Dog owners urged to take responsibility

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by Alexia Johnston
All dog owners need to take responsibility for their pets if they want to change the public’s stance on current bylaws.
That was the advice from Nigel Trainor, of South Canterbury, who was last week named president of the New Zealand Kennel Club.
He said while the majority of dog owners were responsible, he hoped to see attitudes change among those who were not. Until then, dog bylaws in South Canterbury were unlikely to change, including those preventing dogs from walking along Caroline Bay during the warmer months.
“I think owners of dogs have got to become a lot more responsible … to start changing the public’s attitude towards dogs,” he said.
“It’s not the dogs that are the problem, it’s the owners.”
There was no easy solution, he said.
While many dog owners were good at picking up after their pet and ensuring it was well-behaved in public, some people were avoiding their responsibilities. Courses were available for people who wanted to learn how to manage their dog and to train it to behave, Mr Trainor said.
He would remain in his new role as president of the New Zealand Kennel Club until at least June next year, he said. That role would involve overseeing some events, along with New Zealand Kennel Club board meetings, which were held in Wellington. The board had 11 members.
The club oversees agility, obedience and conformation events.
Mr Trainor, who as South Canterbury District Health Board chief executive is no stranger to busy schedules and board meetings, attended his first event in his new capacity at the weekend, the South Canterbury Kennel Society’s annual championship show in Pleasant Point, where about 100 breeds of dog were represented.
He and his wife Robynne had five dogs, Mr Trainor said.
He was looking forward to getting to grips with his new role as president of the New Zealand Kennel Club, including working across all three disciplines and with the Ministry for Primary Industries in relation to the Animal Welfare Act.