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About dogs - at 31 May 2015

How many dogs are there in New Zealand?
There are 543,972 dogs registered on the National Dog Database.

How many dogs have been microchipped?
There are 330,844 dogs with microchips registered on the National Dog Database.

What are the most popular dogs?
The top five dogs registered are:
Labrador Retriever – 42,062
Huntaway – 32,315
Border Collie – 23,146
Jack Russell Terrier – 18,602
Heading – 18,238

Which area has the most registered dogs?
The top five areas for dogs are:
Auckland Council – 98,689 dogs
Christchurch City – 30,504 dogs
Dunedin City – 16,688 dogs
Waikato District – 13,863 dogs
Southland District – 12,921 dogs

The place with the smallest number of registered dogs is the Chatham Islands with 420 dogs.

More information is available at: Local Government Dog Control statistics (Local Councils website)

For Kids

I’m scared of dogs. How can I get over it?
The best way to shake off your fears about dogs is to learn more about dogs, and about dog safety rules. You can read Dealing with Dogs and 8 Simple Safety Tips Around Dogs on this website.

Is it only some types of dog that bite?
Any breed of dog can bite if it is hurt or frightened or teased – even the friendliest dog.

Why do people get dogs if they can hurt people?
Dogs are well known for being loyal companions to humans. People get dogs for many reasons: as farm dogs or for protection, but mainly to enjoy as a fun addition to the family. Dogs provide a lot of joy for many people. Dogs love exercise such as swimming, chasing after a ball, walks and running. They are also happy to sit with their family to watch TV. Many dogs respond well to advanced agility training, or being in dog shows and these can be activities for the whole family.

For Grownups

I don’t think the next door neighbour’s dog is being looked after properly. What should I do?
Voice your concerns to your neighbour if you feel comfortable doing so, otherwise contact your local SPCA, or local council.

I often meet a man in my neighbourhood who walks his dog without keeping it on a leash. I’m nervous of dogs and it ruins my walk. Is he allowed to have the dog off the leash?
Dogs must be under the control of their owners at all times. Most councils have areas identified where dogs can be exercised off a leash. You may wish to avoid those areas. In other areas dogs may be prohibited or required to be on a leash at all times. Your local council can advise you where these areas are.

If a dog runs up to you ask its owner to put in on a leash. If the owner is not in sight you should stand still with your arms by your sides and look at your feet. Dogs will get bored if you do not respond to them and they will eventually wander off. If you are concerned about the situation you should contact your local council.

I have two young children and we love visiting my mother in-law and her big, friendly dog. But with the recent stories of dog attacks I wonder if I should ask that the dog be kept away while we’re there?
Even the friendliest of dogs has the potential to attack if it is teased, hurt or firghtened. Make sure the dog is restrained while you visit. To find other ways to reduce any danger, read Dealing With Dogs. Make sure your children know how to behave safely around dogs and always supervise children when they are with a dog.

For Dog Owners

How often should I take my dog to the vet?
The SPCA recommends an annual check up with a vet. The vet will check the general health of your dog, examine their eyes, ears, teeth and skin and administer any necessary vaccinations. Your vet will provide you with the best possible advice for your dog.

If your dog suddenly changes its behaviour or seems sick you should take it to the vet immediately.

I’m pregnant with our first child. Is it safe for us to keep our dog?
If you are a responsible dog owner it should be safe for you to keep your dog once your baby arrives. Start today, by getting your dog ready for the new arrival. Try to socialise your dog with other children and babies so it gets used to the smell and sound of babies. Teach your dog that the baby's room is out of bounds.
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