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General News · 13th June 2018
Stephen Reid
A few months ago my 8 year old was bitten while swinging at a public playground on Cortes. The dog (not a pitfall) also jumped up at both my younger two, but thankfully didnt bite them. It was very upsetting. I get that people love their dogs as a member of the family. Seems like there are a lot of us who may love dogs, but are sick of them being loose and biting our children. It sounds like there is at least one dangerous dog/owner and sounds like there should be some discussion about this.

I bet %95 of dog owners are responsible. To the negligent few PLEASE take responsibility!
Good information
Comment by Becky Knutson on 14th June 2018
So who do these particular dogs belong to! Have multiple people already tried to speak with them? I hope they are well aware of their dogs behavior and how it impacts the community.
Any dog can bite - and let's improve
Comment by Candice on 14th June 2018
I am glad people on Cortes are talking about this. I am one of those responsible dog owners. I spent a lot of time training and socializing my dog, and one of the things I learned in my classes is that 'any dog can bite'. Even the sweetest, most gentlest of dogs can be provoked ... not to mention the unsocialized / untrained / unattended dogs left to interact with the world with no human guidance.

I agree that dogs should not be allowed to race towards people unattended (especially children!), and one of the most simple, non-violent management strategies is the humble leash.

Cortes is a wonderful place for dogs to enjoy ample off-leash time and share joy in nature with their owners. It's a beautiful thing, but it does not mean this entire island is an off leash dog park, nor that everyone wants to share time with your dog in the same way.

For children especially, a bad encounter at a young age with a dog can create a lifelong fear of dogs, which is very sad, given the therapeutic potential of having a good relationship with a dog. Let's remember that before allowing our dog to 'introduce itself' on it's own terms.

Dog owners, let's honour our community by showing utmost respect for those around us. When it's appropriate to do so, allow your dog to enjoy off leash time. When there are people around, children, other dogs, or you just aren't sure, OR if your dog isn't trained well enough to respond to you under all of these distractions-- leash up! It takes one second, and I promise you, your dog is still having a great time just being with you and exploring the world by your side.

There are many responsible and respectful dog owners on this island - For them we can be appreciative. And we can all support each other in learning more about how to best nurture a positive relationship between human and dog. It can be so sweet, when properly done.

I am sad to hear about these unattended dogs being left to roam about the community and cause harm to people and other dogs. It's completely inappropriate, and not representative of the mindful dog owners who put the time in to train, socialize, and manage their dogs properly.

Where are the owners of these unattended dogs? This is the problem. Leash up!

PS I have plenty of resources for science based (i.e. positive reinforcement) dog training, if any dog owners are looking for ways to improve their dogs behaviour in any way (i.e. socialization, manners, leash work, jumping up, coming when called, etc). I also have resources for non-dog owners who want to know how to be safe around unsocialized, unattended dogs. Please feel free to email me if you'd like some support.

Awareness (of what we don't know), education (let's learn!), support (it's available), and practice (daily!) are what every dog owner (and dog) needs. We owe this to our community, and the furry friends who love us.

~ Candice
apples and oranges
Comment by Stephen Reid on 13th June 2018
...furthermore, this is not an issue connected to the well trained neighbours dog that has been startled. These are unprovoked and in public and usually in violation of by laws ect.
Nice try
Comment by Stephen Reid on 13th June 2018
Very eloquent Barry, yet in this case the unleashed dog barrelled staight out of a truck, across the childrens playground and within seconds punctured skin. No chance for heroic intervention. Also no chance to get in front of either of my other kids while said dog nipped the clothing of one and got face to face with my little one.
The point is not in these small details, nor is it what you are saying I think.
Funny the two legged with the dog also used the swing as an excuse. However the dog being unleashed was THE negligent act which led to the unfortunate event. And as we see on our tideline very that this was not the only such incident recently.
As rare as these events might be the responsability lies squarely and directly with the owner.
And yes i like dogs!
Respectfully asking for clarity...
Comment by Jeramie on 13th June 2018
Unfortunately to me it seems like this is not in fact that rare. My very large dog was bit on two separate occasions while on a leash in 2013 while I was holding infants in my arms (by unleashed small dogs) at Smelt Bay.
Barry, I am respectfully wondering what suggestions you would offer -'"beyond dogs/owners..." Garden, Jess and Stephen have all three experienced recent, serious incidents. I often find myself having to be overly vigilant due to so many unleashed dogs st the beach, lake, lagoon etc...
I am genuinely concerned about my kids walking in Mansons unaccompanied due to these recent reports - which is super unfortunate. There are lots of senior class students who walk to the store during lunch, the list goes on...
How can we proceed from here in everyone (especially children's) best interest?
Dogs Biting Children
Comment by Barry on 13th June 2018
Thankfully, this remains a rare event. I was bitten as a child while wearing a hollowed costume. It was a well trained neighbours dog whom I startled. I do not think that it was the dog's fault. Most dogs get excited by swings. I do not know why but they often bark and try to pull the children off. We can blame the dogs but adults can also help be being aware and interfering should that appear necessary. This is a community issue beyond just the dogs and their owners.
Comment by Odette Auger on 13th June 2018
I'm surprised at how insistent dog owners are about their dog's "rights" to enter buildings, off leash, running at children, etc. None of these are attacks... I do think that the self entitlement that owners have when they just assume they are the exception leads to this type of situation~ loose dogs, and a small percentage of them will bark at small children, nip, or attack.
I'd like people to remember the size ratio.... if you are a child, a dog can easily be your size or larger. Consider this when you think it's OK for your dog to race full bolt across the beach at a child, or people trying to enjoy a picnic. And for what purpose? You get to admire your dog gleefully racing at people. They aren't inviting it.