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Dog lovers and beach users encouraged to share spaces

Published: 14 November 2017

Auckland Council wants to provide opportunities for dog owners to take their dogs to public places, so that well-behaved dogs can have fun without being a nuisance to people or wildlife.

Access times

Summer is fast approaching, so it’s time to check access hours for dogs at your favourite beach.

Most Auckland beaches have restricted dog access with hours that change seasonally so make sure to familiarise yourself with the rules.

What can dog owners do?

Here are some tips for a good time at the beach for everyone:

  • Respect other users of the beach
  • Know the dog access times for your beach and observe any off/on leash rules
  • Keep dogs under control when they are off leash. Dogs can get into trouble when their owner is distracted and not all dogs like each other, so owners should not let their dog run up to another dog that is on leash
  • Pick up and appropriately dispose of dog poo
  • Be respectful of other dogs and their owners. Small dogs on leashes may find larger dogs that are approaching intimidating. Similarly, keep an eye on boisterous dogs to avoid accidental knocks
  • Keep dogs clear of wildlife. At dusk and dawn, some beaches provide rest and refuge for penguins, seals, and several species of birds that nest in sand dunes
  • Stay inside: To prevent unwanted attention from other dogs, female dogs in season should not be out in public. Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated puppies are at an increased risk of contracting illnesses and should not be out in public until fully vaccinated.

Common issues

Each year we receive a number of complaints about dogs on Takapuna beach, as well as Milford, Orewa, and Omaha beaches, says Nikki Marchant-Ludlow, Manager Animal Management.

The majority of these complaints are about out-of-control dogs and dogs on the beach outside access hours.

Other common complaints include non-dog owners thinking dogs are too boisterous, dogs fouling on beaches, dog owners complaining about the behaviour of dogs and other owners, and that dogs are on the beach – even during approved access hours.

Animal Management teams patrol Takapuna Beach on a daily basis during busy periods.

"We aim to be as visible as possible, while balancing this with value for money and the need to prioritise emergency situations when they arise," says Ms Marchant-Ludlow. 

"When patrolling, our staff will be advising people of the access rules and encouraging compliance."

"For example, if someone has a dog on the beach during prohibited times they will be approached and made aware of the rules and asked to comply.”

That said, as dog owners do have the right to take their dogs on the beach during access periods, she suggests avoiding beaches during peak dog access periods if anyone is uncomfortable with sharing the space.