The way I see it: dogs shouldn't be allowed to roam free in fenced-off kid's playground areas. That's not responsible pet ownership.
People who aren't cool with dogs roaming free shouldn't enter designated off-leash areas, and should make sure that if they do and have kids with them, they keep a very close eye on their children and let them know all about safe behaviours around strange animals.
The majority of well socialized and decently trained dogs with responsible dog owners will not attack children. Yes, children can be rough, dogs can become overprotective, and interactions between dogs and children should always be supervised. That's only logical.
There are also regulations about dog behavior in off leash areas - owners still have to be in control of their animal in off leash areas. But at the same time, parents should supervise their children too.
I grew up with blue heelers, and they were so docile and well trained with us but my parents never left us around the dogs unsupervised. We also had Maltese - but they were considered ok and "less dangerous" which I don't really agree with. I think any dog can cause enough damage given the opportunity, no matter how big or small and regardless of breed. I saying that, I also believe all dogs should not just be shut up in backyards because they "could attack". You need to have control over your animal when you have it in a public area. Our dog comes most places with us, cafes, parks, shops etc. I KNOW no matter where we go she'd never move more than 4-5 metres from my heels - even unleashed.
We have control over her and she is well trained - however in public she is always leashed. There's nothing to gain by taking the risk. I'd never forgive myself if she snapped at a person or child.
Last edited by #Mama; 29-08-2013 at 22:17.
Wow I can't believe I only just saw this thread. It was made for me! I haven't read all the other posts, but this is a pet hate (haha) of mine. We live near extensive parkland. There is a playground not far from an oval that is ok for off leash. But there are signs everywhere saying no dogs within 5m of walking path or playground. People let their dogs of the lead early (when on the walking path) all the time and they run straight through the play space! Grrrrr. Can they not see for a child of 50cm height, a large dog running up to them is terrifying! I hate that my dd has to feel unsafe in an area made for little ones.
We were at our local playground the other day and an unleashed dog ran straight into the playground and took a cupcake straight from the lap of one of the kids! She came running up to grab the dog and laughed about it! I was so angry! It was the last cupcake and there wasn't another one to give the child that had lost theirs! People should keep their dogs away from kids playgrounds full stop!!!
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