Hutchinson, L., Dai, A., Eglesfield, I., McQuillan-Reese, A., & Bayldon, R. (2021). Behaviour of dogs and their owners at key estuary ecological sites. University of Canterbury.

Supported by the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust as a 2021-2022 student project, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of current dog by-laws in place at the Ihutai estuary. To achieve this, the study focused on investigating the nature of the relationship between dogs and bird life in the estuary and how current dog by-laws could be improved. It asked what kind of behaviours dogs typically exhibit around the estuary, what estuary users thought about dog behaviours they had observed, and what estuary users thought about the current dog by-laws, if they knew about them at all.

Of the community members surveyed, most greatly appreciated being able to use the estuary for recreation and dog walking. However, not everyone knew about the by-laws in place, and the researchers found inadequate information available for dog owners about existing restrictions and the reasons for them. As a result, the study concluded by recommending further investigation into effective ways to educate the community about dog restrictions and their importance. It also recommended that barriers should be created along the estuary to better protect bird life.

Dog & Owner Estuary Behaviour - 2021

Dog & Owner Estuary Behaviour - Hutchinson et al., 2021