Dog owners warned to follow rules before taking furry friends to beach

Dog owners are being warned to make sure they're following the rules before taking their best friends to the beach.

And not following them can come back to bite.

Not that the dogs know it, but they were breaking the rules at a busy Auckland beach.

"People know you can't walk dogs but they do it - they've been doing it for years," one person told Newshub.

In a bid to make central city beaches like Takapuna safer and more enjoyable for all, Auckland Council's banned dogs during daytime hours in summer.

"Every summer there's always an increase in dogs where they shouldn't be or off lead when they're meant to be on leash, and that's why we do go out and patrol the beaches," Auckland Council's animal management west team leader Aaron Neary said.

Action usually starts with a friendly reminder but frequent rule breakers can face penalties.

"Usually we begin with education and a formal warning just so that they're aware that they were in breach of the rules and if they're repeat offenders and it's a little bit more of a serious breach then they may get an infringement notice," Neary said.

A fine that would set dog owners back $300.

"It's quite a hefty fine, but an important reason to make sure the rules are being obeyed," Neary said.

And while some dogs just want a day out, owners are being reminded that beaches are for everyone.

"It's a shared space and everyone deserves the courtesy of having peace on the beach when they're out for a walk. That includes other humans, it includes other dogs, especially unfamiliar dogs. Having your dog run up to an unfamiliar dog isn't great, and protecting the wildlife as well," dog behaviour consultant Erin Jones told Newshub.

Information on where you can and can't take dogs is publicly available.

"The information's available online so it's important to check your local council's website before visiting a beach with your dog," Neary said.

So owners are being encouraged to read up before unleashing their furry friends.