The importance of off-leash areas
Dog ownership can provide many health and social benefits for their owners. It also carries with it an obligation to care for the dog in a responsible fashion, and to ensure that the dog does not cause a nuisance to others. In recognition of the benefits of dog ownership, we provide a number of areas throughout the reserves and local beaches where dogs may be exercised off their leash. Some of these areas have access and time restrictions to allow other users to also enjoy the facilities.
Some important points to remember:
- dogs must remain under effective control of a competent person (over 16 years of age)
- owners are responsible for their dog's actions
- dogs must be registered and identified by means of a collar and tag
- dogs must be leashed at all times when outside designated off-leash areas
- dogs must remain at least 10 metres away from children's play facilities, BBQs and picnic areas
- dog faeces must be immediately removed and properly disposed of in the bins provided
- greyhounds, dogs declared dangerous and restricted breed dogs are prohibited in off-leash areas
- dog owners must comply with all provisions of the Companion Animals Act 1998
- these areas are subject to ongoing patrols and infringement notices will be issued to offenders.
Where are they?
We provide off-leash areas at the following venues:
- Minnamurra Headland
- Bombo Beach Headland (agility dog exercise park)
- Kaleula Reserve, Kiama
- Marsden Headland, Kiama
- Gerringong Headland
- Black Head, Gerroa
- Bombo Beach - swimming area - sunrise to sunset
- Werri Beach - swimming area - sunrise to sunset
- Jones Beach - swimming area - sunrise to sunset
Download our dog off-leash areas booklet for maps and conditions of use. Here is an additional page for the new Jones Beach dog off-leash swimming area.
The following area is currently under trial:
- on-leash swimming area at Trevethan Reserve, Minnamurra - a designated area in the Minnamurra River between the rail and road bridges
Click here for further information on this trial.
Some advice for off-leash users:
- your dog should be trained to consistently return to you in the face of distraction
- silent whistle recall training is recommended
- if you know your dog has doubtful social skills, is not trained to always come when it is called or is the fearful type, do not take the dog to any off-leash areas
- don't feed your dog before visiting an off-leash area. Let your dog know you are carrying food treats as this will keep him close by and his focus on you
- reward your dog with treats each time he returns or retrieves on command
- if your dog appears to be showing unwanted attention to, or interest in another person or dog, immediately reward it when it responds and place a collar and lead on it, and quietly move it away
- restrain your dog if asked and don't allow it to be a nuisance
- do not allow your dog to wander off exploring. Use your visit to the off-leash area for controlled exercise or play only
- keep your dog under control at all times. Keep your first visits to strict routine and your dog will still learn the drill
- keep play activities away from main walking tracks and other users
- ask any person approached by your dog to remain still until the dog has scented them. Do this if you are approached by another dog
- if your dog is approached by another while playing with toys, recall your dog. Restrain it and remove the toy so your dog won't feel that it needs to protect it from the other dog.
- if your dog approaches another person or dog, don't rush up yelling at your dog as this could incite it or the other dog into attacking. Quietly wait a reasonable distance away until the dogs have lost interest in each other. You should then call your dog, praise and reward it on its return.
Control over your dog and respect for the rights of local residents, other users and the environment are the keys to preserving these facilities.