Orange canines will have more room to run free with extra space dedicated as an off-leash area.
A wedge of green space between Lombardy Way and properties bounding Ploughmans Lane is being trialled by Orange City Council.
While dogs might be able to roam free, Orange City Council’s companion animals committee chairman Neil Jones said dogs couldn’t run wild.
“The dog still has to be under control, you have to be able to call it back,” Councillor Jones said.
Orange Pet Dog Training’s Pam Davis said off-leash areas could be positive for dogs, however animals needed to be well trained.
“If we have little dogs and big dogs all together, it can be a recipe for disaster,” Mrs Davis said.
“There should be 100 per cent recall, which is being able to get a dog back to you, even if there are other dogs or distractions.”
She said while some dogs could be friendly, others may find off-leash areas with other dogs intimidating.
“People need to be aware of how their dog feels, they need to understand their dog’s body language,” Mrs Davis said.
“Body language is more than a wagging tail, it’s stance, it’s facial expressions and behaviour.”
Cr Jones said a well-exercised dog was less likely to cause neighbourhood disturbances.
“We are wanting people to exercise their responsibilities as a dog owners by providing an opportunity for regular exercise for their dogs,” he said.
“[Dogs] shouldn’t be locked up all day in a backyard, they need to be exercised either on leash or in dedicated off-leash areas.”
There are 11 off-leash areas around Orange, including parts of Paul Park, Brendan Sturgeon Oval, Ridley Oval, Pilcher Park, Wirrabarra Walk, Bloomfield Park and Riawena Oval
Fenced off-leash areas are available at Anzac Park, Machin Park and the Showground.
MAP: Where can I take my dog off its leash in Orange?
The latest off-leash area was originally slated to become part of the Northern Distributor Road however it was now open space for growing residential areas.
“I would hope council recognises the opportunity this presents for a dedicated open area. It builds community,” he said.
Cr Jones said he hoped the incoming council will continue a push to open more off-leash areas for dogs.
He said North Orange would soon need additional off-leash areas for dogs north of Waratahs Sports Ground.
“We don’t want people to drive to off-leash areas, dog owners should be able to walk their dog on a leash and up to an off-leash exercise area.”