Paws for thought

We have a dog. We walk our dog on and around the Byes every day and have done so for some time. Always off the lead.

I have never once come across or heard of a single example of an out of control dog. Not one. I could list the breeds and numbers of dogs that all play well together, some like ours that could well be classed as ‘dangerous’ by those that do not know them.

I have also never met a single dog breeder or trainer that has insisted a dog should be kept on a lead for their own good. Rather they all strongly advise you socialise your dog off the lead from an early age. By doing so they gain confidence, self-awareness, loyalty, recall, and importantly trust.

Every dog I have met off the lead on the Byes has shown those traits and been very friendly. They lose fear, the main cause of attacks by any animal – on four legs, or two. I am pleased to have met and now know many dog owners on the Byes that let their dogs run and play off the lead. And we all pick up poo.

A child or elderly person is no more likely to be attacked by a dog on the Byes than hit by a bicycle, a jogger, a falling chestnut, or a child’s frisbee. If a discussion needs to be had about the use of the Byes then OK, but please do not try to spread fear which for the large majority of people simply does not exist. If you do that then nobody wins.

A copy of this letter has been sent to Sidmouth Town Council.

Matt Booth

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Temple Street