Meeting Room:



Tuesday 4 April 2023


Reception Lounge
Auckland Town Hall
301-305 Queen Street


Komiti mō te Waeture me te Haumarutanga / Regulatory and Safety Committee








13        Determination of an objection to a menacing dog classification by Linda Dumont

A.      04 April 2023, Regulatory and Safety Committee,  Item 13 - Determination of an objection to a menacing dog classification by Linda Dumont, Supporting Documents         3

Regulatory and Safety Committee

04 April 2023



Auckland Council – Menacing Dog Title Objection – 4th April

Presentation Notes:

1 Introduction

·      Morena, good morning

·    Thank you for this opportunity to be here today to delivery my objection.

·    Brief Introduction about myself Linda Dumont.

I am 52 years old I live on Waiheke Island I’m a professional technology manager at Vodafone (One). I have lived in NZ for 17 years Im single with no kids so I’m with my Labradors 24/7.

·    Statement – I am genuinely sorry for what happened in this incident, I have taken this matter very seriously and apologise that we all even need to be here today to discuss this matter.


2.  Summary of what I would like to talk through today in this session with aim of the Safety Committee taking this information into consideration for your decision on the Menacing Dog Classification 

1.    Talk through statements from other park walkers on dog ‘Blue’ (their experiences)

2.    The Incident and Nature of the incident that took place with dog ‘Blue’.

3.    Explanation of the Behavioural Clinic Training | Ongoing Training | Training Videos of demonstrated progress. (in action)

4.    An overview of Fern’s temperament

5.    Closing Statement

(35 mins)


Throughout my talk this morning I will be speaking about 3 dogs:

Blue – is the dog what was injured he also has another dog that walks with him called Kristy.

Fern – is the dog who inflicted injury.

Cooper – is my second 12-year-old, very deaf male Labrador that Fern lives with


1     Statements from other people about Dog ‘Blue’

 Lizi Woods
– A woman that is a regular park walker with 2 Labradors made a statement on my behalf to verity the type of dog ‘Blue’ is and her experience of ‘Blue’.   This is not her entire statement (which is attached) only some of the words I have lifted out.


·    Blue and Kristy came racing over to my dogs from at least 50 metres away and with them being working breed dogs they are extremely fast and run at speeds beyond what a human could keep up with or catch.

·    Blue launching itself off all four paws up and at the front of my body (Lizi Woods) almost knocking me down to the ground.

·    The owners began to try repeatedly to call their dogs away without success.

·    It was a worrying and nerve-wracking encounter that left me determined to avoid them in the future as much as possible.

·    There was a lack of control.

·    These random encounters - of their dogs approaching us from long distances - occurred several more times over the following months.

·    the male dog ‘Blue’ leapt up at my father’s front (Terry Woods) very nearly knocking him off his feet.

·    it becomes nearly impossible to avoid them as the dogs 'seek' you out.

·    This was an accident waiting to happen.


Ursula Hoult – Dog Walker that frequents the park. This is not her entire statement (which is attached) only some of the words I have lifted out which indicates her experience of dog ‘Blue’


·    I was in the park on the day Linda was knocked over by the two dogs in question. When I saw her in the carpark after the event she was shaken and limping.

·    On a separate occasion while I was walking in the park, I have also had experience of the two dogs being off-leash and one of them rushing up to the dogs I was walking.

·    The dog in question ran up to us from over a full football field away. They did not respond to their owner’s call to them.

2.  The Incidents and Nature of incidents with Dog ‘Blue’

·    Statement:  If a lovely dog wondered over in a nice way to say hello to either of my dogs and this incident occurred, unprovoked, I would not be sitting here today I would categorically agree with the menacing classification

·    But this is not what happened, what happened was not one incident with dog ‘Blue’ it was
4 separate incidents which took place with the same dog ‘Blue’ running
‘into us’ not ‘up to us’ but ‘into us’ at an exceptionally high speed and totally uncontrolled in a worrying harassing herding manner.

·    On each occasion we were over 50m or more, walking away from Dog ‘Blue’.

·      An explanation of each of these incidents

The first 2 incidents of ‘Blue’ running ‘into us’ I kept both my dogs under control, but we were hassled, it was a worrying and nerve-wracking experience.  These were not good interactions with this dog Blue.


I spoke to Blue’s owner after the 2nd incident, I approached him and said that one of my dogs don’t like other dogs running ‘into them’ in the manner that Blue does uncontrolled.  I said it’s my responsibility to get out of your way and create distance to stop this reoccurring. But I asked him that when he sees me walking away from him in order to create distance, if he would be kind enough to keep his dogs under control while I did this and that would be really appreciated. 

He said yes certainly.  But he never did, on two further incidents.


I spoke to blue’s owner a second time too very shortly after this.  Blue ran from the football field over to the public car park (a leashed only area) ~ 20m to my parked car that I was trying to get my dogs out of, he was jumping up at the car windows and barking at my dogs.  I asked his owner to please leash him and again said that he needs to keep his dog under control.


The 3rd incident Blue came from behind we were walking down a hill, Blue ran directly into Cooper from behind totally bowled him off his legs and Cooper rolled down the hill in shock.  He got to his feet and immediately starting barking towards Blue.   Blue then physically launched off the ground, jumped to my chest, physically knocked me off my feet to the ground and injured my ankle which Fern experienced with me (statement of evidence attached from Ursula Holt).  This was not a good interaction with this dog ‘Blue’

This is the post I placed on Waiheke Dog Facebook Page regarding this incident on July-19


The 4th incident (the incident in question)

Blue came flying up a hill from the football field ~100m way.   I as a dog owner was scared of this dog injuring me again as had occurred in the 3rd incident.   I immediately reacted to blue shouting at him to get away from us, Cooper my 12-year Labrador reacted to Blue by running towards him with defensive barking.  Fern reacted towards Blue as Cooper, and I were doing in a defensive way for those few seconds.  It was a collective defensive moment in that we all reacted to Blue running directly ‘into us.  Fern didn’t independently, approach unprovoked by herself and attack Blue this is not what happened.  She approached Blue with Cooper for those few seconds cause my leash broke and this is where the injury must have occurred.


When I called my dogs away after those few seconds, they both immediately came back to me.  


After the incident occurred, I said to the owner that Blue had injured me the last time he had done this, he never responded to this he just said,    “he needs to learn from these type of incidents”.  I asked him if his dog was okay, and he said yes and continued to look for something that Blue had dropped in the grass.


>*Kristy (other dog that walks with Blue) not mentioned in my objection she has never been an issue in any of the above incidents.  She is a respectful dog ,arrives after Blue run up is gentle she has a very sweet nature , while it’s a long distance and none of my Labradors approached her in this incident. It was only directed at ‘Blue’


This is an image of the distance that Blue travelled from his location on the field running at top speed directly ‘into us’ the distance is ~100m I have taken a photo to indicate the massive distance this dog travels uncontrolled.  The owner never attempted to recall his dog in this incident.

A picture containing grass, outdoor, sport, field

Description automatically generated

In summary of the 4 incidents with Blue

We have never had a good interaction with dog ‘Blue’


In all 4 of these incidents, we were under control and walking away from ‘Blue’


In all 4 of these incidents, we were a very big distance away from ‘Blue’


Blue ‘seeked us out’ on all these occasions and ran directly into us very fast and uncontrolled.  He doesn’t run up to you he runs ‘into you’ and his owner is unable to recall him.  


On the 3rd Incident Blue injured Cooper and Myself and Fern experienced this on leash with us I fell over onto the ground with her on lead


I had personally spoken to this owner twice before the 4th incident about his uncontrolled dog asking him to please keep him under control.


Fern was provoked she had experienced 3 prior very unpleasant incidents with this same dog ‘Blue’ and was fearful of ‘Blue’ as was I and Cooper in the 4th incident.


I’m hoping that this information will be acknowledged to be taken into consideration as it indicates this was not an ‘unprovoked response’ she was provoked from 3 previous instances of dog ‘Blue’ running into us, uncontrolled and injuring us.





3.  Behavioural Clinic and Post Training – Jaz Vette

·    Fern was already booked into Mark Vette Behavioural clinic before this incident with ‘Blue’ occurred it was not because of this incident that I booked her into the clinic.

·    She has attended a 3-week behavioural clinic 12 Sep – 30 Sep 2022 to better manage leash reactivity, managing approaching off leash dogs, being more comfortable with dogs in general.  In addition to this addressing her high prey drive with Ducks using an e-collar as they do with kiwi aversion training.

·    I attend bimonthly post behavioural clinic training sessions with Jaz Vette, and this is ongoing I have a continuous ongoing relationship with Jaz Vette/ Mark Vette

·    Nature of training session I attend post clinic.

§ A check of my handling skills of Fern to correct and gauge improvement.

§ A check of my use of the e-collar

§ Walk pasts of some new dogs ‘on leash’.

§ A Pack walk with other dogs ‘off leash’ Fern has never met in a controlled interaction.

·    I also do sessions on Waiheke with local dog walker where we interact her coming into contact with other dogs on walks.  I manage Fern and she manages Cooper so I can fully concentrate on Fern, and this has been very successful.



·    Fern has undergone corrective behavioural training.

·    Fern’s and I have had 6 months of experience of using the e-collar corrective method.

·    Fern has been muzzled on every public outing for 6 months.

·    There has been a vast improvement (reference Mark Vette attached below) in Fern’s overall sociability with other dogs and her ability to interact without any issues.

·    I do sessions with local dog walker to continue Fern’s socialisation where we interact with dogs.



4.  Evidence Videos of Fern in Training sessions and interacting with new dogs and Wildlife successfully

The following videos show Fern in public with other dogs where she demonstrates that she

is not a risk to dogs, people, or wildlife.


4.1    Waiatarua Reserve Remuera 15-Mar 2023

These videos show Jaz Vette and Marie Manderson (both senior dog behaviourists at Mark Vette) any myself at the park doing training and walking with other dogs Fern has never met before. I do this bi-monthly with Jaz and Marie is usually there too. 


Training – we do walk pasts with some new dogs.

Training – we then do a Behavioural Down at the start of Pack Walk for the dogs to get into a ‘learning state’ where they know they are entering a controlled interaction


Training - Walk starts and all dogs engage with Fern.




4.2 Waiatarua Reserve Remuera 15-Mar 2023

These videos show Fern walking the entire round of Waiatarua Dog Park with other dogs she has never previously met.  In a busy environment, especially at the water hole she managed this entire walk plus walking past a dog walker with 8-10 dogs without being any risk to any of these dogs, the public or wildlife in these videos.

              Waiatarua – walking with new dogs and past new dogs.

Waiatarua – walking with new dogs in very close proximity.

Waiatarua – busy water hole engaging with all dogs.


4.3   Fern at the Onetangi Sports Park

This video shows Fern off leash with 5 other dogs without being any risk other dogs.



4.4      Fern at the Onetangi Sports Park – leaving ducks and under control.

This video shows Fern off leash walking past Ducks showing she is not a risk to wildlife after corrective training at Mark Vette behavioural clinic.  This is also a good indication of how I walk my dogs daily, next to me, under control.

Onetangi Sports Park - leaving Ducks - YouTube


On Leash - 2 Walk past new dogs no lunging - YouTube


On Leash - 3 Walk past new dogs no lunging - YouTube


On Leash - 4 Walk past new dogs no lunging - YouTube


On Leash - 5 Walk past new dogs no lunging - YouTube



·   Fern next to another dog on leash – During Behavioural Clinic

(Note in this video Fern is the muzzled Labrador not the collie)


Video details - YouTube Studio





5    Information on Fern

·    Fern is an 8-year-old Labrador with no previous bite history.

·    I adopted her at 5 years old she was returned to her breeder Blackhill Labradors (Taupo) the previous owner had no time for her anymore.

·    Fern experienced a traumatic kennel incident with her previous owner at about 1 years old where she came out completely traumatized, a different dog and dog reactive.

·    Fern has a consistent temperament with her sibling dog Cooper, and all introduced dogs / friends’ dogs.  She is 100% consistent she doesn’t have good or bad days.

·    Fern is 100% fine with people, 100% fine with kids.

·    Fern is dog reactive but not dog aggressive there have been many occasions where she has reacted to a dog initially who she will then walk with after and accept treats with.


6    Closing Statement

·     I accept that there has been an injury and there needs be some kind of repercussion I’m realistic and I accept this.

·     This Labrador, Fern, has done everything I have asked her to do in the last 3 years, everything, training, being muzzled, being e-collared  she has attended a hectic behavioural clinic and she has actually flourished.

·     I will not accept that this was an unprovoked injury given the nature of this incident it’s not fair on Fern and I will 100% support her fighting this false allegation.

·     This was an injury caused in defence motion towards a dog that had previously ‘injured us’ and had run ‘into us’ on 3 separate prior occasions and Fern was afraid of dog Blue in that moment as was I and Cooper in the 4th incident.

·     I don’t believe Fern deserves to be labelled menacing for the rest of her life based on one event in a situation in which we were all reacting towards Blue she didn’t do this independently.

·     I fully support Fern being muzzled since this incident I have no issue with this it’s actually aided her progression of socialisation.

·     I’ve demonstrated videos where you can see Fern successfully interacting with other dogs.

·     She has demonstrated she is not dog aggressive.

·     She has demonstrated that she is able to interact with dogs without risk.

·     She is under full control (muzzled and e-collared) and being professionally managed with the best dog behaviouralist in the country.

You know Glenys Moore the Animal control officer at the time on Waiheke, an amazing woman who was such a pleasure to deal with, said that the sad thing of this case is that it could so easily have been avoided.  I took this to mean that it could so easily have been avoided if the owner of Blue was in control of his dog and able to recall his dog in an off-leash area which is a mandatory regulation when using a public off leash space.

7    References for Fern

The following are references to the Safety Committee from Mark Vette.  Mark is arguably the country’s leading animal behaviouralist his daughter Jaz Vette has spent weeks with Fern in clinic and post training sessions.  (Attached document).  This is a completely independent 3rd party reference.



Summary Mark Vette Recommendation – 1-Oct 2022

 “We can recommend to the council to allow controlled outings to generalize her learning out into public spaces.
She has demonstrated that she is safe to do so. Secondly, we (Jazmin and the owner together) would also appreciate to have the prerogative to move to off muzzle work when we feel it is appropriate and Fern is under control of the owner. We are happy to send video evidence of her progress to date and will video on going progress with the owner working her in public locations going forward.

But recommended "We have advised the owner to continue use of the muzzle till we are both confident that their command and mentorship shows good control”.



Summary Mark Vette Reference – 29-Mar 2023 (this is a reference after 6 months)

Ferns progress report since clinic in September 2022:
We have seen Fern every two months since clinic which has shown us that Linda is making a committed and diligent effort to improve and has made considerable progress in generalizing the training we have done.
This ongoing relationship with Linda since coming into the behaviour clinic has proven her successful progress, we would still recommend that Fern continues to wear the muzzle at this stage as she continues training and consolidates her progress, as Linda’s confidence continues to grow we will monitor her progress over the next several months.
Ferns overall sociability towards dogs has improved greatly and her anxiety has lessened considerably. She is now growing her prosocial behaviour and regularly walking and socializing now. Her Labrador ancestry also gives her an innate level of sociability that is manifesting now she has had several months of effective training.
Linda has progressed well as a trainer and her confidence has grown to keep up the necessary continued exposure and socialization with other dogs. We have been very pleased with Linda’s commitment to Ferns long term rehabilitation back from a traumatized set of experiences in her earlier life.
Please feel free to discuss and further questions or details with Jazmin the senior trainer who has treated this case.
Yours Sincerely,
Mark Vette BSc MSc (Hons)., Animal Behaviour Consultant.



Linda Dumont



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