Tauranga City Council is reminding dog owners that while they might enjoy a walk along the beach, their pets aren't always allowed to tag along with them.
The team has recently started patrolling Mt Maunganui and Papamoa beaches, to educate owners on their responsibilities and raise awareness of restricted exercise areas.
Animal services team leader Brent Lincoln said dog owners could exercise their pets almost anywhere in Tauranga as long as the animal was under control. However, there were some places where owners were not allowed to take their dog, for ecological reasons or because the areas were used intensively by the public.
We get a lot of complaints about dogs being allowed to run up to people. Even though the dog may not do anything, this can still be intimidating and is not acceptable dog control.
"These patrols are all about us getting out there to ask our community to do the right thing and exercise their dogs on our beaches within the rules - that is, control their dogs effectively, dispose of their droppings properly, keep them on leads when required, and keep them away from restricted areas."
Mr Lincoln said the patrols were introduced to help manage Tauranga's increasing dog population and to let dog owners know what was expected of them.
"As we all know, Tauranga is growing, and with more people comes more dogs," he said.
"We want to continue to welcome dogs on our parks, reserves and some areas of our beaches. We're getting out there in the community to help our dog owners to do the right thing, so everyone can enjoy our beautiful open spaces."
Dogs must be leashed if they are likely to cause danger, distress or nuisance, or if walking near a public road. Dog owners must also carry a leash at all times in case they need to secure their pet.
"Even the best trained dog can be unpredictable at times, so owners should put their dog on a lead whenever approaching another animal or person and then release it again when safely past," Mr Lincoln said.
"We get a lot of complaints about dogs being allowed to run up to people. Even though the dog may not do anything, this can still be intimidating and is not acceptable dog control."
Dogs must be on a leash at all times in Matua Salt Marsh and in the Papamoa Dune Wilderness Area between Papamoa Domain and Taylor Road.
Dogs are not allowed in the following areas:
• Mount Maunganui main beach, from Moturiki (Leisure) Island up to and including Mauao
• Pilot Bay from Mauao to Salisbury Avenue
• On Omanu Beach, within 200 metres of Omanu Surf Club premises
• On Papamoa Beach, within 200 metres of the Papamoa Surf Club premises
Parks and reserves
• Elms Reserve
• Mauao including the base track
• Moturiki (Leisure) Island
• McLaren Falls Park
• Papamoa Hills Park
• Inside any fenced children's playground or within 10 meters from any play equipment inside any unfenced children's playground
• Otumoetai Pa Historic Reserve