Aggressive Dogs Spur Complaints At Tahoe Beach

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Complaints about aggressive dogs are prompting greater scrutiny of a popular north Lake Tahoe beach.

The attention from local officials comes after an Incline Village woman claimed she and her dog were attacked by a Rottweiler on a Dec. 16 visit to Ski Beach.

"According to the woman, the incident resulted in her suffering an injury that required 15 stitches," said Bill Horn, general manager of the Incline Village General Improvement District.

Horn said he prefers to keep the beach open to the public but that his staff now will closely monitor the situation.

Resident Erin Field urged the district to patrol the beach during busy times, saying the posting of warning signs would not solve the problem.

"The majority of people who bring their dogs to the beach are great," Field told the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.

"It's a small minority who bring dogs down there and, because the dogs aren't used to being around other dogs, trouble starts. If I had an aggressive dog, I wouldn't take him down there," she added.

Colleen Unterbrink said she was faced with a $500 veterinarian bill after her dog was attacked by another dog on the beach three years ago.

"I do think that there should be a leash law. Not when the dogs go into the water but on the beach," she said.

Adam Hulme of Pet Network agreed the dog owner is at fault in most cases of conflict.

"The problem lies in whether the dog has been raised with social skills," Hulme said. "Aggressive behavior is not inherent to a breed of dog. It depends on how often he gets to interact with other dogs.

"It's a good idea to keep your dog leashed and to know your dog's behavior. The sad thing is that nine out of 10 people probably know that their dog is aggressive when they put them in that situation," he added.