Submitted by GSPCA on 15:42, 4th Mar, 2014 | 0

Over the last two weeks the GSPCA has had a number of calls from concerned dog owners following ‘attacks’ at some of the Island’s most popular beaches and walking sites.

With the clocks soon to be going forward and the Easter holidays fast approaching the Island will no doubt come alive with lots of children and families enjoying the great outdoors, walking their dogs, flying kites and playing football. Recreational space on Guernsey is at a premium and we all have to share the local beauty spots and parks, as such the GSPCA is asking the owners of dogs to be sensible and considerate when walking their pets and to always keep them under control.

Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding things you can ever do, they are good for our mental and physical well being and bring so much fun and laughter into our lives that it is only fair that we repay this as best we can by properly training them, keeping them under control and preventing them from being labelled as antisocial. Not everyone loves dogs and even those of us who do don’t want a dog ploughing through our relaxing Sunday picnic at the Park.

As dog owners we are responsible for our dogs’ behaviour. If you are unable to control you dog in public then it is up to you to keep your dog on lead until you can seek help from an experienced Behaviour Counsellor. Training your dog can be a long and hard process but your dog needs you to teach them the appropriate way to behave before you are both ostracised from the local cliff paths, parks and beaches.

A well-behaved dog enjoys the good things in life such as lots of walks, contact with other dogs and varied social activities. It is a sad fact that dogs that are difficult to walk often spend days shut in the back garden left to amuse themselves while the family head out for a day of fun. 

As dog owners we have many legal responsibilities and it is important that you are aware of these to prevent prosecution and a potentially large fine. The Control of Dogs Ordinance (1992) affects all public places across the island at all times.

  • Dogs are prohibited at all times from children’s play areas such as Delancy Park, Les Amarreurs and Sausmarez Park.
  • They are excluded altogether from the bathing pools at La Vallette and from specified public sports and playing fields unless under close supervision.
  • Similarly dogs are prohibited from certain areas of St Peter Port and St Sampson unless on a lead and under supervision.
  • Additionally the ordinance excludes dogs from many of the Island’s beaches for the summer months from 1st May – 30th September. These beaches are clearly sign posted at key access points to inform members of the public when dogs are to be excluded from these areas.
  • It is an offence for a person to permit a dangerous dog to wander or chase a person or animal.
  • It is an offence for a person to incite a dog in his care to attack or chase a person or animal or fail to restrain a dog from doing so.

Lorna Prince GSPCA Animal Welfare Officer said 'We receive calls every day of the year from concerned islanders about animals and their welfare, but recently we've had an increase in calls regarding dog attacks on our beaches.'

'At the GSPCA we are asking all dog owners to please ensure that they have control of their dogs as laid out in Guernsey law so that everyone can enjoy their time when they are out.'

'We often help dogs that are unsocialble and if anyone would like assistance then please get in touch to find out about our dog training services that we have a the GSPCA Animal Shelter.'

To find out more about the Dog Training at the GSPCA please click here.

To find out more about our Dog First Aid training at the GSPCA please click here.

The Control of Dogs Ordinance can be found at:

Other considerations

It is an offence not to clear up after your dog. Unfortunately, a small minority of dog owners are choosing to continue to flout the law. Even if you take the trouble to wrap the dog mess in a plastic bag it is still a littering offence to leave this on the side of the path. Click here for more details.

Stray dogs are a big problem across the island. Owners who allow their dogs to roam are not only causing a potential risk to members of the public but also endangering their pet on the Island’s busy roads. If you come across a stray dog please make every effort to catch it unless it is unsafe to do so. The dog should be brought to the shelter or collected by our animal collection officer. Every effort will be made to reunite the animal with its owner who will be required to pay a fine to Commerce and Employment.

All dogs over the age of six months must wear a collar and a tag, which displays the owner’s contact details followed by the distinguishing letter of the Parish in which the owners resides. You must also purchase a dog licence from your Douzaine.  Click here for more details.

Please be considerate to wildlife when exercising you dogs. Specifically please try to avoid disturbance to flocks of feeding or wading birds.

Remember the behaviour of your dog can have a long lasting affect on other animals and people. A puppy, young child or adult who has been bowled over by a large dog can have life long physical or mental scars, which can be debilitating. If you are unable to control your dog do not let it off lead and seek help. Dogs love to run free and play with other dogs but owners must be responsible and consider the other people and animals that may be enjoying our beautiful Island. It is up to us the dog owners to ensure that our dogs don’t get a bad name.

To donate to Trinity and Edens Big Fish Appeal please call 01481 257261, pop along to the Animal Shelter in St Andrews, by post or by clicking the link below.

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