For various reasons, K9s should be on a leash while they are accompanying you on your mountain hikes.
They need to be kept on the path at all times. When a dog wanders off on it’s own:-
- They may pass waste in the field, and since there is no real record of quantities of GM products in dog food, any possible traces thereof will be transferred into nature. If this is the case, then there is no telling what the impact may be in decades to come. These will have some kind of negative effect on the insects, birds and the vynbos.
- They could end up being lost.
- They could be bitten by an insect, spider, scorpion or a snake.
- They may end up chasing after a scent of an indigenous rodent or mammal, or after the scent of another “off leash” dog.
- Running off path could result in your K9 going over an edge, or end up being stuck on a ledge as well.
- In the event of a dog being lost or injured, a Search and Rescue mission may have to be launched, and this will involve resources that are already stretched and under pressure.
- Your K9 could end up being attacked by another “unsocial” of leash dog, and things could get ugly too.
- In certain cases, K9 diseases could be transferred to the indigenous fauna. As it is, our baboon population has already been affected by the transfer of human diseases to them. People swimming with dolphins should also be discouraged, for the same reason.
- “Off leash” dogs also adds to erosion.
Having “off leash” dogs in groups should NOT be encouraged.
More and more folk are making use of “dog walking” services. These services include walking your dog, together with those belonging to other families.
Some of these “dog walkers” will make use of our nature conservation areas, open veld and parks, as well as the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP).
It has to be extremely difficult for a dog walking service to be in total command of your dog, while he or she has up to twelve other dogs in the group.
For the above reasons and more, the TMNP has introduced the system of Activity Cards, to be used for dog walking in the areas under their control. Please click here for more information.
You have to be in control of your dog while walking on the mountain.
Let’s enjoy our natural surroundings responsibly, in the interests of the safety of our K9 friends and other outdoor users as well. And of course, in the interests of nature, and nature conservation too.
The Hikers Network