Angela Stankiewicz with her dogs at dog obedience school.
Angela Stankiewicz with her dogs at dog obedience school. Angela Kelly Ak

Socialise dogs to prevent attacks

IT has been a rough ride for the poor old pooch of late.

In light of widely-publicised recent dog attacks in the Rockhampton district, “man’s best friend” has been on the receiving end of a lot of negative press.

An unprovoked dog attack made headlines last September after a 59-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl were mauled.

The bad rap continued after a heavily pregnant Rockhampton woman was nearly attacked while walking her pup on New Year’s Eve.

Last week a Tungamull family spoke to The Morning Bulletin about their distress over nightly dog attacks on their livestock and family pet.

It is precisely because of attacks such as these that vice-president of Rockhampton Dog Obedience Club, Angela Stankiewicz, said that ensuring your dog was adequately trained was “extremely important”.

Ms Stankiewicz added that to ensure your beloved pet didn’t unexpectedly transform into the neighbourhood bully, “socialisation” was the key.

“Whether it’s a small dog or a massive dog, poodle to German shepherd, interaction and training is an important foundation for all,” she said.

Rockhampton Regional Council received 23 reports of dog attacks in December, 16 of which caused bite injuries to either a person or another dog.

Since July, more than 173 complaints about dog attacks have been received.

The dog obedience facility at Duthie Park offers a range of services, but Ms Stankiewicz commends the varied training methods as the secret to their success.

“We have a lot of people with different backgrounds,” Ms Stankiewicz said.

“If one instructor can’t help, then we have plenty of staff that can try other methods that may work better.”

With almost one dog attack every day in the Rockhampton region, the council said that it had adopted a zero-tolerance policy on irresponsible pet owners.

Classes at the Rockhampton Dog Obedience Club reopen on February 2 and range from puppy training and beginners through to advanced classes.

Alternatively, Rockhampton Regional Council is offering a free dog obedience program. Visit the council’s website to find out how to register as spaces are limited.

Angela’s Tips
  • Ensure there is supervised interaction with children
  • Socialise your dog with other dogs
  • Always walk your dog on a leash
  • Take your dog to obedience school

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