Ahead of the Easter holidays, Eurobodalla Council is reminding locals to set the standard and do the right thing when taking their dogs to the beach.
Council rangers are reporting an increase in complaints about dog behaviour at Tomakin, Tuross Head and Broulee beaches, and warn they will be out and about over the school holidays to monitor popular beach areas.
Senior ranger Mitchell Stirling said while the majority of dog owners do the right thing, some owners were not controlling their dogs effectively.
“A small percentage of owners are continuing to turn a blind eye to their dog’s misbehaviour, particularly at popular off-leash beaches,” Mr Stirling said.
Mr Stirling said the safety and comfort of both people and dogs depends on owners being responsible.
“Nobody wants their day to be ruined by treading on dog poo or a dog on the loose running across towels, knocking children over, or stealing fishing bait,” Mr Stirling said.
“We want off-leash areas to be a friendly balance between dogs, their owners, and other beachgoers.
“To achieve this happy medium, the responsibility lies with dog owners - they need to have voice control over their dog. If a dog does not reliably come when called, then they are not ready to be off a leash.”
Off-leash etiquette and things to remember when taking a dog to the beach:
Just because your dog is friendly, doesn’t mean other dogs are. Some dogs can be anxious and easily overwhelmed.
Never let your dog run up to another dog. Check with its owner first to see if your dog can say hello.
Respect others’ space and always put your dog on a leash when arriving and leaving the beach.
Observe your dog’s behaviour and keep them in sight. Owners often confuse dominant behaviours with play behaviours. Behaviours like inappropriate mounting and excessive barking is not acceptable.
Take a bag and pick up your dog’s poo.
Avoid taking your dog to crowded areas and keep them away from children and people fishing.
If a beach or area is not signposted, it means dogs are required to be on a leash.
Mr Stirling reminded dog owners that timeshare beaches remain in place until Sunday 30 April.
“On timeshare beaches, dogs are allowed on or off-leash before 9am and after 5pm and are prohibited between 9am and 5pm,” Mr Stirling said.
To read more about dog-friendly areas and see an interactive map, visit Council’s website.
Image: Maggie May was kept on a leash during her first visit to Tomakin Beach last week. She is a confident pup, yet nervous around strangers.