Historically off-leash areas have not been subject to the same planning considerations as have most other public assets such as playgrounds, childcare centres, sport and recreation facilities, arts centres and so on.
Many land management agencies now recognise the need to accommodate space for dogs off the leash in consideration of the personal and social benefits that accrue to dog ownership.
However, some land management agencies, including LGAs (local government authorities) are providing for dog owners via fenced off-leash areas (DOG PARKS) without due consideration to a dog off-leash policy. Many land management agencies are not understanding of the management implications of fencing off-leash areas, particularly in relation to human and dog behaviour in these environments, risk management, and design and maintenance considerations. Some fenced off-leash areas are being installed in response to poor dog control and to address related complaints from other park users.
“Are we responding to the problem (of poor dog control) in the wrong way.” A Melbourne metropolitan councillor responding to numerous requests for fencing of off-leash areas by dog owners who cannot/will not control their dogs in line with dog control orders.