New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

February 22, 2010

Spotlight on dog laws

Wellington vet Allan Probert has joined the debate over dog policies, after six serious dog attacks around the country in the past three months.

Dr Ian Dunbar UK Vet/Dog Behaviouralist (living in the USA) came to New Zealand and gave two weekend seminars. He was interviewed by Kim Hill.

Interview online

Too bad that the TV interview was cancelled. What a lost opportunity!!

Former All White Stu Jacobs, who was mauled by a dog last month, has called for all dogs to be muzzled.

Mr Probert, who has announced his intention to run in this year's Wellington mayoralty race, said such a policy was not necessary.

You'd never get voted in if you had such a dumb policy. Don't forget, there are more dog owners than non-dog onwers... and dogs vote~!

"People like Stu Jacobs see muzzling all dogs as the answer, but it's over the top. It's unrealistic and reasonable," he said.

"There clearly is a need to muzzle dogs on the restricted list or ones that have behaved aggressively, but I don't see a need to ban all dogs."

Instead Mr Probert would prefer the introduction of owner licences, fenced-off dog parks and incentives for good owners.

Apparently, Wellington has hardly any dog parks! It's a crime under the Dog Control Act to not adequately exercise your dog. And if your dog is a border collie, ... he needs off-leash runs.

"You should have to have a licence to keep a dog, and sit a test.

And who's going to be the examiners? Which dog training methodology will this country adopt? The Dominance, throw your dog to the ground until he surrenders (then bites you later), or the positive no-force dog training which Ian Dunbar espouses, and is quite successful.

Will vetenarians still espouse the wrong information that dog's shouldn't go to puppy classes until the are 5 months old >! You have just missed their window for socialisation?

Will you tell the breeders, and back-yard breeders that when they sell a 8 week old puppy it should already be toilet trainerd? And when you do, will you give them the education on how to do this?

"Also registration should be made significantly cheaper and in the first year if you provide evidence of neutering or spaying your dog, you should get your first year's registration free."

The myth that neutering or spaying your dog will turn down the aggression? Where's the scientific proof that this works?

Wellington City Council's dog policy spokeswoman Iona Pannett said there were already incentives for dog owners.

Owners who abided by council bylaws, had their property fenced and had a dog for a year or had undertaken dog training could apply to the council for "responsible dog owner" status, she said.

This entitled the owner to a discounted registration fee.

Will part of the registration fee go towards research on the best practice of dog policy- taking, of course, an evidence based approach?

Mr Probert would also like designated fenced-off dog parks introduced, so dog owners can exercise their pets safely.

Well of course!! where o where does all that registration fee go to?

"We should follow Christchurch's lead. There are exercise areas in Christchurch and other areas that work fantastically well. They've got agility areas and picnic areas that are fenced off where you can interact with your dog off the leash. We're very slow to do that," he said.

definitely a great place for this! too bad we can't take our dogs on buses in order to get to some of these great dog parks.

Ms Pannett said the council looked at the option of introducing some dog-only parks when the dog policy was reviewed last year, but it was too expensive and there were issues with such parks near the Town Belt.

However, she agreed some dog exercise areas were not up to scratch and that it would be good to have specific dog parks. "One area I'm keen on as a dog exercise area is behind what will be the new SPCA [in Mt Victoria], if they move there. It is near the Town Belt, but we are looking at reviewing the Town Belt management plan at some stage."

Mr Probert wants those on low incomes or those who are not complying with dog microchip laws to be able to have their dogs micro-chipped for free. "This way they get something for free and in return we've got their details."

You do realise that those details are shared with the Justice Department. Don't you think that is breaching privacy issues?

He said it was likely more people would comply with micro-chipping laws if it was cheap or free.

But microchipping has not reduced dog bites like the politicians told us they would. And why don't SPCA get access to these details. Don't tell me ''privacy issues'' because I just don't buy it, especially when the Justice Department gets a crack at the city councils database.

Ms Pannett said it was good that dog policies were being discussed, especially as Act MP Rodney Hide intends to review dog laws.

And Rodney refused to meet Dr Ian Dunbar. He was invited. Oh boy... dog policy is not going to be research based, but voter based. What a damn shame!

Wellington City Council is also likely to review its dog policies next year.

Ms Pannett said the council would probably wait until Mr Hide's review.


  • At 11:03 a.m., Blogger apbta_inc said…

    Why was Ian's Television interview canceled

  • At 11:08 a.m., Blogger Natalie said…

    Why was it cancelled? because it had better news for the viewers, like the weatherman's motorcrossing adventure.

    who knows. it's the media.

    However, Blair from Doglinks organised Kim Hill's interview which you can listen to from Radio NZ's website.

  • At 11:34 a.m., Blogger apbta_inc said…

    I heard the interview. Excellent. It's probably the reason the TV interview was canceled! Can't have the public hearing that sort of professional opinion or common sense.
    The interview is only available til 27 Feb on National Radio's site although it can be downloaded as an MP3.

  • At 11:45 a.m., Blogger Natalie said…

    The TV interview was for Friday morning, and I don't think media people actually talk to each other... Kim was Saturday morning.

    I saw Ian at Hagley Park on Friday with a suit on, waiting for the interview... Media think they are an entity to themselves.

    I have the recording, and I'll post it on and (for safe keeping:) )

    You can download it as an MP3 file, but I don't know if you can save it. Not sure how it works.

  • At 12:20 p.m., Blogger apbta_inc said…

    I downloaded Ian's and the one I did as an MP3 to my desktop but National Radio says that you can't post it publicly because of their copyright so be careful about that aspect.
    Wow, so they just stood the man up?
    How appallingly rude.

  • At 12:33 p.m., Blogger Brendan H. said…

    "He said it was likely more people would comply with micro-chipping laws if it was cheap or free."

    Not a fan of micro-chipping. I feel it should be an optional thing, which the owner can decide for themselves if their dog will have it. But I'm kind of curious to know, what if a dog is imported to New Zealand already with a micro-chip, what happens then, does that dog have to get another micro-chip?

    And thanks for the link to Dr Dunbar's interview Natalie. I can see why it never aired though. Could it be because Dr Dunbar said EVERYTHING he was NOT supposed to about Pit Bulls!?! Even casting them in a positive light compared with other breeds! Clearly we are supposed to remain completely and utterly ignorant when it comes to how dangerous or safe we perceive certain dog breeds. Why hear from an actual dog expert with sound advice when we can instead hear time and time again from parents with personal vendettas based on emotions, or from morons writing news paper columns who can attack owners and dogs without having a clue what he's on about. I guess we just don't really care enough about reducing dog bites, when we can get a good sensational story instead. I hope you can keep that link to his interview up on the site.

    "National Radio says that you can't post it publicly because of their copyright so be careful about that aspect"

    I wonder what control they would have it if it were posted on a site not based in New Zealand?


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