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Is Canberra a nanny state for dogs… or just people?

By Steven Bailey - 24 December 2014 32

bruce-dog

Bruce is my best mate; we’ve been through a lot together. Bruce has been there by my side through thick and thin. She enjoys the same music as I do, and she is generally a model of honesty, rectitude, and loyalty. She was there for me through my darkest and finest hours of the 2013 federal election. I suppose you could say that she is a political animal.

Bruce is my dog – a cross between a labrador and a border collie. And yes, Bruce is a female… it’s a long story, and I won’t go into it now, but she doesn’t seem to mind so I don’t think it should bother anybody else. She is well-known by the shopkeepers and community of Hackett – sometimes probably better than me! She accompanies me to many social and professional engagements.

She sits on ABC666’s Genevieve Jacobs’ feet if I happen to be giving an interview and she also enjoys the company of 2CC’s Mark Parton. She will wait dutifully outside of the shops while I do my shopping, she never barks unnecessarily, and children enjoy patting her.

I’ve trained my dog well. She was part of an unwanted litter from a farm in Cooma, and if I didn’t buy her, in the farmer’s words, ‘she would have got the bullet.

I break the law nearly every day.

In most circumstances Bruce doesn’t need to be restrained because I have complete control of her all of the time. She will stop before crossing the road, and will look up at me waiting for the command… ‘Cross!’ She won’t run up to other animals unless I allow her to, and she has never shown any aggression to a person and never will.

In the ACT it’s illegal for you to leave your dog outside of the shops. In the ACT it’s illegal for you to walk with your dog without a leash. In the ACT it’s illegal not to have your dog registered. And in the ACT it’s illegal not to have a microchip stuck into your dog’s neck. The list goes on forever.

I understand that there are reasons behind such legislation. In fact, I think there are some good reasons behind the Mount Everest of legislation regarding the ownership of a dog. But is it really necessary to impose legal penalty upon people who for instance let their dogs run around in a park unrestrained in a ‘non-designated off leash area’?

I grew up in the country, and I suppose I’m a little nostalgic for a time when the dog was on the back of the truck, the truck would pull up wherever, and the dog would happily jump off and stay by its master’s side.

Canberra’s lawmakers need to understand that you can’t legislate a perfect world into sterility, and that it is imperfection that creates a cultured, creative and free citizenry.

What do you think?

What’s Your opinion?


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32 Responses to
Is Canberra a nanny state for dogs… or just people?
Queen_of_the_Bun 4:32 pm 26 Dec 14

Maya123 said :

Braggs said :

This is the most over-regulated, politically correct jurisdiction in the country…not really much more I can say really. 🙂

But there is. You could give examples of regulations that we have and no other parts of the country have. Please do.

+1

dungfungus 2:31 pm 26 Dec 14

Braggs said :

This is the most over-regulated, politically correct jurisdiction in the country…not really much more I can say really. 🙂

Soon they will enact laws for all dogs to wear visibility vests.

Masquara 1:22 pm 26 Dec 14

Looks as though Bruce could do with a bit more exercise!

Masquara 1:22 pm 26 Dec 14

There was a frigging German Shepherd running off the leash last week on Mt Majura – the owners were not controlling it at all and were eventually spotted 300 metres away from it, letting it run wild. Sorry, Steven Bailey, on balance it is better to control all the dogs than risk irresponsible owners’ hounds inflicting fear (if not bites) on the public.

Maya123 11:25 am 26 Dec 14

Braggs said :

This is the most over-regulated, politically correct jurisdiction in the country…not really much more I can say really. 🙂

But there is. You could give examples of regulations that we have and no other parts of the country have. Please do.

Braggs 11:13 am 26 Dec 14

This is the most over-regulated, politically correct jurisdiction in the country…not really much more I can say really. 🙂

Queen_of_the_Bun 10:07 am 26 Dec 14

I used to have a rescue dog who had been terribly abused for her first five years and as a result was a total fear biter. Unfortunately, she was also a big strong powerful ridgeback. We did classes at the RSPCA and managed her socialisation with other people and animals very carefully – walking her at times when we were least likely to run into other dogs and in places where other dogs should have been on a leash. We also got a companion puppy (another rescue dog) for her to dominate/play with and they became best friends.

However, I cannot tell you the number of idiot dog owners who would let their unleashed dogs run straight up to us. They’d say “don’t worry, he/she’s friendly” and I would say “Sorry, she’s not”. Most times we managed okay – however, twice my dog attacked the unleashed dog, leading to blood and vet bills for both dogs which I paid, despite the other dog’s owner breaking the law by not controlling their dog on a leash.

My previous dogs had always been happy friendly animals that could walk off the leash without fear they might attack someone. The companion puppy was the same happy personality.

But after taking responsibility for a dog that was aggressive because of the abuse she suffered at human hands, I understood what a d$ckhead I had been for walking those other dogs off-leash and letting them run unsupervised up to other dogs/people.

I no longer pat dogs that are tied up outside shops because I now understand that not all dogs are happy to be approached by strangers and I would rather not stress their owners out by getting bitten. So while you might think Bruce is not a threat walking unleashed, spare a thought for other dog owners and people who have different experiences.

dungfungus 7:20 am 26 Dec 14

Kalfour said :

Yes, it’s the law. But are you ever going to get in trouble for doing these things? No. Not unless you or your dog do something wrong. We have these laws to protect people against more negligent dog owners.

So, when was the last time you can give evidence of anyone being charged with an offence?

Masquara 10:36 pm 25 Dec 14

dungfungus said :

“In the ACT it’s illegal for you to leave your dog outside of the shops. In the ACT it’s illegal for you to walk with your dog without a leash. In the ACT it’s illegal not to have your dog registered. And in the ACT it’s illegal not to have a microchip stuck into your dog’s neck. The list goes on forever.”

When was the last time you know of someone being fined for breaching one of these laws?
It’s the same situation as that “law” about not riding a bike over a pedestrian crossing which has just been changed.
No one ever got fined on that one either.

The pedestrian crossing law has only been flagged in principle, no? It hasn’t actually changed yet, has it?

Kalfour 9:39 pm 25 Dec 14

Yes, it’s the law. But are you ever going to get in trouble for doing these things? No. Not unless you or your dog do something wrong. We have these laws to protect people against more negligent dog owners.

dungfungus 10:10 pm 24 Dec 14

“In the ACT it’s illegal for you to leave your dog outside of the shops. In the ACT it’s illegal for you to walk with your dog without a leash. In the ACT it’s illegal not to have your dog registered. And in the ACT it’s illegal not to have a microchip stuck into your dog’s neck. The list goes on forever.”

When was the last time you know of someone being fined for breaching one of these laws?
It’s the same situation as that “law” about not riding a bike over a pedestrian crossing which has just been changed.
No one ever got fined on that one either.

InnerCanbFan 7:38 pm 24 Dec 14

I’m a dog owner and whilst I have some sympathy for what you’re saying, not everyone has a beautifully trained and obedient animal. In fact I’d venture to say the majority have very little control. Maybe what you’re proposing is some form of system that allows perfect pet owners to be exempt. But I can’t help but feel that this would require a new bureaucracy which would result in even more claims of Nanny State. Live with it – it works for the majority, especially the lowest common denominator that watt023 refers to.

Maya123 1:29 pm 24 Dec 14

“nanny state” = ‘I’ don’t agree with it. It’s thrown around too much.

chewy14 12:53 pm 24 Dec 14

This has nothing to do with the “nanny state”. It’s not about adult human choices, you’re talking about animals.

Honestly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen off leash dogs completely ignore their owners commands and jump on, or behave aggressively to other people and their dogs. Oh but its always “geez, he never does that” or “sorry mate, just a bit excited”. There’s plenty of places to take your dog off lead, use them.

watto23 12:26 pm 24 Dec 14

Unfortunately laws often have to cater for the lowest common denominator. The nanny state argument I believe gets over used for many things.

But realistically do people get fined unless there has been an incident where a person or other dog has been harmed?

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