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.
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. www.dogstardaily.com
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.