A corgi called Monty whose cattle herding instincts landed him in trouble with the council looks destined to suffer the indignity of being forced to wear a muzzle in public.

The Pembroke Welsh corgi's luck ran out when he bit the leg of Papamoa scooter rider Marjonna Millar.

She was riding a push scooter to keep up with daughter Samantha who was exercising her grandmother's dog, Chloe, at a fast jog. Details of her encounter last month with Monty, a breed favoured by the Queen, were disclosed to a council hearing on Thursday.

The first time that the mum and daughter went past Monty and his owner, she said the corgi had snarled. But it was on the return home that he found his mark.

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Mrs Millar said she cautiously slowed down and kept as far as possible to the side of the footpath when passing Monty the second time. Just as she was nearly past, he lunged and bit her on the calf below the knee, inflicting two small puncture marks and scratches that created a large bruise and swelling around the bite. It did not require medical treatment.

She said the reason she reported the incident was because of the potential for Monty to harm schoolchildren going past on scooters and bikes.

"A child would not have as much meat on their leg as me. The dog would get its mouth around it more," she told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend.

This week's hearing, chaired by Councillor Larry Baldock, heard evidence on the objection by Monty's owner to her dog being classified as menacing.

After waiting half an hour for the dog's owner to show up to support her objection, the hearing went ahead without her. Her identity was kept confidential.

Council animal services team leader Brent Lincoln said Monty's owner did not dispute that her dog had bitten Mrs Millar, but there was a difference of opinion around the circumstances of how it happened.

Monty's owner told him that the scooter rider had approached from behind and that Monty had reacted to the rider's leg brushing against him by nipping her on the leg.

Tauranga councillors Larry Baldock (left) and Terry Molloy hear from the council's animal services team leader Brent Lincoln (right front) on a challenge to a corgi being classified as menacing.
Tauranga councillors Larry Baldock (left) and Terry Molloy hear from the council's animal services team leader Brent Lincoln (right front) on a challenge to a corgi being classified as menacing.

Mr Lincoln said a dog's hearing was significantly better than a human's and it was unlikely to be taken by surprise.

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Corgis were not a breed associated with attacks. He said they were bred to nip at the heels of stock to keep them moving. Chasing and nipping was an instinctive behaviour, and this was what had happened at Papamoa.

Mr Lincoln said Monty was known to the council. In November 2015, the corgi reportedly chased a cyclist, barking and trying to bite his legs. A written warning was issued. Then in January this year, he reportedly snapped at another passing cyclist, but no action was taken because the complainant did not want to take it further.

Classifying Monty as menacing, which required the wearing of a muzzle in public, was the lowest level of action, considering the circumstances of the attack, he said. The owner walked him on a lead and had bought a muzzle.

Summing up what he had heard, Councillor Terry Molloy said it appeared to be straight forward.

The panel arrived at a decision behind closed doors but would not disclose the outcome until the objector had been informed.


Pembroke Welsh Corgi

• Lineage traced back to 1107.
• Welsh for dwarf dog.
• Bred to herd cattle.
• Favoured by British Royalty for 70 years.
• Ranked as the 11th smartest dog.