Gawler undertakes dog behaviour management initiative

Gawler Council in South Australia is believed to be the first Council to form a partnership with the professional dog behaviour management organisation Bark Busters, to provide professional advice to dog owners.

“The main objective of this partnership is to reduce Council’s costs in managing nuisance dog behaviour, while reducing the instances of nuisance and often dangerous dog behaviour in our community,” said Council’s Senior Manager Economic and Community Services, Sue Carter.

The program recognises the responsibility of dog owners to manage the behaviour of their dogs, to prevent any nuisance or dangerous behaviours. It provides owners with the incentive, advice and training to ensure safe, happy and well controlled dogs. Last year alone, Council’s General Inspector attended to approximately 130 dog complaints.

“The partnership is premised on the belief that, by facilitating more specialised advice, dog nuisance behaviour will be more effectively minimised,” Sue Carter said. “The General Inspector will continue to attend complaints, offer first level advice and issue expiations as appropriate.

“Based, however, on his assessment of the situation he will then leave contact details, brochures and a discount voucher towards the first consultation with Bark Busters. The dog owner may then make contact with Bark Busters and pay the balance of the initial and any subsequent consultations. Council staff will only encourage customers to contact the organisation when the behaviour of the dog is causing a nuisance to neighbours, or is potentially dangerous. There will be no pressure for them to do so, nor implied consequences should they choose not to.”

The program includes training of Council officers to minimise the chances of dog bites, advise on dog management and receive reports regarding dogs which there have been complaints about.

For further information contact Sue Carter on (08) 8522 9211.