Dog behaviour and by-law on Council agenda

Published on 06 November 2023


Waitaki District Council will be holding a free dog behaviour talk from noted dog behaviourist Stuart Barnes next week.

Mr Barnes started his dog training career as a shepherd with his own pack of dogs when he was just 15. He’s since worked with animals in over 100 countries around the world. His passion for dogs has enabled him to gain an incredible understanding of their instincts and behaviours, in particular their universal language of ‘energy’ and body language.

The talk comes as Council launches public engagement aimed at updating its Dog By-Laws for the district on the Let’s Talk Waitaki platform. The Dog By-Law is expected to be updated in late 2024, and Council intends on engaging with the community during the summer ahead of a formal consultation next year.

There will be a short survey for dog owners and non-dog owners to complete, people can highlight on a map where they think dogs should be allowed off leash, or submit ideas for things they think should be covered in the new by-law.

There has been an increase in dog ownership in the district since the last time the by-law was reviewed, and Waitaki District Council wishes to hear from dog owners and the wider public about issues around our on or off-lead areas, where dogs are allowed and whether current provision of exercise areas is sufficient.

Mr Barnes’ free public talk will be held at the Awamoa Park off-leash dog area – next to the Awamoa Bowling Club on Thursday 16 November at 5.30pm. The audience is invited to bring a chair if they’d like to sit, but encouraged to leave their dogs at home. The online engagement page will open from the day before on Wednesday 15 November. There will also be paper copies of the survey available in libraries throughout the Waitaki District.