DCC reports on dog attacks

Almost 250 dog attacks were reported to the Dunedin City Council during the past 12 months.

Figures released by the council show 69 of the 244 dog attacks in the city were on people and 175 on pets, livestock and wild animals.

DCC animal control team leader Ros MacGill said the attacks were often due to poor dog control.

''Owners need to remember that they are legally responsible for their dog and they must take all reasonable steps to ensure it does not injure, intimidate or annoy anyone,'' she said.

Owners are required to register their dogs every year by July 31. Of the 16,608 dogs known to the Dunedin City Council, 91% are registered. Five dogs in Dunedin are considered dangerous.

The DCC does not classify any breeds as dangerous. However, menacing breeds listed in the Dog Control Act include the Japanese Tosa, Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, American pit bull terrier and Perro de Presa Canario, which are prone to attack and able to inflict serious injury.

While some breeds were more aggressive, if owners were proactive the chance of attacks could be reduced, she said.

''It starts when the dog is a puppy through socialisation with both people and other animals . . . so that it knows how to interact with children and other dogs.''

''To own any breed of dog is a responsibility and any breed can cause problems depending on how it has been educated and controlled.''

- by Alastair Lynn 

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