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Thread: ARCHIE'S LAW - Dog Sanctuaries. How to make off lead dog parks safe for everyone.

  1. #1

    Default ARCHIE'S LAW - Dog Sanctuaries. How to make off lead dog parks safe for everyone.

    Hi dog forum dog lovers,

    I am a professional dog walker in Melbourne, and over the last month I have been threatened by someone who said he would come back with a knife to fix up my dogs and me, and last week I was nearly punched in the face. Many other people at this park have had a similar experience and some are just giving up on walking dogs there, or on walking their dogs full stop.

    This conflict happened because of of the dogs in my social pack of dogs a) approached a jogger (that is what he said). b) had the audacity to put its paw prints on another leg as the dog was running past chasing birds. This violent man then changed his story to the dog tried to bite him, even though I had two witnesses standing next to me. He tried to punch them too. One of them was a mid sixties man who was just trying to get the guy to stop from punching me.

    Joggers here hate to have to think about other people. These dogs have never bitten anyone and never looked like doing so here.

    THE problem is that these shared resources have people in them that either hate dogs or have no idea about dogs. They easily get hostile and hate to see dogs playing. If my dogs are not running around having a good social time, I worry about them being normal.

    This is all in an off lead dog park. In Melbourne we tend to get off lead areas only where waste dumps have been or where land is unsellable for some reason.

    I love the fact we have parks at all, but many local joggers and bike riders who have no understanding of dog behaviour (yes they may approach another person or dog out of curiosity) are becoming violent to many dog owners. I used to run in state championship and used to ride a bike 30 km to work, so yes, I do understand both sides of the story.

    People with dogs are being treated like smokers in this country. Councils turn a blind eye, and police will only get involved if their is actual violence and you want to prosecute (ie get a lawyer and go to court). Personally I dont want these psycho's to know my name and address.

    I am sick of the way that dogs and owners are getting treated, so I have made up some guide lines of how to convert a dog park to a dog sanctuary. A single purpose park, where dogs have right of way, and friendly dogs can play. I call this ARCHIE'S LAW - Dog Sanctuaries.

    Of course it will never happen while councils bow to other special interest groups and go the path of least resistance (as their lawyers advice them always to take the path less likely to result in them being held responsible for anything).

    I dont know what you think of this, but this is the CORE part of the article I have created on the concept.

    Archie's law - DOG SANCTUARIES for DOG and HUMAN safety.

    No Bike riding, skate board riding, wind surfers or any form of mechanical apparatus riding.
    No golfing, No model car or other hobbies, No jogging
    Park access hours should be unlimited or at least up until a reasonable time at night time (assuming that dogs barking will cause havoc in the neighbourhood.

    Parks should have proper fencing and gates, just like child enclosures have.
    Dog Sanctuaries should have massive signs at all entrances. They should read with information similar to below:

    This is a dog Sanctuary. This means that dogs have right of way. They are here to play not be yelled at.

    No access without a dog. (This rule might trigger outrage by civil libertarians who do not own or walk their dogs. But as dog owners who walk their dogs off lead have almost become an extinct species, why not look after dogs rights for a change)?

    This rule would mean that more 'dog people' would be among the dogs and prevent the conflicts with people who do not understand dogs.

    No running or riding or any activity in this park that will cause a dog distress or create a chase.

    No violence in this dog sanctuary. If you choose to be aggressive to another owner or dog, they have the right to report you to an authority that will deal with the issue including prosecuting you. (A special authority would be set up to protect dogs and dog owners and take the stance that the dog is innocent until proven guilty (as is the right of humans). False reporting would attract heavy penalties (ie the dog was attacking me).

    If you believe that a dog is threatening you, stand still and call the owner. Do not actively escalate aggression against the dog or the owner. You may actually be at a fault.

    The full article can be found at: Archie's Law - Dog Sanctuaries replacing dog parks - keeping dogs safe. V1.0

    I doubt that this will get any attention in Australia because everyone is wrapped up with Oscars law and anti BSL legislations. These are fine causes, but what about something practical that can affect every dog owner every single day (if they walk every day that is.)

    When a daily dog walk off lead in a safe area can fix 90% plus of dogs problems (yes you may disagree) - why not fix the immediate large issue?

    Imagine if dog sanctuaries existed, were close enough to use, and you would feel safe in them? Just people who know how to handle dogs having a good time.

    Thanks for listening ... just hoping something gets done before I get stabbed or knocked out. By the way, the parks I mention in the article are not the main park that prompted me to write the article.

    If you like the concept. please feel free to champion it at your local council.

    Archie & I can dream ..
    Bruce is a "dog walker in inner west Melbourne" & sells "Healthy Dog treats." My dog Archie approves of these things.

  2. #2


    p.s you are all going to disagree about banning non dog people in the park.
    probably about the joggers and the cyclists.

    I give a bit of reasoning behind this in the full article - but for brevity just posted the core of the info here.

    I know this would never pass anywhere except for private land, but if you dont shoot for the moon, you will never make anywhere near a decent set of rules that protect owners and dogs.

    By the way, I know that a dog jumping on someone even in play is "bad". The dogs I walk typically dont do this except if its someone they know and the other person encourages this.

    I like social dogs, that are free to run in a park, without dog haters or non dog people getting all aggressive and placing major restrictions on one of the very few areas dogs in society have a chance to be a dog.

    Sorry if I am too much for a dog having safe fun. My clients appreciate a rested, happy fitter (mentally and physically dog). I am not a dog trainer, and that is not why I take dogs out. Unfortunate that only other dog owners seem to understand that dogs should be allowed a little freedom, and that not everyone has their dog trained to level seven ....

    Or would you rather that be the new rule? Please just consider this post as potential therapy for me if it makes it easier for you not to shout your anger back ,,,, :-)
    Bruce is a "dog walker in inner west Melbourne" & sells "Healthy Dog treats." My dog Archie approves of these things.

  3. #3


    the threat of violence to me or my dog would be a deal breaker for me and already puts them in a precarious situation. i would not be back there without a video camera and another friend. i never use dog parks on or off leash personally but that is irrelevant.

    could not the community/council be involved in a discussion to perhaps allocate times for different usage, be a compromise i know but...

    more and more people these days are totally self absorbed and selfish so its going to be a tough one. i remember articles about cyclists riding in exotic countries complaining about be barked at and harrassed by LGD's doing the same thing they have been doing for hundreds of years, it was rich foriegn tourists wanting a nice bike ride versus miserably poor subsistence farmers so the authorities went around and just shot all the dogs so as not to lose a tourist dollar.

    really it is only a matter of time untill a excited dogs nips a jogger or bike rider or bites them proper and that will be the end of yr off-leash park. in more populated countries they have private user pays dog parks which seem to work well from what i hear but doubt that would happen here.
    Last edited by muttboy; 07-23-2013 at 01:00 PM.

  4. #4


    Definately ban cyclists from off leash dog areas. Some of them are such arrogant pricks. One actually hit a dog at speed a few weeks back. Both he and the dog were lucky he just clipped the back end!

    I don't agree with fencing all off leash areas

  5. #5


    just look at how arrogant some cyclists are on the road, i have even heard them yelling that they have the same rights as motorists, i'm like duh idiot is yr vehicle registered?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Bundaberg QLD


    Oh dont get me started on cyclists and joggers.....i deal with these wankers every morning driving to work in the dark....apparently they have more right to be on the road than me.
    Its like.... if you wear lycra (aka women undies) you can do whatever you please. Surprisingly the most arrogant of these leg shaving crossdressers are usually men who are old enough to know better. Mid life crisis syndrome for sure.

    I think dog only sanctuaries are a great idea.....a area where like minded people can enjoy thier poochs and others poochs to the max without the BS of non doggy people. i wont hold my breath waiting for ot to happen though. We cant even get a normal off leash area in Bundy. Our council sux.

    Quote Originally Posted by reyzor View Post
    Education is important, but big biceps are more importanter ...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    I'm in two minds about this. I do understand where you're coming from. I've gotten into trouble when my dog gave a woman sitting on a bench at the pond in an off lead area a quick lick on the elbow. Annoying. And so are cyclists not slowing down in those areas.

    But... anyone letting their dog off the lead in a public space HAS to have control over them. Even if there are only other dog owners and your dog is friendly, that rule still counts.

    I trained my dog to come to me when a jogger approaches. If you cannot prevent your dog from chasing joggers or cyclists, sorry but then they should not be off lead until you have more control over them.

    Of course that doesn't at all justify violence or threats. But I personally am happy to share my space with all types of people using public spaces and train my dog to behave politely in such situations.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    If someone threatens my safety like that - I call the police.

    It's got nothing to do with dogs and all to do with bullying and mental problems (crazy people). Nothing you can do will make them happy. Even if all dogs were banned, they'd start into you for looking at them.

    Just call the police and describe the situation, and ask for advice.

    With my dog being the herder she is, I try to avoid situations where she might be tempted to chase joggers. The hard part for me is she can pick the grumpy ones, and those are the ones she chases. Usually after they've gone past safely and I thought they were one of the 99.9% she ignores.

    PS most of my problems at dog parks are caused by owners who ignore their dogs, don't pick up after them and don't supervise their greetings.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 07-23-2013 at 05:27 PM.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    I trained my dog to come to me when a jogger approaches. If you cannot prevent your dog from chasing joggers or cyclists, sorry but then they should not be off lead until you have more control over them.
    The beach that I go to that has an ajoining park has a SHARED pathway that goes through it. A dog drops it's ball at the wrong time and the ball rolls across the pathway and the dog then chases the ball right at the moment some WANKER on a bike comes through is neither the owner or the dogs fault(that's split second stuff where the cyclist should be riding at a speed appropriate for a SHARED pathway). I'm not talking about dogs chasing cyclists or joggers, I'm talking about WANKERS on bikes who ride at full speed through an offleash dog area where there are also young children! It's only a matter of time until someone's kid gets cleaned up by one of these WANKERS!

    I talk to a bloke most days who walks along the same SHARED pathway who now refuses to walk along that pathway after dark because of these WANKERS. He has actually been hit by a cyclist who considered it his right to ride at whatever speed he wished.

    Cyclists should also remember they are not immune from civil litigation!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Melbourne VIC


    I like the concept but I must disagree with some points.

    I too live in Melbourne and run a dog training, walking and minding business. If I see any new person coming, I immediately put all the dogs on lead again until I work out what is happening with them. It is too risky to be sued by someone because a clients dog jumped and scratched someone, etc.

    I don't have any issues with cyclists or pedestrians where I take my groups. They don't mingle in the same area. The problem people, I find, are the ones with a dog or four of their own that don't have effective control and start fights.

    I think their needs to be off leash areas but there must be signs up reminding everyone that all off lead dogs must be under effective voice control or need to be put back on lead.

    Of course, this is just my opinion on the matter.

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