Dogs will be seen in lakes and rivers across Canberra this summer, with new off-lead swimming areas for pooches being introduced ahead of the warmer months.
Six new locations will be open to dogs for swimming, including areas of Lake Burley Griffin, as part of an expansion of the territory government's dog-management plans, introduced in July.
The new areas will include Orana Bay in Yarralumla, Kurrajong Point beach in Weston Park and Lake Ginninderra and Diddams Close in Belconnen.
Canines will also be able to take a dip at Lake Tuggeranong in Greenway and Yerrabi Pond in Gungahlin.
City Services Minister Chris Steel said dog owners had been calling for more spots for their pets to swim, which had previously been limited to Point Hut Pond and Uriarra Crossing.
"We've designated a range of different areas in lakes across the ACT so dogs can cool down and play, because we know there are many dogs that love a dip," Mr Steel said. "We want to support responsible dog owners to stimulate their dogs."
The new swimming areas for dogs were chosen based on feedback from pet owners, along with dog-attack data. A review of dog swimming areas was flagged earlier this year as part of the new laws.
The new areas will be heavily signposted, letting pet owners know where their dogs can be let off-lead.
Other off-lead areas have also been added to the existing list of locations, including Gordon, Kambah, Narrabundah, Farrer and Charnwood.
"There's now 130 hectares of off-lead areas for pet owners to use," Mr Steel said.
"Some are off lead all the time, some are like ovals where it's off lead when events are not occurring."
The ACT government's dog-management laws have made it illegal for dogs to be off lead except for designated areas, with canines also being banned from being within 10 metres of playgrounds and public barbecues.
Pet owners can be slapped with an on-the-spot fine of $250, with a maximum court-ordered penalty of $2400. An enforcement team targeting the dog laws have approached more than 500 pet owners who have breached the laws.
Mr Steel did not say how many dog owners had been fined so far under the laws, but said officers had been focusing on education in the legislation's early months.
"Because the off-lead areas are new rules, we wanted to engage the community and have them learn about the rules, but we have been issuing warnings and fines," he said. "Now the rules are clear, we'll be stepping up enforcement to give out warnings and fines. The rules are clear and will be enforced."