Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Dog Parks and Off Leash Legislation

  1. #1

    Default Dog Parks and Off Leash Legislation

    Hi,

    a situation happened at our local dog park yesterday morning that raised a question I have often wondered about.

    Our local dog park is at the end of a long road and in a large area next to a river and bushland. We tend to go there when it's fairly quiet, so I'm not sure how busy it does get. But what I've noticed since we started going there is that a lot of the dog owners let their dogs off leash in the general area surrounding the actual dog park, even though there are clear signs not to.

    All our dogs are okay off leash and with other dogs, but my great dane cross is very pully when he wants to go say hi. There's no danger of him actually getting away from me, but it takes a lot of strength to hold him for the few seconds it takes to get his attention back. I have bought a Halti and will use it from now on. Over the years of owning different dogs, it often seems that the small dog owners (I own a small dog myself) happily allow their off-leash small dogs to approach other people and dogs on the lead. This happened to me years ago as a teenager when I owned a rescue Alaskan Malamute who was aggressive to small white dogs. Thanks to obedience school and lots of work, he did improve a lot, but not before some avoidable incidents with small dogs off leash that came up barking at his legs. It also didn't help that the dog outweighed me by about ten kilos. I had to go through a time of muzzling him whenever we went out walking, which was uncomfortable for him and made people assume he was vicious in general. I had people with small dogs abuse me while their off leash dogs practically leapt down the malamute's throat and I had my arms around him wrestling him away.

    Yesterday, while in an on-leash area, my (friendly) large dog nearly pulled my arm off as a little dog approached us while the owner looked and did nothing. I couldn't talk as I was trying to get Harry's attention and Harry could have been pulling in order to attack as far as the other guy knew. My daughter had the standard poodle pup and our toy poodle on the leads behind me. The small dog approached all three dogs in quite a dominant manner and still no response from it's owner. I felt incredibly frustrated and I ashamed to say, once I had Harry more firmly in hand, made some loud, sarcastic remarks which finally triggered the small dog to be called away.

    Hence the need to put Harry in a Halti as I obviously need to have more control over him without hurting myself.

    If Harry had been dog aggressive and the small dog had gotten close enough to us to be attacked, who would be in the wrong? I suspect I could be accused of not having my dog under adequate control, as well as the small dog owner being wrong for having his dog off leash.

    Why do small dogs owners do this? Has anyone else had any experience with this kind of thing? It happens on about every second on-leash walk we go on in our suburb. How did you guys deal with it? Do you think other people see only big dogs as dangerous/and or needing to be on the lead?

    Ironically, a few weeks back when walking our small dog and the poodle pup around the block on the lead and at heel, a neighbour's GSD got out and attacked both dogs and snapped at my daughter and I. It was only due to our thick winter clothes and me kicking out at the dog, grabbing up our dogs and standing in front of my daughter that we didn't get bitten. My yelling happened to scare the dog off, but we would've been in trouble if it decided to persist. It was a terrifying experience. The owners said the dog "didn't mean it" and didn't seem sorry. We did make a police report, but nothing has come back and the dog is still there. The adult daughter drops her baby off there most mornings to be looked after and I hate to think of the potential danger the child is in.

    Cathy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,032

    Default

    Firstly I hate off leash parks. You need to have a near perfect dog to stay out of trouble. And they should be segregated into large, medium and small dog sections.

    Secondly little dogs reacting to large dogs in the manner you described is normal. It's like when the old dog puts the young dog in it's place, some will go in quite hard, this puts the puppy in it's place & likely old dog never has to dish out discipline again. Equate it to a check on a check chain, you always give a couple of really really good checks with the idea that you will never have to again. If you just nag at the dog you will slowly have to build up.

    I've seen plenty of homes where the little dog rules the roost, it has to as a matter of staying out of harms way and because it's past actions have always worked it becomes a learned behaviour. The owner of the big dog pulls their dog away for fear that their dog will react and it will all go bad. Again little dog gets what it wants.

    The war between little dogs and big dogs will always go on. For every little dog that riles up a big dog there is a little dog that has been injured by a large dog.

    The little dog has been jumped on by large playful dog and the large dogs have only stopped when it growled etc again learned behaviour.

    Do I think the owner of the small dog was stupid, absolutely, you barely had control so I would have been removing even my medium and large dog from the scenario. But rushing in and grabbing little dog is also not the answer.

    That's why I love obedience schools were the dogs socialise on lead and after you build up some friendships and get to know the dogs you can progress to off lead.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    melbourne
    Posts
    725

    Default

    i have the same issue with small dog owners in my area. it seems that that they are of the opinion that their dogs have the right to trot around off the leash in on lead areas, to pee and poop wherever they like, to growl and rush at big dogs, who are on the lead, and god forbid if your dog reacts to their precious ball of fluff you get screemed at and your dog is called dangerous.... small white fluff balls are now the reason my shep is extreemly anxious around dogs and is agressive..makes me sooo mad!!
    Last edited by laura77; 07-01-2010 at 03:19 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western Sydney
    Posts
    808

    Default

    I own two small to medium dogs at current and must admit it has been hard work to train them. Especially the shihtzu i rescued a year ago. I personally do not trust any dog including my own. I supervise them and try to minimise any possible harm to people, other dogs, and my dogs. Don't get me wrong at home i trust them; i leave my dogs inside house when weather is very cold, up to several hours trusting them they will not destroy the house and poo/wee around. I believe that some dog owners do not have understanding that off leash dog parks are public place, which means they need to have good control over their dogs. At dog parks, I do not see many dogs listening to their owners command and a lot of owners think their dogs are pretty harmless. Dog owners' bahviours also seem worse at a fenced off leash dog park where owners gather around and chat while their dogs entertain themselves and poop any where. ahhhhhhhh

  5. #5

    Default

    We did have a lovely but very dog aggressive LARGE dalmatian. While walking him on leash a off leash mini white dog approached us. I called to the owner that my dog did not like other dogs and to call her dog back. The owner picked her dog up, walked over to us, held her dog face to face with my dog (her dog higher than ours with their noses almost touching) and was making soppy small talk along the lines "oh no they will be friends, you love each other bla bla bla). Our dalmatian snapped and NEARLY bit the womans face as she was leaning in with her face right in there also.
    IF he had bitten her we would have been in huge trouble, but she was a complete moron- I was speachless with shock that she even thought it was ok when I had asked her to call her dog away and told her our animal was not friendly to her dog.
    Her response was that I should have better control.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,602

    Default

    Chisa/Cathy

    I don't know what state you live in, every state has slightly different rules and they are generally enforced by your local council. Try googling "dog and cat management act" or "companion animals act"

    So it pays to report all incidents to council - not police, unless a child has been seriously injured and the dog is still trying to attack. And the hospital/ambulance will report anyway if you live in NSW. Put your council (ranger's) phone number in your mobile.

    In most states - dogs are only allowed off lead where signs say that is allowed or areas designated by council. Sometimes you have to check their websites. So any time you see a dog off lead on a footpath or bush reserve you could report it if you wanted. However nothing is likely to happen unless you get the rego number off the tag of the dog, its address etc. A bit hard if the dog is trying to attack you or your dog.

    All the states have something that says you are allowed to use any force you deem necessary to protect yourself, your property, your family and your dog(s). If that involves swatting the other dog with the end of a long lead or kicking it - as long as you can persaude the ranger that it was "reasonable" ie beware kicking an SWF when yelling at it will do.

    Assume any off lead dog is going to approach yours. I usually let my dog approach unless the owner starts waving and yelling. But I trust my dog to make friends or keep her distance if the other dog starts getting aggressive. I watch the other dog. Most all of them want to say hello only. But that has more to do with my dog's method of approach. She grovels about 2m out and lets the other dog approach her. She doesn't charge up barking her head off.

    You should report the neighbour's GSD to council. You need to keep track of times and dates. If you choose not to report (you do have to live with them), then you need to talk to neighbour about keeping their dog secured. Most dogs know the difference between family and strangers, there is no reason to think a family member's child is in danger, just because a dog went after some strangers.

    If your clothes were not ripped, and yelling saw the GSD off, I'm thinking the dog was not in full attack mode, because yelling and kicking would have done nothing and a GSD can shred most any clothes easily. Not to mention - your dogs would have been bleeding or dead too.

    Small dog owners get away with having really badly behaved dogs because we let them. Did you report this dog to the police? No? Double standard?

    I've been yell at by several beagle owners (why is it always beagles) when I have taken measures into my own hands to stop them jumping on me or peeing on my stuff at the beach. I yell at the beagle and the owner yells at me "how dare you" - yeah, give me your jacket and towel and let me pee on that and see how you feel? WTF?

    I was at beach yesterday and three tourists were eating their breakfast on the beach, they had bowls, spoons, and a carton of cereal. Frosty went to check it out, I called her back and she ignored me (how embarrasement), I watched her, cos I have several other ways of getting her back. The tourist on the end was trying to call her over and pat her and the one on the other end told me "she's a bit yukky, can you make her go away". Nice. I don't think she's yukky at all, but leaving you alone is easy except how am I supposed to know you want that when one of you is trying to pat her. Sigh.

    I got Frosty to leave them alone and chase me instead. I should have ended the walk earlier, she was into her 45minute to 1 hour brain fade zone. And she'd been doing practice competition obedience moves off lead including heel, about turn and recall etc earlier.

  7. #7

    Default Thanks guys

    Thanks again for all the valuable information and suggestions. Yes, I have to agree that off-leash areas seem to bring the worst out in some folks. And nobody seems to pick up the poo! Good point made about why small dogs are easily made defensive by bad experiences with larger dogs. It's stressful to be on either side, at the end of the day and obedience classes may be a healthier option as suggested, because at least there is some unison and supervision between the owners and perhaps a better level of knowledge. The Halti is working very well with Harry, so I don't have any concerns about lack of control regardless of the other dog. I can absolutely understand why someone and/or their small dog would feel intimidated by a big dog, regardless of how friendly it is. I will check out the council re - the neighbour's GSD and yes, the dog was seen off fairly easily, thank goodness. I guess my concern with the visiting child is that the dog may not be aggressive as such, but the older couple who own it clearly have no control over the dog and it could easily hurt a small child just by running into her, etc.

    Re - the story with the dalmation, I guess some people have a very limited understanding of dog behaviour and safe conduct around them. Being a parent, one runs into very similar issues around playgrounds, etc. It is a worry when people perceive dogs as capable of being talked into being friends with a strange dog, just because they think it's a good idea. People are so quick to avoid their part when it goes wrong, hey?

    The small dog that was off-leash the other day was brought into the dog park the next day and despite us ending up putting all our dogs on lead and keeping them calm before the dog entered - to make sure the small dog wasn't overwhelmed, it ended being left off-leash, mounting and attacking all three of our dogs with us and still the owner did nothing. We walked our dogs away repeatedly and it was only when the dog followed us and got snapped at after biting our small dog on the butt that the guy picked the dog up and left. I got the strong impression that he saw us as an inconvenience and an invasion of HIS dog's park, lol.

    I think I am flogging a dead horse expecting anything else and will pursue local obedience classes, or deserted off-leash areas.

    Cathy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Devonport, Tasmania
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chisa View Post
    Hi,

    a situation happened at our local dog park yesterday morning that raised a question I have often wondered about.

    Our local dog park is at the end of a long road and in a large area next to a river and bushland. We tend to go there when it's fairly quiet, so I'm not sure how busy it does get. But what I've noticed since we started going there is that a lot of the dog owners let their dogs off leash in the general area surrounding the actual dog park, even though there are clear signs not to.

    All our dogs are okay off leash and with other dogs, but my great dane cross is very pully when he wants to go say hi. There's no danger of him actually getting away from me, but it takes a lot of strength to hold him for the few seconds it takes to get his attention back. I have bought a Halti and will use it from now on. Over the years of owning different dogs, it often seems that the small dog owners (I own a small dog myself) happily allow their off-leash small dogs to approach other people and dogs on the lead. This happened to me years ago as a teenager when I owned a rescue Alaskan Malamute who was aggressive to small white dogs. Thanks to obedience school and lots of work, he did improve a lot, but not before some avoidable incidents with small dogs off leash that came up barking at his legs. It also didn't help that the dog outweighed me by about ten kilos. I had to go through a time of muzzling him whenever we went out walking, which was uncomfortable for him and made people assume he was vicious in general. I had people with small dogs abuse me while their off leash dogs practically leapt down the malamute's throat and I had my arms around him wrestling him away.

    Yesterday, while in an on-leash area, my (friendly) large dog nearly pulled my arm off as a little dog approached us while the owner looked and did nothing. I couldn't talk as I was trying to get Harry's attention and Harry could have been pulling in order to attack as far as the other guy knew. My daughter had the standard poodle pup and our toy poodle on the leads behind me. The small dog approached all three dogs in quite a dominant manner and still no response from it's owner. I felt incredibly frustrated and I ashamed to say, once I had Harry more firmly in hand, made some loud, sarcastic remarks which finally triggered the small dog to be called away.

    Hence the need to put Harry in a Halti as I obviously need to have more control over him without hurting myself.

    If Harry had been dog aggressive and the small dog had gotten close enough to us to be attacked, who would be in the wrong? I suspect I could be accused of not having my dog under adequate control, as well as the small dog owner being wrong for having his dog off leash.

    Why do small dogs owners do this? Has anyone else had any experience with this kind of thing? It happens on about every second on-leash walk we go on in our suburb. How did you guys deal with it? Do you think other people see only big dogs as dangerous/and or needing to be on the lead?

    Ironically, a few weeks back when walking our small dog and the poodle pup around the block on the lead and at heel, a neighbour's GSD got out and attacked both dogs and snapped at my daughter and I. It was only due to our thick winter clothes and me kicking out at the dog, grabbing up our dogs and standing in front of my daughter that we didn't get bitten. My yelling happened to scare the dog off, but we would've been in trouble if it decided to persist. It was a terrifying experience. The owners said the dog "didn't mean it" and didn't seem sorry. We did make a police report, but nothing has come back and the dog is still there. The adult daughter drops her baby off there most mornings to be looked after and I hate to think of the potential danger the child is in.
    Cathy.

    I probably don't have a lot of good to say about dog parks due to such a large percentage of idiots using them...

    But I will comment on the GSD "attack."
    I agree with hyacinth. You really should have (or still should) report this to your local council's Animal Control Officer. The dog was not on it's premises - simple as that.

    For the life of me I don't think the dog in question was attacking, or you would all probably be dead. However, these owners MUST wake up to the responsibility of what they own! They MUST ensure their dog is secured within their property at all times, no excuses.

    Although I also agree with Hyacinth's comment regarding the fact that this dog's behaviour to you out in the street/footpath cannot possibly be used to judge the safety of a child visiting said dog's property, I do feel that any owner who comments that their "dog didn't mean it" is mentally deluded. Furthermore, any owner of a large breed such as the GSD who could make a comment like that is an utter moron.
    [CENTER][SIGPIC][/SIGPIC][/CENTER]

  9. #9

    Default

    SWF = Small White Fluffly?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    115

    Default

    I'm must be lucky with our local dog park, every time i have been with Peggy there has always been other people with their dogs in control and are more than happy to let Peg join in.

    Although there have been a few times while outside the off leash area with small dogs rushing at Peg, none of them have been aggressive, just wanting to play and their owners aren't far behind.

    I did watch an incident between 2 jack russels and a husky well outside the dog park, where the jack russels rushed at the husky while the owner kept walking and the husky owner started to abuse the jack russel owner saying his dog would attack, i don't know the dogs but it looked to me as though all the dogs wanted was to play. I did actually feel sorry for the husky while it was being dragged away and half choked.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •