17.6 C
Byron Shire
June 30, 2022

Suffolk Park’s ‘Doggie Deadbeats Rule OK’

Latest News

Flood-prone land in Murwillumbah swapped for flood-free land 

It has been five years in the making but the innovative land swap of flood-prone land for flood-free land in Murwillumbah is underway with a second round of ‘expressions of interest’ about to open. 

Other News

Lismore Lantern Parade – Vale John Lush

Once again the community of Lismore came together to celebrate with the Lantern Parade on June 25.

Ballina calls for more SES funding – again

The Ballina Shire Council has agreed to prioritise upgrading of its State Emergency Services base and to call for a new shire-wide incident control centre.

Locals tix on offer for Writers Fest

Byron Writers Festival is again offering Sunday locals’ passes, supported for the third time by partners, Stone & Wood.

Hydro cannabis bust in Tweed

Police have confiscated equipment they say was being used for a hydroponic cannabis station set up in a Tweed Heads garage.

No blame in this game

I do not wish to condemn politicians for the state of corruption in this country. However, I do wish...

Building hei(s)(gh)ts

I also strongly agree with David Gilet and Paul McCarthy on the creeping cancer of increased building heights/heists in...

Dogs on the beach.

Balanced, composed dogs, happy at home or out and about on-lead and under effective control, are a natural and beneficial component of a healthy community. People showing their dogs strong leadership is responsible urban dog management.

Morning exercised dogs don’t usually cause nuisance barking and destructive issues. Getting out and about early sets a dog up for a quiet, restful day. But effective public exercise of dogs is all about how you do it, and in Suffolk Park dog laws and social mores are routinely trampled underfoot and paw.

With limitless tolerance for the mess of their own making, Suffolk’s entitled doggie deadbeats think it’s their right to inflict their annoying uncontrolled dog on anyone or anything else when out exercising or congregating at mobile coffee retail outlets.

Allowing uncontrolled, disrespectful dogs to stand over, menace, or otherwise force themselves on other dogs or people is about as inconsiderate and disrespectful as it gets, never mind the inherent danger the uncontrolled dog is placed in. Every off-lead genius has control of their unleashed dog – until they don’t.

Dogs walking on beach. File pic.

Management ineptitude

‘He’s just saying hello’, ‘He’s just excited’, ‘He’s just being friendly’. The Suffolk doggie deadbeat demonstrates not only an extraordinarily advanced level of dog management ineptitude but also a total disregard for the law and others’ basic right to walk their own dogs unmolested.

Ask the Suffok doggie deadbeat to control their annoying dog and you get one of two practised responses. They’ll tell you to ‘go get effed’ quicker than you can say ‘under effective control’ or look at you like you’ve just snatched their latte out of their hand.

Suffolk Park’s responsible, law-abiding dog owners with microchipped and lifetime registered on-lead walking dogs are sick to death of being harassed by pushy, uncontrolled dogs and their incompetent, aggressive, bullying people.

Suffolk Park’s serial resident and visiting doggie deadbeats break the law and bully with impunity because Byron Council is not up to the job. Council’s rangers are invisible, and as is evidenced by this prevalent civil disobedience, plainly ineffectual. They are unable, or unwilling, to educate and encourage and, if necessary, force compliance from dogged doggie deadbeats in persistent breach of the NSW Companion Animals Act.

Wallaby tracks left on a local beach following dog attack. Photo supplied.

The off-leash areas are an actual danger at times because Council is too miserly and/or too cynically disinterested to pay the rangers a few hours overtime weekly to ‘fly the flag’ there to ensure everyone gets a safe, fair go. The off-lead areas and self-regulation in Suffolk Park are a demonstrated big fat fail.

There is a universal code of dog management etiquette on which commonsense dog laws are based. Council should be telling the dog-owning community this, but let’s not hold our collective breath. Basically, you train your dog to be a responsible, considerate citizen, like you should be. You teach your dog to walk gently to heel on-lead and mind its own bees wax and focus on you when out and about.

Your dog is never allowed to lunge towards other dogs or people or encroach upon personal space. It is not even allowed off-lead in an approved area unless you have reliable control over it when it gets distracted. And when it’s off-lead you need to prevent your dog getting too excited and you keep it under effective control. If you can’t manage all that, then you shouldn’t own a dog.

Self-evident truths are that dogs are what we make them; stupid runs down the lead, and invincible stupidity has no lead at all.

Competent dog management looks a lot like leadership, dog sense, decency, and respect. And for the last several years the Suffolk Park dog scene has looked nothing like that.

♦ Guy Hull is author of The Dogs that Made Australia and The Ferals that Ate Australia. He’s a qualified dog behaviourist, developer of The Urban Dog Project, and formerly a Kiama Council Ranger and Muswellbrook Council Animal Shelter Manager.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

21 COMMENTS

  1. I totally agree. As a 33year long resident of Suffolk Park and a responsible dog owner I witness stupid people who and unable or too disinterested to even pick up their dog’s excrement. Surely they don’t think their dog’s shit doesn’t stink!!!!!. It does. Clean up after your dogs and please don’t turn around while your dog empties its’ bowels on our once pristine sand.

  2. Just put Caesar Millan: Dog Whispher back on television. People don’t understand the psychology of animals.

  3. Anywhere in BB shire is a nightmare to walk your dog . Having an assistance dog for our son has been invaluable until we go into BB shire then it’s a nightmare to walk anywhere without being harassed by off lead “under controlled dogs”

  4. Agree entirely.
    Same goes for Belongil beach. Most people have well controlled dogs, but lots of “blow ins”, don’t.

  5. And so say all of us, New Brighton Dog off leash area also has its share of doggie dead beats, thanks for calling out these special dog owners.

  6. Guy Hull is formerly a Kiama Council Ranger and Muswellbrook Council Animal Shelter Manager. ……and predictably , seems to be a bit of a prat.
    Anybody who knows anything about dogs knows there is no need of a lead for a well trained dog !
    Does this clown think they have really, really long leads on cattle and sheep stations ?
    “Morning exercised dogs ” would be shot on a working dog site, where the dogs are far and away, the most hard-working and capable organisers of the days activities. The “universal code of dog” is a figment of Mr. Hull’s fevered imagination, and I suggest it would be a good idea if he had some experience with real dogs, and not just Woofles and Fi Fi and their psychotic and incompetent owners, before he starts pontificating and pretending he knows what he is talking about .
    In the meantime, I’m not the slightest surprised, nor sorry, he has had been instructed to ” ‘go get effed’ ”
    Cheers, G”)

    • Talking through your know it all arse again ken. Keeping your dog on lead in areas other than lease free areas is important socially, especially when those well trained dogs are around and in your face, a complete up yours to the rest of us doing the correct thing.

    • Ken, if you’re not a Byron council doggie decision maker, then you should be. Your dog knowledge, your take on urban dog management, and your complete disregard for the NSW Companion Animals Act, Section 13 ‘Responsibilities while dog in public place’ perfectly align with theirs.

      • I know I’ll be howled down but I have some sympathy with Ken’s sentiments here – you do sound a bit sanctimonious.

        Everything you say is all true but, while no one wants to meet arrogant inconsiderate dog owners, life is less than perfect and inhabiting either extreme seems somewhat precious!

        Young dogs, like young children, will occasionally transgress. But they have to be off leash occasionally to be trained how to behave properly off leash. Dogs will approach other dogs because they are social beings and will likely be neurotic otherwise.

        People who walk their dogs in designated dog areas enjoy dogs enough to have some degree of tolerance. It’s part of the deal when enjoying the privilege of sharing our time with one of nature’s truly wonderful creatures. People who don’t appreciate this are truly missing something.

        As for doggy deadbeats – such a nasty phrase. It certainly doesn’t relate to the VAST majority of dog walkers I encounter who enjoy a smile and a chat, and pick up, not only their dogs’ excrement, but much of the plastic and other rubbish otherwise threatening our marine life.

      • I know I’ll be howled down but I have some sympathy with Ken’s sentiments here – you do sound a bit sanctimonious.

        Everything you say is all true but, while no one wants to meet arrogant inconsiderate dog owners, life is less than perfect and inhabiting either extreme seems somewhat precious!

        Young dogs, like young children, will occasionally transgress. But they have to be off leash occasionally to be trained how to behave properly off leash. Dogs will approach other dogs because they are social beings and will likely be neurotic otherwise.

        People who walk their dogs in designated dog areas enjoy dogs enough to have some degree of tolerance. It’s part of the deal when enjoying the privilege of sharing our time with one of nature’s truly wonderful creatures. People who don’t appreciate this are truly missing something.

        As for doggy deadbeats – such a nasty, lip curling phrase. It certainly doesn’t relate to the VAST majority of dog walkers I encounter who enjoy a smile and a chat, and pick up, not only their dogs’ excrement, but – doggy-do bags at the ready – much of the plastic and other rubbish otherwise threatening our marine life.

  7. Substitute “Suffolk Par for “Ocean Shores” or “Brunswick Heads” or just about any other place.
    More rangers are sorely needed everywhere AND the powers that be need to empower them to do the job they’re (supposedly) employed to do.

    PITA dog owners think it’s just fine and dandy to give a flying eff far as toeing the line, so wake up council(s) everywhere and pull your fingers out, the public has had enough of being treated like they’re less important than a irresponsible dog (or cat for that matter) owner!

    Love your work Guy Hull, thanks heaps for putting it out there Echo drudges 🙂

  8. A welcome’s article. I cycle from Suffolk Park to Byron almost every day along the bike path over Tallow Creek and my anecdotal impression is that the overwhelming majority of dog walkers do not have their animal on a leash. When I point out that it is a privilege not a right to walk your dog through a National Park, their response is sometimes abusive. In all these years of cycling to town I have never seen a Council Ranger in place to monitor this ignoring of the clearly signed rule.
    Susan Rosedale

  9. For many years we had to manage a wonderful but socially “challenged” dog who could not tolerate strange dogs bounding up to him. If we had a dollar for every time some ignorant moron who, when asked to recall their dog, just said “he’s just being friendly”, then, well, we could probably pay for the rangers that the dog beaches need.

    The other huge frustration is owners who are chatting on the phone while their out of control dog is causing utter mayhem while they are busy arranging their social calendar.I’d be happy to see phones banned on dog beaches.

  10. If seeing dogs on the beach getting a bit of exercise – ie not necessarily pinned to their owners’ ankles at all times – is distressing and spoils your day; if mixing it with the happy well adjusted dogs and owners (who on Suffolk Park Beach by and large all know and like to each other) spoils your day, you don’t have to forego your beach walk. Heading south to Broken Head, the beach is just as, if not more beautiful and is past the short dog exercise area.

    My worry is of a clear agenda, disguised by hyperbolic outrage, of a philosophical objection to companion animals. There are arguments for this but let’s be upfront and transparent about what’s being proposed and why.

    I’d welcome some compliance presence on Tallow’s Beach though because, what I find is greatly more worrying, is the increasing presence of ebikes noiselessly hooning past me with centimetres to spare. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s pleasure in enjoying the beach in this way but a few rules are worth remembering here too. The first is that there are limits on the assisted speed at which these bikes should travel and, when sharing an area with pedestrians – especially where no lanes are marked – adequate sound warnings are essential when approaching from behind. This needs to be more that a quiet bike bell, I’d suggest, to be heard over the surf. At present I’m unaware of the use of anything.

  11. This is the best article you ever published on the dog menace in Suffolk Park,thanks! They should rename Suffolk Park to Dog City,there’s hardly ever a moment left without hearing some dog barking madly,but the Dog has become the god people pray to,their hideous „Love Insurance „…DOG is just GOD in reverse,how sad that the people need an animal they can make obedient and train instead forming meaningful relationships with fellow humans! Thanks for the guts to publish this,so appropriate to address the menace of the dogs!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

First Nations place-names under Ballina council spotlight

Greater efforts at reconciliation with First Nations people in the Ballina Shire when it comes to place-names is to happen after furious agreement at June’s council meeting.

Police seeking public assistance following Byron Bay assault

A serious assault in Byron Bay on Friday, 3 June, 2022 has led to police releasing further CCTV footage and another appeal for information from the public. 

Festival/Byron Council relations strained, motion passes

The operations manager of the Byron Music Festival says her attempts to run the event this year were cruelled by Byron Council staff, who allegedly provided organisers with false information and spoke to them like they were ‘idiots’.

Govt considers underwriting small energy retailers after Enova’s collapse

In the wake of the collapse of local green energy retailer, Enova, the NSW government say they are considering underwriting small energy retailers who face unfair market competition from large retailers who also generate electricity.