A 20 percent rise in the number of dogs roaming streets in Hastings has prompted a warning from the council.
In the 12 months to June 30, Hastings District Council receive 1793 complaints about dogs loose in public places and 1082 dogs were impounded for roaming.
While out on the loose dogs can toilet in inappropriate places, tear open rubbish bags, worry other people's pets and stock, fight with other dogs and chase cars and bikes, council officers say.
That behaviour creates more public outcry about dogs, which leads to tighter laws and higher dog licence fees to pay for increased dog patrolling.
Allowing dogs to roam also increases the chances of them being stolen.
Council policy is that if a dog is registered and it is the first time it has been caught roaming, and it is not the subject of recent complaints or classified dangerous or menacing, it will be returned to its home address.
Under the law a dog can be destroyed or seized if it is attacking a person or stock or protected wildlife.
The main things that will discourage a dog from wandering are neutering, or spaying for bitches, regular feeding, good fencing, and lots of play and interaction with the family so it does not get bored.
Neutering works best at a young age as once roaming becomes a habit it is difficult to break.