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Old 11.12.2018, 17:57
Tomasito Tomasito is offline
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Re: Irresponsible pet owner

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I'm sorry to hear that the owner did not see that her dog made you uncomfortable and failed to then take appropriate action.

As an FYI in canton Zürich dogs are indeed allowed off lead, unless in an area otherwise signed, or a type of area that falls under the general restriction list. Additionally the federal TSchV encourages off lead exercise for those dogs appropriately trained, where cantonal and local law allows.

But that said, all dog owners should understand that even when cantonal or local law allows off lead running that is not a license to run riot. Dogs must be under control at all times and not bother other people. 'Control' may be either voice control when reliably trained or on lead if training is not yet at the point where recall is reliable and immediate.

There are two legal points: Dogs may be off lead, but also:

9.1 from the ZH cantonal Hundegesetz:

Hunde sind so zu halten, zu führen oder zu beaufsichtigen, dass sie weder Mensch noch Tier gefährden, belästigen oder in der bestimmungsgemässen und sicheren Nutzung des frei zugänglichen Raumes beeinträchtigen und die Umwelt nicht gefährden (§ 9 Abs. 1 HuG/ZH).

(Roughly: Dogs are to be kept, led, or supervised in such a way that they do not endanger, annoy or impair humans or animals in the intended and safe use of publicly accessible areas, and that they do not endanger the environment.)

So if your dog is off lead you must still have him under control at all times. If your dog's recall is imperfect, if your dog tends to run too far from you - time to re-leash.

And even under standard etiquette and basic decency it is obvious that dogs should not be allowed to run up to or contact people with out their permission. Allowing unwanted contact is wrong, ill mannered - and dangerous for both people and dogs. When asked, the polite thing to do is to immediately recall the dog and kept close or on lead.

You can read more about the ZH dog laws in this summary from Tier Im Recht: https://www.tierimrecht.org/de/recht/hunderecht/zurich/

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If you felt the dog was 'extraordinarily' aggressive and that you were threatened, you could make a report to the cantonal Veterinäramt. Here is the form:
https://veta.zh.ch/internet/gesundhe...170630-def.pdf

(But to be honest, unless you know the name of the owner this is not very likely to go anywhere.)

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When I encounter difficult owners I have found the easiest way to get the point across is to quote chapter and verse of the cantonal dog law. About half the people I run into say that they had no idea... and many do try to do better next time.

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Yet again I will mourn the badly thought out decision to do away with the SKN classes, and hope that ZH does not follow suit and do away with the List 1 course requirements. While the former was far from perfect and the latter should have applied to all dog owners regardless of size, mandatory courses at least gave owners the basic information needed to help their dogs live well in our human society. We have seen so much backsliding since the abolition.

Too many dog owners do not understand their responsibilities under federal, cantonal, and local law. Or under basic etiquette and common decency.


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As to your wanting to kick the dog - that is a very bad idea, for many reasons but not the least because you will likely end up getting hurt.

To understand how both dog owners and non-owners who encounter dogs should comport themselves in order that both groups can live in some semblence of harmony, the ZH Veterinäramt has put out a Code Of Conduct for Dog Owners and Non Owners, conveniently in English:

https://veta.zh.ch/internet/gesundhe...12englisch.pdf

When you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation with a dog, please follow the advice given here.
Thanks a lot for the usefull info! It's all clear now. Made my day.

Last edited by Ace1; 05.01.2019 at 11:37. Reason: fixed quote
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