WA Are Fenced Dog Exercise Areas Enough?

8 Nov 2023
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Target Audience – Parks Officers & Managers, Landscape Architects, Leisure Planners, Rangers, Elected Councillors

The evolving challenges of dog ownership require a multifaceted approach to planning, policy, regulation, education, community awareness and responsible care. By better understanding pets and pet owner behaviours, local governments can support communities to create more harmonious environments for all public space users.

This seminar will unpick trends and issues by examining current statistics, animal behaviours, local government practices and dog exercise facilities’ to consider what is needed. The expert presenters and presentations are outlined below and will include a facilitated discussion and Q&A.

For more information, please contact Leith Fradd on 0451 993 526 or email plawa@parksleisure.com.au.

Meet the Speakers:

Dion Johnson, Parks Manager/Planner, City of Canning

Local government dog spaces strategy case study

How it was planned and executed?  What works well? What doesn’t ? What is next?

Mr. Johnson has devoted his career to amenity horticulture and park management for more than 28 years. He is currently the Manager Parks and Environment and acting Director Infrastructure and Environment at the City of Canning. Mr. Johnson has previously held senior positions in local government and other public organisation’s in sportsground and streetscape management.  Mr. Johnson education spans Horticulture, Frontline and Project Management, Community Engagement and Asset Management.

Kate Lindsay, Veterinarian Behaviourist, Kalmpets

What dogs need

What does a happy healthy dog look like? The 6 basic needs of dogs. What dogs enjoy. Breed types, service dogs and their special needs. Dog behaviour. Dangerous dogs. Education

Dr. Kate Lindsey is Kalmpets leader and founder, veterinarian, animal behaviourist, and zoologist. Dr Kate has always had an interest in animal behaviour, establishing Kalmpets in 2012, WA’s only sole focus mobile vet behaviour practice that delivered comprehensive solutions to improve behaviour problems in dogs, cats and pets. In her quest to create calm for all, Dr Kate went on to establish an animal behaviour centre in 2015 in Balcatta, Perth and has gone on to write dog training programs such as Kalmpets Specialist Pup Program, as well as launching the Kalmpets Dog Day Care which features her own Kalmpets Curriculum. Dr Kate is an authority on differences between behaviour problems and problem behaviours (that can be related to obedience training) in animals and why the distinction is important. She is fast becoming Perth’s leading veterinary expert in dog, cat and pet behaviour.

Tracey Lord, WA Rangers Association, City of South Perth

Animal care in local government

What dog pound and rescues are reporting.  Trends in dog ownership (breeds, exercise, socialising, backyards).  What dog owners are responsible for?  How these things have impacted on dogs health.

Tracey Lord is the Animal Management Officer at the City of South Perth Animal Care Facility and has spent many years working in animal training and animal welfare. Tracey’s mission is to enrich the human-animal bond through the application of scientifically based techniques of training, management, and behaviour modification.

Tracey Lord has a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services, has worked as the Senior Behavioural Technician at Kalmpets, was Head Trainer at the Dogs Refuge Home and a Trainer and Assessor at RSPCA and Mind Dogs Australia. In Tracey ‘s spare time she enjoys training and competing in Dog agility and sheep trialling

Diana Gomes, Landscape Technical Officer, City of Melville

Case study and technical tour

How was it planned and executed?  What works well?  What doesn’t?  What is next?

Diana, a Brazilian native, graduated with a degree in Architecture and Urbanism in 2009. Her professional journey has been diverse, encompassing various aspects of architectural design, construction, and landscaping. In 2014, Diana received a scholarship from Brazil’s Federal Government, for one year of studies at an international university, leading her to study at Curtin University in Perth. Her time abroad was followed by a couple of adventurous years globe-trotting. Returning to Australia in 2017, Diana worked in Melbourne for 2 years, where she had her first experience working in Local Government in the Landscape sector, and finally found her passion. Diana has been working at the City of Melville for the past 3 years, passionately creating outdoor spaces for the community to enjoy.

Mike Hamling, Manager Operations, City of Joondalup & Lesley Humphries, Paws4Play

Local government policy implementation

Developing policy.  Strategy (places, incentives, education, feedback).  Training for people, Monitoring and regulating.

Michael Hamling for the past 11 years has held the position of Manager Operation Services at the City of Joondalup. His portfolio includes the capital improvements and maintenance of 588ha of parks, 500 ha of natural areas, urban streetscapes plus engineering and fleet maintenance. He possesses qualifications in horticulture, turf, project and frontline management, with over 40 years’ experience in various local governments on a diverse range of park, natural areas improvements and organisation restructures

Lesley has been a recreation, open space and community planner and policy writer for over 25 years, and over the last 8 years has increasingly worked with local government to: prepare dog off-leash provision policy and rationale; review existing policies, review the suitability of existing dog off-leash areas, assess the suitability of sites (Site Assessments) for consideration as fenced (dog park) or partially fenced dog off-leash areas, prepare concept and detailed designs for fenced off-leash areas (Dog Parks) prepare Management Plans for fenced off-leash areas (Dog Parks) and prepare Domestic Animal Management Plans. She is recognised as an industry specialist in this field. Her practical and even-handed approach to the issues associated with dogs in parks means she provides councils with a sound understanding of the issues and opportunities that should be considered when preparing policy around these matters.

Tim Houweling & Bronwyn Waugh, Solicitors and Litigators, Cornerstone Legal.

Dog Incidents

Trends and issues in dog owner prosecutions


Tim has worked on some of the most high-profile compensation claims in Western Australia and has gained a reputation for his robust representation. With over 20 years of experience, Tim is an exemplary solicitor and litigator and has set precedents in law.  Tim is also well-versed in providing advice on all manner of provisions within the various Acts of Parliament, delegated legislation and regulations, local governments, town planning and environmental law.  He was admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1998 and admitted to the High Court of Australia in 2004.

Bronwyn has amassed a wealth of practical experience in a number of areas, most notably Local Government, Corporate, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Litigation, Property and Native Title Law.  Well-versed in the complexities associated with delegated legislation and prominent issues facing Local Governments, she is a competent advocate and capable of providing guidance in respect of many of the nuances and delicate circumstances that can arise.

Fiona Cowie IMDT

Spaces for specific training

Purpose-built facilities for specific training.  Indoor facilities for dogs.

Fiona also has over 20 years’ experience in the animal training industry, including 14 years as a detection dog handler. She currently runs a successful dog training business, The Doggy Lady, whose five trainers run scent detection classes along with a full range of training and behaviour services. The team also recently provided training and handling services to the ABC TV program New Leash on Life.

Fiona is also an instructor and assessor with the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT) and a Trainer and Assessor for the Certificate IV in Animal Training and Behaviour with Applied Vocational Training (AVT). In addition, she holds a Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Dog Training and Behaviour and a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment. She is also a full member of IMDT and a professional member of the Pet Professional Guild.

Fiona is passionate about the industry working together to implement better outcomes for pets and their guardians.

Nat McDonald, Canine Behaviouralist Consultant, Dog Dialogue.

Designing spaces for dogs, people and nature

What is provided?

The good, the bad and the useless.

We need more of this and less of that. 

Nat has had over 10 years of experience in canine behavioural management and holds qualifications in both animal behaviour and canine psychology and training. She is also a registered member of the Association Pet Dog Trainers (APDT Australia INC). Nat is passionate about dogs, the way they think and why they do the things that they do, and then being able to help to equip people to best manage their behaviour. She advocates that by learning how a dog functions and why, it will enable you to deal with any issues that may arise during their lifetime.

CPD Points: 2
Please note that you cannot “swap places” if you cannot attend. Simply contact us at plawa@parksleisure.com.au if you are unable to attend. Numbers are limited.  A light lunch and morning tea will be included.  Please advise of any dietary requirements on registration.

Proudly sponsored by:

Proudly supported by:



Parks & Leisure Australia (WA) Regional Sponsors


The State government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is a major supporter of Parks and Leisure Australia in Western Australia. Sport and recreation builds stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities.

Parks and Leisure Australia WA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.


Piney Lakes Environmental Education Centre

Leach Hwy &, Murdoch Dr
Winthrop, WA 6150 Australia

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