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  #61  
Old 21.12.2011, 19:18
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

Some people should be on leashes!
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  #62  
Old 21.12.2011, 19:21
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

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And does that respect not apply to the gun totting humans you allude to that shoot animals in the forest?
Actually, those gun-toting humans you refer to are foresters, employed by local government, whose task it is to ensure that the forests remain healthy, including the wildlife in it. Dogs running wild in a forest with young new born deer..well someone loses out and, unfortunately, it isn't generally the dog. The dogs chase the deer who sometimes end up dying of heart failure due to exertion and fright.
Now, I am sure that you have your dog under control, but the forester doesn't know you from Eve or Adam and his job is not necessarily to ask questions.
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  #63  
Old 21.12.2011, 19:23
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

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Some people should be on leashes!
That's not unknown either, but should perhaps be discussed on another thread and not in front of the children.....
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  #64  
Old 21.12.2011, 19:26
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

lol, indeed.
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Old 22.12.2011, 11:46
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

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Actually, those gun-toting humans you refer to are foresters, employed by local government, whose task it is to ensure that the forests remain healthy, including the wildlife in it. Dogs running wild in a forest with young new born deer..well someone loses out and, unfortunately, it isn't generally the dog. The dogs chase the deer who sometimes end up dying of heart failure due to exertion and fright.
Now, I am sure that you have your dog under control, but the forester doesn't know you from Eve or Adam and his job is not necessarily to ask questions.
Hi Snoopy

That the foresters were the ones shooting the dogs wasn't clear to me before. I was under the assumption that they were hunters.

However, I still think that shooting the dogs is a little extreme. A shot in the air will startle practically all domesticated dogs (not trained hunting dogs) and would halt any ongoing chase. That and a suitable fine would be more appropriate in my opinion.

If the measure is to protect the young creatures, does this mean that these restrictions are only in place for a period of the year? or are they all year round?
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Old 22.12.2011, 11:56
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

Common sense all gone out of the window again, surely. Our dog is not good with other dogs, we adopted here when she was 8 and it was a bit late to train her. But she never ever chases other wild animals or cattle, etc. Plenty of small paths in the woods where I can take her off the leash, knowing that there is one chance in a million I'd meet another dog- and anyway she stays with me, never more than 10 m away and is good to return to voice. If I walk her on the little road near us, where there are often other dogs and children, I just keep my eyes and ears open and am ready to leash her well in advance and will walk off to the side and hold her had away to avoid any confrontation. I've never ever heard of a dog being shot here unless it was seriously worrying cattle and not with owner (and even then, I can't remember one instance here ever).
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Old 22.12.2011, 12:57
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

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If the measure is to protect the young creatures, does this mean that these restrictions are only in place for a period of the year? or are they all year round?
Upacs, you will need to learn the restrictions for the places you walk - these will vary. (As with everything in Switzerland - check local rules rather than rely on generalizations.)

So generally: ( )

Look at the cantonal laws, summarized here:
http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...echt/index.php

If an area is signed as nature conservation, your dog MUST be on lead, and may not leave the designated path. These will often be by wetlands, but can be just about anywhere. This applies all year round. Fines can be issued in many places, and repeat scofflaws might find themselves in court. Some areas have random patrols (my corner of SZ does, CHF 100 on the spot fine), but everywhere the trails are under the watchful eye of fellow hikers - and there is always one who keeps a finger poised on the speed dial button of his phone, ready to do his civic duty and call the police. (Perhaps an exaggeration, but it calling the police to report infractions is part of the local culture. )

Dogs are forbidden in the Swiss National Park (Category 1 Wildnisgebiet). If an area is designated a 'Wildnisgebiet' of any category, you need to check regulations. Most likely not allowed, or severely restricted.

Forest areas generally require dogs on lead during the spring to protect the young. If your dog is off lead, the forester has the right to shoot him. Most foresters are indeed a good lot and would prefer not to kill a critter - heck, love of animals is why many chose the job. Instead you would likely be warned, possibly fined, etc. But don't count on it, for your dog's sake - they have the right to shoot a dog who presents a danger to wildlife. (And yes, the act of running off lead is considered a danger.)

Dogs also should be on lead during hunting season, to protect your dog. Every year owners disregard this warning, and every year a few poor dogs get mistaken for a deer and shot. You have no come-back from the hunters if they shoot your dog; you were at fault for letting the dog run off lead at that time. You need to consult your Gemeinde to find out when hunting is allowed, and where.

Dogs are generally forbidden from cemeteries, swimming beaches, post offices, grocery stores (or any shop selling food, but not restaurants), children's playgrounds.

Many public buildings do not allow dogs.

Dog are allowed at a private establishment (restaurant, office, etc. ) at the discretion of the owner.

Dogs are generally required to be on lead along heavily trafficked roads.

Some cantons/Gemeinden require dogs to be on lead at night.

Noise laws apply everywhere - and barking is considered the worst of all sins. Don't let your dog make noise before 7am, between 12-14:00, and after 10 PM. (Local variances may exist.) A woof or two at other times will be tolerated, but extended barking is not. Folks have been kicked out of their housing, or forced to rehome their dogs because of this.

You must pick up after your dog; there are Robidogs everywhere - these are bag dispensers/ dog waste cans. Neglecting to clean up after your dog can result in a fine in many areas. (See the above for civic-minded curtain twitchers.) Please take special care in a farm field, as dog excrement can be dangerous to livestock.

And finally, ask at your Gemeinde for local laws.

---

Are these laws enforced?

Again, it depends. Some area are very strict. Some very lax. Some go through periods of enforcement to send a message, and then turn a blind eye later. Sometimes the laws are not applied equally: Owner A may get the book thrown at him, Owner B just a nod and a wink. Sometimes the law is only applied after a neighbor/bystander, etc. complains. Sometimes dog-related complaints are used as a weapon in a grudge that is really about something else entirely.

You need to be aware of what the law is - and make your own decisions.

---
It's not all doom and gloom though. Under the federal Animal Protection Law (TSchV), dog owners are specifically encouraged to give their dogs off lead exercise daily - it is recognized that this is necessary for their well-being. You will find a dog-friendly area - just ask fellow dog owners where the good places are locally. Switzerland is no longer as dog-friendly as it was 14 years ago when I first moved here, but it still is largely dog-tolerant. My well-behaved mutts are still welcome at the local pizzeria (although I'd never be foolish enough to push my luck with the Belltie ), the dogs can still have fun climbing mountain trails, etc.

All in all, Switzerland is still a pretty good place to be a dog.

---

But one must understand that having a dog is viewed as a privilege, not a right - and sometimes the 'need to run free under the TschV' is used against a dog owner. For instance, SZ has a general leash law, the only canton which does. Several dog owners tried to challenge this, as it seems to contradict the federal law. But so far (no case has gone very far, to my knowledge), the interpretation is that these laws do not conflict, as a dog owner could provide private space in which to exercise a dog. And if an owner can't do that, the question arises: should that owner even have a dog?
---

Many of us here offering advice are canine-crazy ourselves; because we love dogs we are trying to put you in the picture as to the Zeitgeist in Switzerland. We may be dismayed by the increasing restrictions, but realistically we have to live in the here and now, and we have to find a way to give our dogs an 'artgerecht' life despite the hurdles.

In the last 5 years there has been a change in attitudes; much of the anti-dog hysteria has now calmed down, but it has left a lasting mark. Unlike many other countries, anything can be brought to a people's referendum; the strictest dog control law (ZH) came into being following a public vote. Yep, the majority of our good citizens voted for increased dog control. The Geneva laws were also a result of a public vote. So you see what we are up against - and you can see why we are urging good canine citizenship at all times. We are all walking a thin line - if the tide of public opinion swings farther... well, let's hope it doesn't. Towards that end, we need to practice responsible ownership at all times.

For our dogs' sake.

Last edited by meloncollie; 22.12.2011 at 17:03.
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  #68  
Old 22.12.2011, 13:57
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

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Hi Upac

Don't take too seriously the anti dog extremists on this forum. There are plenty of places to let your hound off the lead, including forests. Once you have done a few investigative walks with your dog in your new location you will see that there are many people walking their dogs off lead and you will know the right time and place for it too. My lab gets plenty of opportunities to run free and socialise with other free and peace loving hounds.

There are reasons for keeping dogs on a lead in the forest. The forest is not the natural habitat for a dog, but it is for other animals. Responsible dog owners respect the rights of animals who live in the forest, and that does not make us anti dog extremists.

Let your dog off leash in the forest and it could be shot. It happened to the dog of someone I know.
Yes Mrs Doolittle, there are reasons for everything. I would like to point out that I have read many threads on this forum with very anti dog posts submitted. Also note that I specifically used "on this forum" as opposed to "on this thread" but you were inclined to take it as a personal insult which was not intended nor given.

However you are rather the sensationalist, "Let your dog off leash in the forest and it could be shot." although admittedly possible I expect it's pretty rare and not all forests have gun toting rangers. But I expect you know that and chose to exclude it.
And this one "Responsible dog owners respect the rights of animals who live in the forest, and that does not make us anti dog extremists." . Another statement that shows your lack of comprehension influencing your emotional outpouring. Then you finish off with " It happened to the dog of someone I know." , straight from the schoolyard that one, did you poke your tongue out as you typed it?

I thought my previous post provided reasonable information for someone (Upacs) who was concerned with not being able to let their dog off the lead in Switzerland and that there are many places that do allow it whether it be signposted or not regulated at all. I was just trying to add some balance and colour to your rigid black and white conformist views.
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  #69  
Old 22.12.2011, 14:53
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

The only dogs around here that are off the leash without supervision, and at times a pain to others, kids and dog owners, are the farmers' dogs. One of the local farmers had several complaints about his dog attacking others and he was told to keep it on a chain. He did - and the poor dog was on said chain day in , day out, without protection in rain, full sun, etc.- so people (rightly) complained about that. So he shot it - b*******d - to teach 'the complainers' a lesson.
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Old 22.12.2011, 15:40
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

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Yes Mrs Doolittle, there are reasons for everything. I would like to point out that I have read many threads on this forum with very anti dog posts submitted. Also note that I specifically used "on this forum" as opposed to "on this thread" but you were inclined to take it as a personal insult which was not intended nor given.

However you are rather the sensationalist, "Let your dog off leash in the forest and it could be shot." although admittedly possible I expect it's pretty rare and not all forests have gun toting rangers. But I expect you know that and chose to exclude it.
And this one "Responsible dog owners respect the rights of animals who live in the forest, and that does not make us anti dog extremists." . Another statement that shows your lack of comprehension influencing your emotional outpouring. Then you finish off with " It happened to the dog of someone I know." , straight from the schoolyard that one, did you poke your tongue out as you typed it?

I thought my previous post provided reasonable information for someone (Upacs) who was concerned with not being able to let their dog off the lead in Switzerland and that there are many places that do allow it whether it be signposted or not regulated at all. I was just trying to add some balance and colour to your rigid black and white conformist views.
Mrs. D was calling it the way it is. If you want to look at the situation through rose-tinted glasses, go ahead. Virtually all Gemeinde have a "Forstdienst" unless you are somewhere in the middle of Zurich. The fact is, if your dog gets shot for being off the leash and chasing deer, it doesn't really matter what the situation is in other forests, does it?
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Old 22.12.2011, 17:10
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

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Is there a resource where I could see where dogs are and are not allowed to be off lead? particularly for the Zurich area
Unfortunately, no - it all depends on the gemeinde to set the rules. There was an area near ours at the lake where dogs used to be able to run free but now there is a sign saying to leash them. In the winter, no one really cares (some owners let their dogs off) but when the tourists arrive in the summer, all the dogs miraculously go back on their leads.

There are loads of places where you can let the dog off lead. Do a search on the forum and there is a particular thread listing all the off-leash places. Alternatively, post again when you've moved and tell us which area you land up in and I am sure fellow dog owners in ZRH will point you to the nearest off lead space.
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Old 26.05.2012, 10:21
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Re: Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)

My point years ago was that you have people who don't like cats in a similar matter as others do dogs. People don't like dogs off leash outside. But the problem for people who don't liking cats is that the owner nearly never is in the neighbourhood. They just roaming freely on the street. You normally don't see a dog roam freely on the street without the owner nearby. Yes, maybe on a farm but not in the city.

I have lots of annoying cats in my street. For the annoying Garfield cat which always walk before your feet to the cat killing birds and leaves them on the street. Or the cat that attacks your garbage bags. I think cat owners should be more considerate in this regard.
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