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Safety Around People

Legally, you are responsible for keeping your dog under control at all times.

This means your dog should never be outside your property unless you (or another suitable person) has it under control. (Some exceptions apply to disability assist dogs, companion dogs and other working dogs.)

When outside your property, your dog should be on a leash or you must carry a leash.

Your council may have set some areas aside as dog exercise areas where your dog does not have to be on a leash but must be under your voice or hand control. The council may also have by-laws stating where dogs are prohibited and where they must be on a leash. For further information contact Your Council.

If you have difficulty keeping control of your dog see Trouble Shooting .

Even the best trained dog can revert to instinctive behaviour in some situations. By being alert you can recognise potentially risky situations and act to minimise these.

Risky situations

Dogs are descended from wolves, and have an instinct for aggressive behaviour in some situations such as when

  • they feel threatened – perhaps by another dog, or someone putting their face into theirs
  • they are approached while eating
  • a strange person or dog enters their territory
  • someone approaches a new litter of puppies
  • someone or another animal runs away from them (arousing a chasing instinct).

It’s sensible to be aware of any particular risky situations and either avoid these, or make sure you are in control.

Encourage safe behaviour

As a dog owner, it’s in your interest to encourage and educate your family and other people to behave sensibly around dogs. The 8 Simple Safety Tips on this website are a good start.

If you have children in your house or visiting, read Keeping Children Safe

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