A total of 224 dogs classified as either dangerous or menacing are living in the Western Bay.
Following the attack on Christchurch toddler Aotea Coxon, the Bay of Plenty Times conducted a survey to see how many dogs were on the loose and found three such animals in just 35 minutes.
Tauranga City Council manager of animal services John Payne said the council relied on the public as their "eyes and ears" and wanted to be informed of any roaming dogs.
Council staff would attend whenever possible and encouraged residents to restrain roaming dogs themselves if they felt comfortable and safe doing so.
Mr Payne said it was an owner's responsibility to control their animal and confine it inside a fenced property. But some dogs showed more aggression when chained up and owners were better off having their dog in a kennel, where they were not approachable and didn't feel threatened.
However, it's not your typical american pit bull you only need to watch out for.
Tauranga residents have been bitten more times by german shepherds and fox terriers than american pit bulls since 2003.
Mr Payne said dogs not classified by the Government as menacing featured far more prominently in dog biting than those that were.
As a result, individual dogs of many breeds outside the Government's criteria have been labelled ``dangerous dogs' by Tauranga City Council after displaying aggressive behaviour in our city.
Since 2003, animal service records show german shepherds have bitten 18 Tauranga people, while american pit bull terriers have bitten 15.
Fox terriers have bitten 17 people and labradors, 12 people.
Interestingly, two of the four breeds of dogs classified by the Government as menacing _ brazilian fila and japanese tosa _ are recorded as not having bitten anyone in Tauranga since 2003 and only one person has reported an attack by a dogo argentino.
In Tauranga there are 91 of these four ``menacing' breeds registered. In Western Bay District Council zone there are 81.
There are 35 more dogs of different breeds, classified by Tauranga animal services as dangerous because they have displayed aggressive behaviour.
In Western Bay of Plenty District there are 17.
Many of the statistics on dog bites didn't always match public perception, Mr Payne said.
"Every dog has the potential to be dangerous," he said.
"The criminal and social behaviour of an owner has more influence over dog behaviour than breed ever will.
"A dog is the product of its environment and it doesn't matter what the breed. Just because it looks like a certain breed doesn't mean it's aggressive."
Mr Payne said it was a heroic act by Peter Macintosh who saved the life of two-year-old Aotea Coxen in Christchurch on Sunday when she was mauled by a staffordshire-cross.
"When confronted by an aggressive dog, stand still. Dogs have a reflex to chase moving objects. Dogs are also likely to bite from behind, so slowly turn ... keep the dog in your sight but do not stare it in the eye," he cautioned.
He added that if there were two dogs fighting, people should not become involved, other than by creating a distraction.
TrustPower's community relations manager Graeme Purches, said threatening dogs were the "biggest occupational health and safety issue for our business".
Meter readers attended training courses on how to deal with aggressive dogs.
New Zealand Post spokeswoman Fiona Mayo said some Auckland posties were trialling a noise product aimed at deterring threatening dogs.
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