Sicamous dog owners -- please remember that Sicamous has an Animal Control Bylaw that includes the requirement to leash dogs. This Bylaw is in place to protect you and your dog and promote quality of life, civic responsibility and positive relationships between neighbours in the municipality. Should an aggressive animal be off-leash or if you have problems with off-leash dogs, be sure to report it to Bylaw Enforcement. Contact Bylaw Enforcement by phone at 250-836-2777, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the online form found here.
Why does the District have a requirement to leash dogs?
It is understandable to want your canine to have the freedom to run without restraint, free to be unfettered and unrestricted. However, there can be consequences for both your dog and other dogs.
An unleashed dog that is free to run is also free to approach other dogs without confines. The best-trained dog is still an animal with instincts and may, when provoked or otherwise stimulated, behave out of character. Leashed dogs and unleashed dogs may be injured in an altercation. Owners may also be injured while trying to break up a skirmish.
One animal being off-leash and another dog leashed creates a socially unequal situation. This is the perfect recipe for a fight to break out. In an ideal situation, both dogs would be leashed and on equal footing. The dogs would be allowed to come in contact only when agreed upon by both owners and only when both dogs are open to the greeting.
Types of Dogs Experiencing Problems with Off-Leash Dogs
- Senior Dogs – An older dog approached by an off-leash dog may be overwhelmed or feel threatened. This is an unequal position for the elderly pup to be in and they may become aggressive or simply cower.
- Dogs recovering from Medical Procedures, Illness, or Injury – These dogs are fragile and don’t need another animal interfering with their healing process, no matter how “friendly” they are.
- Shy Dogs – A timid dog may also be traumatized by an unwelcome dog coming toward them. Some dogs do not like to socialize and should not be forced into it. Dog owners who allow their dogs off-leash and cannot control them create an unsafe situation for shy dogs, real or perceived.
- Fearful Dogs – Some dogs are just outright afraid of other dogs. Perhaps they are small and larger animals intimidate them. Or they don’t like to be approached by dogs they don’t know. Anytime your dog finds an experience overwhelming it should be avoided.
- Potentially Aggressive Dogs – Some dogs may become aggressive when they feel threatened. A dog flying toward them can cause even the best-trained, even-tempered animal to become combative, feeling the need to defend itself.