Dog owners urged to check their responsibilities in free handbook


 Local dog owners looking to enjoy the district's open spaces with their pets these warmer months are being encouraged to check a new dog owner resource for places to exercise dogs and to find useful advice on being a responsible owner.

The Ashburton District Council is reminding owners to utilise designated dog exercise areas and to keep their pets on a lead in public places with the help of its free Dog Owner's Handbook, now available on its website.

The handbook has been designed to promote both animal and community safety, and outlines what is required of owners in regards to the Dog Control Bylaw and Dog Control Act 1996.

Council Environmental Services Group Manager, Jane Donaldson says this time of year often sees more dogs and their owners out exercising more frequently, and that this usually sparks an increase in dogs running off leash in areas they shouldn't be.

"Exercising your dog is vital to their health and wellbeing, but equally important is the need to ensure the wider public and their pets remain safe from threatening and nuisance dog behaviours. For this reason, unless they are in a designated off leash area, all dogs must remain on a leash in public spaces. It's about sensibly balancing these two issues."

Of particular note, owners are reminded that the Ashburton Business Estate on Northpark Road and the Ashburton River Trail walkways are public areas where dogs must remain on a leash.

The Council provides a number of off leash areas around the district where dogs can run off lead under the constant control of their owner. These include two fenced dog parks in Ashburton, sections of Ashburton parks and reserves and the newly opened Methven dog park.

These areas, along with useful advice to keep your dog from wandering and how to behave safely around dogs are included in the new Dog Owner's Handbook.

To download the handbook, visit

Page reviewed: 18 Oct 2019 9:21am