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We've just had a discussion on the W5 about dogs after 2 of them growled and snapped at each other, frightening 2 small children          to my surprise, I got a lot of support when I voiced the opinion that dogs should be banned from urban areas where many families live    why should the Parkland Walk serve as a loo for so many local dogs, even the little green at the Crescent/Avenue roads junction is used   I've seen them put the 'package' in nearby dustbins   must be foul for the rubbish collectors   (I admit most pick up the mess but not all)    it isn't fair to the dogs either, they need space to run    I'm sorry some dog-owners will claim they need the companionship but it is wrong that children are scared, even when owners claim their dogs are 'safe'      SallyM

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I think it's impossible to ban dogs in certain areas Sally - how would that be policed?  I agree with your points above, but I still believe the onus is on the owner to be responsible in all matters of their pets.

That said I'd be in favour of bringing back a compulsory dog licence of at least £100 per pet - and a minimum age of 18 for ownership.  The fee would cover chipping and a training course for pet AND owner.

Too many kids using dogs as weapons these days, untrained and usually not on a leash; ridiculous that others are terrorised by a minority of idiots.

Hi Sally,

I agree with some of your points but also disagree with your last one about no dogs in urban areas.

Totally agreed that dog owners need to control their dogs and clean after them. That is being civic and respectful of others. Most do but yes sadly they are some who don't and that is not nice at all.

Children should be safe that goes without saying. Being scared of dogs is a completely different topic is my eyes but yes children threatened by untrained and dangerous dogs no no no.

As for banning dogs in urban area. I totally disagree, especially when it comes to our area. We are very privileged to live around so much green and if people want to have dogs (and be responsible dog owners) then it is one of the best place to do so. Some might also argue children are best raise in the country for the same reasons where do we stop if we start dictating who should be living in urban areas or not (not my opinion btw as I like living around a mixed community which includes lovely families).

The way I look at it, the woods and the parkland walk are for all to be enjoyed, dog, wildlife, children, parents, dogs owners, joggers, commuters. As long as people respect each other there is no reason why we can't all share the space. It's all about educating the users and respecting each other.

For the record I am neither a dog owner nor a parent but a regular user of the local green spaces (either walking or running). I like both meeting dogs and children as well as respectful dog owners and parents on my walks/runs. Most are really lovely. Let's keep the diversity but make people sensitive to others needs.

But totally get where you are coming from some people really need to be better dog owners, and like you I do get really annoyed when I see dog poos on the parkland walk.

Jeremy Paxman has had something to say about dogs and their owners. Writing in Waitrose Weekend magazine he said that he returned to England in time to join friends on a beautiful part of the Cornish coast. 

"On the beach, dog owners had been asked to clear up after their dogs," he said.

"A significant number of dog-owning morons had then deposited their plastic bags of dog**** alongside the path, in the car park, or hung them from trees.

"Left to the elements, the mess would have disappeared in a few weeks.

Paxman used to work for the BBC.

Paxman STILL works for the BBC   he is one of the best interviewers because he listens before continuing a subject    I was on the programme on which he made his debut; believe or not he was very shy and Sally Magnusson had to calm him down when he read comments people had made about his big nose   what a pity some viewers have nothing in their lives except the artists they like or dislike and feel they can say whatever they think with no consideration for the recipient!   

It would be my dream to live in a city, free from dogs (apart from guide dogs) - their mess poses serious health risks and the number of dangerous dogs in our city is unacceptable.  Sadly, I think it would be hard to make that a reality.  However, I do think much more could be done to improve the situation.  I would like to see people fined properly for allowing their dog to foul a public area - given that this mess can cause blindness, as well as a whole range of very serious diseases.  There is no need for a dog to foul the pavement - they should be trained to use the gutter or roadway - that way no residue is left behind for people to tread in.  I think we need to have a complete ban on dogs in small parks/green spaces and large areas of our bigger parks made 'dog-free'.  This would need to be policed.  High fines imposed could cover the costs, as well as the reintroduction of dog licences.  Since the park keeper was cut from Stationers Park, I have told countless dog owners that it is unlawful to bring their dog into the 'Children's Area' of the park - I have been met with hostility and abuse by the vast majority of owners, I would like to see the law enforced. 

I absolutely agree with Lucia's points   when I lived in Primrose Hill for many years, we campaigned successfully for a 'dogs only' area after my children and others were covered in dog mess   at the time, we also put forward the proposal that ten residents' signatures on a complaint should generate a fine   we didn't have mobiles in those days but I think the same principle could be used to fine motorists who phone whilst driving or for cyclists who persistently ride on pavements in busy areas    sounds like a police state?   no, a community respecting the majority! 

The British love affair with their dogs is Ages Old and like it or not it would do more harm than good to try and change it or police it


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