Dog owners in Mitchell Shire are being reminded to keep dogs on a leash or controlled by voice command in public spaces and ensure dogs aren’t leaving properties to wander unattended.
The reminder follows an increase in the number of wandering dogs and reported dog attacks recently, as there are more people out walking around the trails and parks in the townships.
To help keep dogs happy at home it is recommended that dog owners:
- Make sure they have a suitable yard and that they are providing plenty of stimulation and attention
- Provide adequate exercise by taking dogs on regular walks
- Alleviate boredom by providing toys
- Reinforce fences where dogs may be getting out
Children should always walk the dog with adult supervision. A young child may not have the strength to control an over-excited or anxious dog.
Obedience training is also a very valuable tool to help owners train their dogs and learn how to handle their dog in various situations. Even if your dog isn’t comfortable around people or other dogs, obedience training can be a safer way to work on socialising your pet.
Even normally well-behaved dogs can be unpredictable sometimes. If your dog is friendly, still don’t let it approach other dogs or other people as they might not be as comfortable.
People who live in rural or semi-rural areas also need to be aware that even friendly pets can attack livestock. The emotional and economic impact of dog attacks on livestock can be devastating, they are also preventable.
There are harsh penalties for people who own dogs that are involved in attacks including fines, pound fees and in some cases a conviction through the courts and the dog being declared dangerous or being put down. Sometimes the dog is kept at the pound or at a shelter while these often lengthy proceedings are underway.