MAN'S best friend finally has a place to run, jump and play in Emerald, but confusion has set in for dog owners.
Why is the front of the off-leash dog park not fenced?
Balanced Canine Training instructor Sharon Lee regularly runs agility classes at the Rifle Range Rd park and, while she welcomed the Central Highlands Council's installation of the park, she said it was baffling why only three sides were fenced.
"It's great for Emerald and a lot of people are starting to use it," Mrs Lee said on Sunday during one of the free classes.
"But our main concern is there are a lot of puppies around that don't have the necessary training."
Training is particularly important, she said, because the front of the park ran parallel to the busy Rifle Range Rd.
"We can't expect most dogs using the park to have 100% reliable recall," she said.
"It's a busy road with lots of distractions."
As the park is on a trial basis with the CHRC, Mrs Lee said users were being judged on how the facility was maintained.
"But when the front isn't fenced, there's nothing to stop roaming dogs from coming into the park," she said.
"It could spread disease and, although we have to pick up after our own dogs, who is going to pick up after the random dogs?"
There is no doubting the popularity and support for the off-leash dog park, as about 10 dog owners took their pets through drills and skills sessions with Mrs Lee on Sunday.
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