With summer just around the corner, now's a good time to check dog access hours at your local beach.
Most of Auckland’s beaches have restricted dog access hours that change seasonally. During the summer months many beaches prohibit dogs on the beach area for much of the day.
At Takapuna Beach, for example, dogs are prohibited on the beach between 10am and 6.30pm, seven days a week.
And, as with Takapuna, there are often different rules for dogs on adjoining beach reserves and parks.
Takapuna, Milford, Orewa and Omaha beaches are among Auckland’s most popular beaches in summer, including with dogs and their owners. These beaches also attract the highest amount of public complaints around dog access rules not being adhered to.
The majority of complaints are about out-of-control dogs and dogs on the beach outside seasonal access hours.
Other common complaints include:
- dogs fouling on beaches
- reports from non-dog owners about dogs being boisterous
- dog owners complaining about the behaviour of other dogs and their owners
- members of the public not familiar with dog access rules reporting dogs on the beach despite being during approved access hours.
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board Chair George Wood says, “Takapuna Beach becomes incredibly popular and busy in summer and draws people of all ages from across the city, including dog owners looking for a fun place to exercise and socialise their pets.
“As a result, Takapuna Beach can be extremely busy, with various social and recreational activities taking place in a relatively confined space.
“We urge dog owners to familiarise themselves with our summer dog-access hours and ask them to be mindful of other beach users - especially the young and elderly who may be frightened or intimidated by off‑leash dogs.
“It’s important our beaches are kept safe and fun for all users."
Animal Management teams will patrol Takapuna Beach regularly this summer to ensure rules are understood and respected.
Dog owners are required to maintain control of their dogs at all times, whether on-leash or off-leash, in all public places.
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 a 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.