Leashing is good dog community care. With dog owners generally spending more time in nature than non-dog owners, many dog owners conscientiously leash their dogs in public spaces and understand the potential impacts of free-roaming dogs.
Six things to consider
- Even if your off-leash dog is friendly, other on-leash dogs can be more protective or aggressive when approached by off-leash dogs.
- Whether your dog is legally on or off-leash, before approaching an unfamiliar dog look for these canine signs.
- In unexpected or threatening situations, normally predictable dogs can act out of character on canine instinct, especially in highly stimulating environments.
- Dog walking in natural habitat can reduce the number of birds by 41% and the types of birds by 35%.
- Off-leash dogs cause breeding shorebirds to leave their nests for longer than on-leash dogs so keeping dogs out of sand dunes helps (endangered) shorebirds to successfully raise their chicks.
- Dogs often out-number threatened wildlife. For example, there are approximately 100 dogs to every koala across 25% of the shire, including where koalas move between fragmented habitat close to areas regularly frequented by numerous domestic dogs.
In fact, appropriately leashing dog owners can be good wardens for nature and the environment in general. Find out more about Byron Shire’s wildlife.
Research on dog walking in natural habitats by Banks and Bryant, 2007 and Weston & Elgar, 2007.