks and wooded areas, it is illegal in some areas.

If there are no signs alerting any restrictions then it is likely acceptable to allow your dog off its lead.

Dogs need to typically stay on their leads near roads, footpaths, car parks, play areas and certain ponds or streams during some times of the year.

Flower beds, pitches and beaches are considered off limits, however it is vital to be wary of any signs saying otherwise.