DOGS: All should be able to enjoy the beach

With reference to '˜Dog control zones may be helpful' (News Guardian, March 3), I agree it may be helpful, but to who?

Friday, 18th March 2016, 6:00 am

The odd child who may go on the beach in the winter months? Not that many.

Dogs are already banned during the nicest part of the year, and I have to ask, would the dog owners not like to be on the beach with their dogs on nice days in summer too?

Tynemouth beach is one of the ‘fairest’ beaches in the country. It allows dog walking freely over the winter months, and then dogs are restricted to a corner area in the summer months.

Some areas of the beach are ‘no dogs’ in the summer, so what does the writer want now?

I, for one, really enjoy taking my dog on the beach, meeting other dog owners, letting the dogs socialise and being given the chance to run free. Why should I be shoved into a ‘dog control’ area?

Yes, a child may be nervous of a dog being excited, but I admit, my dogs don’t like children, who run hysterically away when my dog approaches them (have parents not educated them to stand still when a dog approaches?), which in the dog’s defence, makes them bark with fear. So it’s not only children who are petrified.

I am very aware of when children are on the beach so I make the decision to either put the dog on an extended lead or leave the beach.

Everyone is entitled to the use of the beach, and as so many places are now not dog friendly, there are so few places that allow a dog to have free exercise. I think Tynemouth Long Sands offers a good compromise.

Dog owners have accepted they cannot enjoy nice, sunny, warm days walking and watching their dog enjoy some freedom.

Where else can they go, with more and more green areas being used up for housing, etc? The beach is fast becoming one of the few places that is still able to allow this.

Maybe the compromise could be that the beach could be cut into two sections, with one half for dogs and their owners/handlers and maybe ‘no children allowed’, and the other part for ‘no dogs allowed’ so the general public can not be in a place where they don’t want dogs.

The Long Sands are that – long. So why not separate the beach and allow everyone to use the beach all year round. This means everyone gets a fair chance of all weather situations.

How many dog owners reading this can tell a tale of a member of the public picking a row with them because they just don’t like dogs? And those who don’t like dogs won’t sneer. Dog owners will not feel shunned and tutted at, and the families and children, and even adults, who are scared of dogs can use the ‘dog free’ area.

The letter writer is very lucky to be able to be on the beach every day in the summer, especially as dogs are restricted at this time, so with this in mind, can the letter writer not accept a bit of fairness and understand that it is nice for the dog owners to walk with their dogs on the beach over the winter months, normally without the worry of frightened children?

They can’t have it all their own way, surely.

Think along naturist beaches, separate areas so all are happy.

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