Any breed of dog can bite if it is hurt or frightened or teased - even the friendliest dog. Good behaviour begins with dog owners. Remember, a dog's owner is the biggest factor in determining a dog's personality. A dog will be more likely to bite or attack if its owner encourages aggressive behaviour or abuses it. But, there are many factors that can cause even a nice dog to bite. It may feel threatened, be sick, or sense that something is wrong.
Dogs must be under the control of their owners at all times. Rotorua Lakes Council has identified areas where dogs can be exercised off a leash. In other areas dogs may be prohibited or required to be on a leash at all times. Map of Rotorua District Dog Exercise Areas
As a dog owner you have important responsibilities to:
- Keep other people safe around your dog
- Avoid situations occurring in which your dog could annoy, rush, frighten or injure someoneor another animal
- Care for your dog.
Dog Safety and Children
Most dog related injuries happen to children, in their own home or the home of a relative or a friend and by a dog that they know.
When a dog is around, small children should be supervised at all times because:
- They can unwittingly provoke an attack, for example by trying to take a bone away from a dog,
- Hugging or kissing it dogs may get excited by games being played and jump on or chase a child
- Dogs may try to dominate a child because of a child's small size.
Children should be taught basic safety habits around dogs, with parents and caregivers showing the way.