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Should dogs be put on a lead in public areas

Following on from the dog attack on a little girl living on the Bankeyfields Estate, I'd like to know what the readers of MyTunstall think about dogs been kept on the lead. Please vote first, and leave your comments below.

Key facts and figures

  • There are approximately 8 million dogs in UK.
  • In England in 2008/09, there were over 5,000 hospital admissions resulting from being bitten or struck by a dog (excludes people treated in minor injury units (MIU) or accident and emergency (A&E) departments, without being admitted as an inpatient).
  • In 2009, dog attacks on people in England cost the Health Service £3.3 million.
  • Estimate of 6,000 dog attacks on postmen/women each year.
  • Police and local authorities have powers to seize dogs they consider to be dangerously out of control.
  • Police, local authorities and animal welfare groups work together in some areas to promote responsible dog ownership.
Choices

Comments

Rach's picture

I appreciate that there are

I appreciate that there are some dogs on the estate who are very well behaved and their owners have them under control when off their leads, who take their dogs out between 7 and 8am, or if they do go out after 7pm they have them on their leads.

However the amount of dogs that are off their leads during the parks busy times is unbelievable.

We know a couple of dog owners on here who do have their dogs of their leads but they are never out walking them when children are playing, and I am sure they wouldn't hesitate to put them on their leads.

Dungwit's picture

I was walking my dog this

I was walking my dog this morning at around 8.00am.(on a lead, as always even though he is small, very old and toothless),and although there is no fixed route, it does annoy when I have to look out for the selfish, idiotic morons who let their dogs off their leads, particularly when they are bigger breeds, as the evidence shows, any dog can turn nasty. Anyhow, this morning their was the idiot with two black labradors and a smaller dog, (at least one of the labradors was off it's lead) so I diverted to another path away from them. Then, to rub salt in the wound, a very tall young man with Elvis Costello glasses was walking his large dog off the lead, (don't know the breed) towards me. He was throwing a ball for him (I mean the man for the dog) and the dog was bounding around all over the place. It's the selfish attitude that takes the biscuit.

Dungwit's picture

I was walking my dog this

I was walking my dog this morning at around 8.00am.(on a lead, as always even though he is small, very old and toothless),and although there is no fixed route, it does annoy when I have to look out for the selfish, idiotic morons who let their dogs off their leads, particularly when they are bigger breeds, as the evidence shows, any dog can turn nasty. Anyhow, this morning their was the idiot with two black labradors and a smaller dog, (at least one of the labradors was off it's lead) so I diverted to another path away from them. Then, to rub salt in the wound, a very tall young man with Elvis Costello glasses was walking his large dog off the lead, (don't know the breed) towards me. He was throwing a ball for him (I mean the man for the dog) and the dog was bounding around all over the place. It's the selfish attitude that takes the biscuit.

bj-dj's picture

“So what”, you class me as a

“So what”, you class me as a moron for sometimes having my dog off the lead you’re the bigger moron for having to hide behind a pc monitor to conduct your childish name calling. If you have a problem with anyone on the open space regarding their actions why not challenge that person face to face in an adult way instead of doing it behind their back. Next time when you see me or anyone else out with their dogs that are not on a lead just have a quite word and I am sure they will oblige with your request.

Dungwit's picture

bj-dj, Are you seriously

bj-dj,

Are you seriously telling me to come and have a quiet word with you when you've got your dog/dogs of the lead while I've got my own dog with me? Well, here's the quiet word, "Will you please keep your dog/dogs on leads". After all, take a look at the poll, and you get the feeling that it's waht people want. Anyhow, I doubt whether you will comply with this request or the wishes of the majority as per the poll, so if I am on the open space without my own dog, I will come and have a quiet word with you in an adult way.

kiwigaz's picture

When I lived in Australia

When I lived in Australia they had a simple solution for that sort of problem, specific fenced off areas for dogs. I used to work to my work past this place every day and see the happy pooches and their owners playing quite contentedly without the fear of other public getting hurt. Occasionally when a fight broke out at least it was contained and the owners could rectify the situation immediately.
Dogs need exercise especially large ones that are cooped up inside or in a back yard all day, we as humans like to get out and about when we can so why can't dogs.
If you know your dog can be a bit shall I just say assertive then it is the owners responsibility to keep the dog on a lead at all times.
It is not the dogs fault how it is raised.

Jon Morgan's picture

dont worry he wont hurt you.

dont worry he wont hurt you. how do you know your dog wont attack. people flip easy enough in cars and we've got a lot more control than dogs do

marks's picture

Is this poll because of one

Is this poll because of one nasty isolated incident that was not on the park?

I own a medium dog that needs lots of exercise every day. A quick walk around the path circling the park, on the lead is not enough to keep medium - large dogs healthy. They need to run around and burn off energy. I've walked my dog on that ground for years before there was any kids play areas there, and its an essential place for dogs to let off steam. I also have a kid that plays there so I understand both sides of the argument. However if you look at local parks with play areas they all allow dogs off leads; Bathpool, Westport Lake. The play areas are fenced off and dogs are not allowed in.

As for people with nervous dogs, that’s all part of being a dog, they growl, sniff bums, and sort it out themselves. Most 'dog on a lead' issues are their owners freaking out, which makes the dog anxious and it goes in to defence / attack mode. It’s well documented.

Public areas such as busy roads - then is common sense (and probably law) that dogs are on leads.

popeye's picture

To be honest i am sorry the

To be honest i am sorry the girl was attacked, but the owner of that dog should be made accountable for its actions.

Is the council asking the question or is it the RA on the back of a few people on these estates who dont like dogs running free,

I for one would not adhere to a ban even if it was in place,my dog needs to exercise and i am vigilant where other dogs and children especially are involved.

If we cant get an alcohol ban because of disruptive influences on the park what chance a ban for lead-less dogs!!

Gordy

Web Monkey's picture

Gordy the Council are asking

Gordy the Council are asking the question because the RA are looking at options on behalf of the Dad whose Daughter was attacked.

How many owners who walk their dogs on the park would you say are responsible dog walkers?

As a responsible what advice would you give to other dog owners when walking the dog on the openspace close to homes and children.

marks's picture

WM this was an isolated

WM this was an isolated incident, lets not get all draconian. Don’t permanently punish the ‘ten’s of’ responsible dog owners that rely on the park to exercise their pets with a knee jerk reaction. The proposal is unreasonable, it not in place at other parks, and likely to cause bad feelings within the community, when its not abided to. It is not enforceable anyway. Keep the options realistic please. How about a gate between the park and the estate.

Also if you’re contemplating contacting the council, then a poll on here has a very limited sample group from the estate and is not indicative of the overall users of the park, many of which are not aware of this marvellous website or the RA.

Web Monkey's picture

To be honest Mark, this was

To be honest Mark, this was the third such incident at the home of the girl so you can see why they are concerned.

Besides I'm just asking the question and starting a debate, if you've got ideas then lets hear them.

I agree, that this site isn't a majority view, but it is a useful way to collect differing opinions and working things out.

popeye's picture

Matt i feel that most Dog

Matt i feel that most Dog owners are reasonably responsible in that they will have their dog on a lead where they deem it to be out of their control or where situations or where surroundigs dictate, ie close contact around children or near a main road.

The issue we have is that for example my dog is great around kids i feel and i would have no issue if he went towards children but i would always and i mean always be close enough to grab or stop him if anything went amiss, as you know he has a temperament of a saint around children of all ages and even moves away from younger children if he does not feel comfortable.

Unfortunately not all dogs or owners are as vigilant as i am, however i feel we do not need a complete lead only open space

My advice would be that if children are running about then please put your dog on a lead or keep them close to you if you have control and confidence in both your ability and yours doge behaviour.

If the openspace is full of children then maybe it would be better to use the open space on the bottom of John Rhodes to excercise your dog off lead....

As for other owners not being comfortable with free running dogs then i have to say if i had a problem with a dog running at my dog i would ask or tell the ownersto put it on a lead to protect my dog and theirs, i have done this a couple of times and had no issue whatsoever with the owners obliging and apologising, maybe cos i look a rough arse lol

Gordy

Web Monkey's picture

Thanks mate, some good points

Thanks mate, some good points in there. I'm only trying to get ideas and opinions I'm not suggesting we shoot all leadless dogs on site and then their owners as Marks seems to think. This isn't about punishing responsible dog owners but to find ways to stop an attack like the one that happened.

How do we tackle the likes of the lady that lets her two Dobermans run free, or the guy with the giant Rotweilers who carries a huge stick just in case who are never on a lead. What do we say to them?

As you looking like a rough arse, well that's a different forum thread all on it's own Wink

Web Monkey's picture

Why's it a which hunt, a

Why's it a which hunt, a little girl has been hurt, why shouldn't the RA be involved. What should the RA be doing. The next RA meeting is in a few weeks and in that meeting the places on the RA board will be voted on or off, based on the publics wishes.

Yeah the family could build a great big fence around their property, dig some fox holes and guard the property all of the time, wrap everyone up in cotton wool, or they can ask for some help to see if things could be made better.

markymark's picture

I can stop this argument here

I can stop this argument here and now. Doesn't matter if you have the most loving dog in the world and would harm nothing. What happens if you have a child who is frightened of dogs and runs into a road or into a dangerous situation in front of a swing or near water etc.

Case closed.

bj-dj's picture

Matt all this hysteria over

Matt all this hysteria over dogs being kept on a lead is purely driven by the fact that it involves a child. You can remember some months ago Reckless was attacked twice on the open space and on both occasions either myself or Debbie was bitten. On the day I was attacked I was lucky as the bite did not break the skin and I did not need any hospital treatment but unfortunately Debbie was not so lucky and had to be treated up the Haywood for her injuries. It also cost us £180 in vets fee’s to have Reckless treated as I remember on both occasions there wasn’t many people shouting from the roof tops to have dogs kept on leads then.

Web Monkey's picture

Again, I've been asked by the

Again, I've been asked by the dad what options there are, and I'm following them through. It's a poll asking people what they think. No hysteria, just a poll. No taking away civil liberties, just a poll.

As you've just mentioned a dog running around off a lead bit reckless, debs and yourself. Strengthens the argument for rather than against dogs being on a lead.

If you'd asked me to do something then I would have.

We've heard a lot from the responsible dog walkers, any one else got anything they want to add for or against?

bj-dj's picture

Matt on this occasion I feel

Matt on this occasion I feel that there is not going to be a winner the only solution to this problem that will keep everyone happy is this. Let’s have a boundary around the play area with proper signs like you see in some of the parks in the city “DOGS MUST BE KEPT ON A LEAD” then the other half of the open space and the paddock let dog owner’s exercise and walk their dogs off their leads if necessary.

Guest's picture

Shot the owners and then save

Shot the owners and then save a bullet for their dog.

Web Monkey's picture

That really helps, and the

That really helps, and the word is shoot.

bj-dj's picture

Guest does this also apply to

Guest does this also apply to the kids who would rather play football in the road rather than use the sports court and those kids who think that they own the roads when they are racing around the estate on there bikes.

Dungwit's picture

It's strange. but I've never

It's strange. but I've never heard of a child being savaged by a bike or a football.

Sue V's picture

To be honest this is an

To be honest this is an argument no one can win as feelings run to high on both sides and as I do not live on the estate I will keep my feelings about this to myself at the moment but one thing that does come to mind is somthing said by Matt, "This was the THIRD incident at the home of the little girl" For it to happen once is alarming, Twice is tragic, But three times is surely imposible. What does she do to atract the attention of the dogs or what does she do to aggrevate the dogs??.

Dungwit's picture

So, it's the little girls

So, it's the little girls fault that she was attacked by a dog? Perhaps Sue, you should visit her parents to explain your theory and discuss a plan to ensure that she doesn't terrorise any other dogs?

Seriously, why is it such a problem for the owners of dogs to keep them on a leash around the park area?

Sue V's picture

Dungwit. How I read it she

Dungwit. How I read it she was not attacked by A dog but by 3 dogs at different times. Thats high odds 3 to 1, she has got to be the catalist in this situation.
As for dogs on leads I do agree it is a good idea around small children as they (the children)have a tendancy to scream, run, and flap arms and dogs think this is a good game untill it goes wrong and one or the other gets over excited.

Web Monkey's picture

One of the incidents involved

One of the incidents involved someone visiting the house, not sure what the other one was.

The child in question is scared of dogs so won't be encouraging any to come over.

popeye's picture

Dungwit and i have never

Dungwit and i have never heard of anyone being ran over by a dog or cant remember a dog cycling in the road, and strangley kids chase balls into the road and do get hit by vehicles, what a stupid thing to say....

As i said before i am confident my own pet would not harm any body but as people have said kids will run away if scared and dog owners do have a responsibilty for their pets behaviour, i would be distraught if my own dog caused any child any fear and i do have him on lead when around if their is lots of people around..

Guest are you really that articulate please use spell and grammar checker before posting.....

Gordy

Dungwit's picture

Popeye, every time someones

Popeye, every time someones dog is aggressive to a person or other dog, you can bet that their owner always says "well, he's never done that before". So for you to say you are confident that your own pet would not harm anybody is stupid in the extreme. (No offence.) And to say that you would be distraught if your own dog caused any child any fear will, I am sure be of great comfort to the victim, particularly if your dog decided to tear chunks out of said victim. Now, when you arrive back on planet Earth, you might like to think about your inane comments.

Richard's picture

Whilst I agree in principle

Whilst I agree in principle to the idea of "All Dogs on a Lead" I also appreciate that there are many responsible dog owners who have their pets under control whilst they are not on a lead.

Anyway we all know that it is impossible to police if the rule is responsible dog owners can have their dogs off a lead. The only rule that can be policed is that all dogs are on a lead on the openspace, I realise that this is Controversial and do appreciate that it would penalise those who have control over there dogs.

I think we need a vote on this one, we have a Residents Association meeting next Wednesday, shall we have a vote on the way forward at this meeting and then work with the police and council to find a solution to this one.

I can see both sides and we need to find a compromise, i.e. can there be a designated area where dogs can be exercised, obviously the neighbouring houses would need to be consulted?

Anyway, to finish, I think we would all agree that this attack was a terrible thing to happen. It could have been far worse, and I am sure no one here would want another child to go through what this little girl went through.!!!!!

kiwigaz's picture

Here's the best answer either

Here's the best answer either both children and dogs are put on leads or just let them fight it out for themselves.
I see more unruly children out and about unsupervised than dogs.
I stand by what I said earlier that a large designated area for pet owners is what is required.
As for that little girl, I feel sorry that she has got to this frightened stage however dogs do sense fear and to them it is a form of aggression and will attack.
My advice to the parents would be to take the girl to a place that has a puppy and slowly get her used to how they behave, it may help with her anxiety.

popeye's picture

Dungwit if you actually read

Dungwit if you actually read my post i am saying that dog owners have a responsibility for their dogs actions and as as responsible owner my dog is on a lead where children play.

If they are comfortable with him and approach him that is fine as his temperament is such that he will accept the stroking etc from the children, in the same breath if he was off lead he would be excatly the same.

I do not ever want to say he has never done that before as then it is to late as you suggest, but as a responsible owner i take safety of other humans and pets seriously...

You can not tell me that all dogs will turn nasty given the chance and will bite or attack children or people.

I do not know how this poor girl will grow up without a fear of dogs but for you also to belittle advice given with a kind heart is beyond me, or do you really live in such a dark place?

Gordy

Dungwit's picture

Popeye, http://www.metro.co.u

Popeye,

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/816596-britains-most-dangerous-dogs-revealed...

All I'm saying is that everyone thinks their dog is controllable in every circumstance.It's patently not true as the statistics show. Therefore, it is prudent to keep them on a lead when in public areas.
As far as belittling advice given with a kind heart, you might want to take a look at your opening shot across the bow in your reply to my comment. "Dungwit and i have never heard of anyone being ran over by a dog or cant remember a dog cycling in the road, and strangley kids chase balls into the road and do get hit by vehicles, WHAT A STUPID THING to say...." There is a saying about heat and kitchens.
Please don't try to turn this debate into something personal as I will not take the bait, and if you prefer to think of me living in a dark place, then that is your perogative, but please don't make out that you are the kind hearted advice fairy to my evil black hearted villain.

bj-dj's picture

It is encouraging to see that

It is encouraging to see that from this debate a total of 57 people have taken the time to cast their vote on the on-line poll “Should dogs be put on a lead in public areas”. Matt can you tell me whether or not a vote on this subject will be taking place at the next R/A meeting and what will we be actually voting for. If it is a vote for the open space to become dogs on leads only area will you have the full backing of the council and police to enforce such a policy. Will the council assist the R/A with the correct signage in and around the open-space. It would be nice to see how many people out of the 57 people who voted on line will actually turn up at the meeting to give its full support, it will also be nice to put a few faces to names but from past experience I would imagine that a large number of on line voters will be too busy with other things.

Web Monkey's picture

Hiya Bryn I don't know mate,

Hiya Bryn

I don't know mate, we can discuss it. Maybe this should be done like we did with the roundabout and have to knock on peoples doors.

I guess it could be if some one takes over as chairman during the meeting.

Rach's picture

BJ-DJ I have voted on the

BJ-DJ

I have voted on the on-line poll, would love to come to the meetings but as hubby goes to the meetings we have no one to look after our child so I am one of the ones that won't be at the meeting

markymark's picture

I also think dog owners

I also think dog owners should have public liability insurance to cover them if the dog does attack someone.

popeye's picture

I think all people should

I think all people should have public liability in c ase they attack people......

Dungwit i did not make it personal and unless it was your dog who attacked the child i see no reason why it would be personal.

We have different views on an issue thats all, but so do other people, we all have views and its how we find common ground that makes us human, well some of us....

Gordy

Richard's picture

Gordy and Dungwit, Are you

Gordy and Dungwit,

Are you both coming to the RA meeting on Wednesday?

Steve's picture

Dog Law Advice To stop the

Dog Law Advice

To stop the Which sorry Witch hunt see link below.

http://www.endangereddogs.com/EDDRDogLaw.htm

Steve's picture

Dog Law - Dog Control Orders:

Dog Law - Dog Control Orders:

Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005:

Part 6 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 relates to dogs and became law in April 2006.

Under this Act local authorities and parish councils in England and Wales have been given the powers to introduce new Dog Control Orders (DCO’s) in their own public areas.

A DCO can be introduced after completing the procedures designated, which include consultation and notification in the local press.

Existing bye-laws will remain in force until revoked or replaced and new bye-laws can still be made as long as they relate to offences other than those shown below.

Areas of land which are ‘open to the air’ (it is open to the air if open on at least one side) and to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access, with or without payment, can be designated, some areas are exempted.

Orders can relate to the following matters;

1) fouling of land by dogs and the removal of dog faeces
2) the keeping of dogs on leads (the length can be specified)
3) putting and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer (the length can be specified)
4) the exclusion of dogs from land
5) the number of dogs which a person may take on to any land

Open spaces, parks etc in your area could become subject to a dog control order, limiting your use as a dog owner.

The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 is repealed by this Act.

You can be fined up to £1000 for breach of a dog control order or a fixed penalty may be offered as an alternative.

Dog owners will need to contact their local authority to see what dog control orders have been passed or are being proposed in their area.

Legislation:

Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005

Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003

Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 (repealed)

The information contained here does not constitute legal advice in and of itself. You must contact a Solicitor for advice before acting upon anything that you read on this web site.

For help with finding a solicitor who has experience with canine legislation - please contact us.

timdiggles's picture

As a dog owner who uses the

As a dog owner who uses the Baskeyfields area most days this discussion has been of interest. However making or using laws which would be unenforceable is silly and pointless. Cutbacks by the council to things such as dog wardens and police cutbacks mean that any 'enforcement' would hardly be seen, and citizen enforcement create considerable bad feelings among the local community.
In the local parks signs are up to keep dogs under control, that can be broadly translated, but again, who can oversee this? Do you want the police to patrol the area and not do other jobs?
I suggest via signs that people are requested to keep dogs on leads and under control between the hours of 8am to 9pm, quoting the above mentioned act. It would then be up to local people to request owners to do this if it is felt dogs are not under control.
During night time hours this gives the opportunity for dogs to run free, though under control (I often walk my dog at 1-2am and usually no-one is around). This period would be almost impossible to police anyway and offers an alternative.