Council Trouble?

We get so many calls from frantic, worried and anxious dogs’ owners in a panic as their gorgeous dog has done something that has attracted unwanted council trouble.

At this point I would suggest to all dog owners to know the rules that surround dog ownership and management, this can really help avoid council trouble.

Your local council website or the state body should be able to link or reference you to the laws surrounding owning and managing a dog.

Here is a link to the Companion Animal Act in NSW (https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/1998/87)

You should definitely look at these laws and make sure that you are aware of your responsibilities and how you and or your dogs’ behaviour could be prohibited or illegal.

This may help you avoid breaking laws and ending up in council trouble with your dog.

Council Trouble

We get so many calls from frantic, worried and anxious dogs’ owners in a panic as their gorgeous dog has done something that has attracted unwanted council trouble.

At this point I would suggest to all dog owners to know the rules that surround dog ownership and management.

Your local council website or the state body should be able to link or reference you to the laws surrounding owning and managing a dog. Here is a link to the Companion Animal Act in NSW (https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/1998/87)

You should definitely look at these laws and make sure that you are aware of your responsibilities and how you and or your dogs’ behaviour could be prohibited or illegal.

This may help you avoid breaking laws and ending up in trouble with your dog.

Council Trouble
Ref: https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/1998/87/part3/div1/sec16

In many cases it would be highly beneficial to have a professional work through each step of the event with you and your dog and lay out what actually happened to council so they can make an informed and unbiased judgement on the incident.

Getting a temperament evaluation will get my dog off

No, that is not a true statement, a temperament evaluation carried out by a qualified / experienced person can help give a true picture of what is going on with your dog terms of behaviour.

This could help if the incident occurred without credible witnesses or any witnesses for that matter.

It could also help you develop a training and management plan to prevent any future incidents.

Keep your dog secure

A large percentage of dogs I see in council trouble have escaped the yard, the gate was left open, people allow their dogs to roam, the dog was off leash etc.

Often these incidents are more related to ineffective animal management rather than a behaviour problem.

A dog that can escape your property is in great danger.

Danger of being run over, stolen, getting involved in an incident with another animal or person and you are liable for any laws your dog breaks, damage your dog causes and penalties incurred.

I know a client that had a Great Dane that was jumping his fence, I advised him to build a secure dog run or increase fence height.

He put it on his “to do” list. A month later his dog was out “again” and was hit by a car.

The dog only received some bruising and soft tissue injuries, but the car, a BMW, was quoted at $13000.00 + for the repairs, which the dog owner was liable for.

A dog that cannot get out cannot become involved in any incidents outside the property, right?

As I mentioned, a LARGE percentage of cases I deal with simply were only possible as the dog was not secured in the yard or on leash.

Have a secure enclosure and you reduce risks of council trouble by a large margin.

The same goes for off leash dogs.

Responsible dog owners are plagued by irresponsible dog owners having their dog off leash and rushing up to yours, accompanied by the “he’s friendly” call.

If your “friendly” dog rushes up to another dog, it is an offence and just because “he is friendly“, does not mean you will not be charged.

Council Trouble
Ref: https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/1998/87/part3/div1/sec13

If you like your dog to have more freedom, whilst I would suggest training a great recall, an easier and often a more effective strategy is to use a long line.

Having your dog drag a long line that is 10 metres long means that if a dog pops up out of nowhere, you can reel your dog in by the line, avoiding many potential problems.

This would make the other dog owner feel much better too, I promise!

Dogs that are secure reduce the risks of incidents, believe that.

Councils just want to seize my dog

Truthfully, in most cases that is not the case. This is not to say that I have not come across some very stubborn council staff in my time who were difficult, but the vast majority are simply looking to ensure the safety of the  people and dogs in the area and often the “legislation” they have to do that with is to declare the dog dangerous, menacing or seize the dog.

Every week we get people who have found themselves in council trouble and quite a few are sent to us by councils.

When I speak to people who own dogs in trouble and I ask “has your dog been in trouble with council before?” and they answer “yes, multiple escapes, warnings and bites

Then you can understand why council may appear to be inflexible at times, right?

Council Trouble

I have written a list here that can help you if you have a dog with a behaviour problem that may get you in council trouble and below that a list of what to do if your ARE in trouble now.

Your dog has a behaviour problem

  1. Manage your dog very well – do not allow the dog to escape, or off leash or have access to dogs and people.

2. Maybe your dog would be safer wearing a muzzle

3. Get some professional help – it is noble to try on your own, but you may lack the expertise to make a difference.

4. Have a program designed for your dog and work through it carefully until you get the results.

5. Don’t give up.

 

Your dog has done something, and council trouble is coming

  1. Do not fight with other people involved in the incident or council, this will not help.

2. Get some advice right away, over a Phone Consult with me I can give you some information based on my experience with literally hundreds of these cases.

3. I would suggest a temperament assessment with a report that can explain your dog’s behaviour and a plan to resolve these problems that can help council see a clearer picture of your dog.

4. Restrict your dog from any situations that could possibly allow any repeat incidents. This may mean keeping your dog in your back yard until you have a more detailed plan.

5. Do not surrender your dog or put him or her to sleep, these are actions that cannot be reversed once the emotions settle.

6. Don’t panic – find out where you stand and what your options are.

In many cases there are options that may not be as bad as you first thought, we can often help outline these for you and help you and your dog.

If you need help or just some advice, call our office on 02 45 789 789 or email info@k9pro.com.au

About SteveK9Pro

Steve Courtney is a Nationally Accredited Canine Behaviour Specialist, Obedience Trainer, Law Enforcement Dog Trainer and ANKC Breeder. Steve has been training dogs all his life and in these articles he shares with you his experience...

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