Remember not all people in the countryside are comfortable with dogs. It can be frightening, especially for small children, to see an apparently out-of-control dog come bounding towards them. You may know that your dog is friendly but please consider other people and show mutual respect for each other by keeping your dog under close control around other people.
Don't let your dog gate-crash other people's picnics etc, and make sure you have good recall if you do let your dog off of the lead when other people are using the path.
Look out for horse-riders, cyclists and joggers, they can startle your dog or your dog can startle them causing an injury or accident. It is best to put your dog on a lead as they come past or keep it still beside you.
Be particularly careful when using paths that are also used by horse-riders. Most horses will take fright if a dog runs up to them, particularly if it is from behind, and this can pose a real risk to your dog, the horse and rider, and to any other path users. When walking your dog on bridleways or other paths open to horse-riders, ensure that you have your dog under close control and have a reliable recall through training. If you see a horse approaching, recall and keep your dog as still as possible in a visible but safe place, and encourage your dog not to bark at a passing horse. Once the horse has passed make sure your dog does not chase it.
The British Horse Society has produced a leaflet for both dog owners and horse-riders outlining the safest way to behave when using public paths. You can download this leaflet and others from the British Horse Society pages at http://www.bhs.org.uk