Assistance in solving the dogs-on-beach issue

Mr. Eric Dahli and Board:

I would like to extend an offer of assistance with the work you are undertaking to resolve the issue of dogs on Cadboro Bay beach. 

Citizen Canine Dog Owners Association, formed in 2002, promotes responsible dog ownership and advocates for on and off leash access to Greater Victoria parks and beaches. Our motto is: respect, tolerance, cooperation. Our approach to dog management in the parks is one of reasonable, collaborative, logical, problem analysis and resolution. Compromise is often required on both sides when a polarizing issue arises, such as the one you are currently facing. 

We believe that the solution to a documented problem should be fair and commensurate with that problem, and that effective public education and existing bylaw enforcement should be tried before resorting to increased restrictions and additional bylaws. We also believe that the majority of dog owners are reasonable and responsible, and should not be penalized for the bad behaviour of the minority.

We have provided free consultation to Victoria City Parks, Saanich Parks, the Esquimalt Lagoon Stewardship Initiative (ELSI), and CRD Parks. This consultation has included insights into dog owner behaviour and thinking, dog behaviour, survey question design, public education strategies, signage design, and research data relevant to dog management issues.

  • We developed the Good Owners, Good Dogs pamphlet to educate dog owners about responsible dog ownership and park etiquette.
  • We held many annual Everybody and their Dog Walks at Beaver Lake Park, which were leash optional and problem-free, despite attendance by hundreds of dogs and their owners.
  • We organized numerous park Poop Clean-up Days to set an example for other dog owners.
  • We organized public seminars by experts in dog behaviour and training to better educate Greater Victoria dog owners.

I have read Councillor Harper’s report, as well as all the online correspondence regarding the dogs on Cadboro Bay beach issue, and have a good understanding of the problems and concerns identified. I can help you map out a strategy that will result in a recommendation(s) to Saanich’s Mayor and Council for resolving this issue, if that is your goal. I would be happy to meet with you at your convenience, or by phone or email if you have any questions or would like to follow-up.


Mark Hawkes


Citizen Canine Dog Owners Association

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