A woman being abused by "possessive" dog owners at Pilot Bay says confusing council signage is the problem.
The woman, who asked not be named, said it was common to see people exercising their dogs along the popular Mount Maunganui beach - including locals who knew they were breaking the rules.
She complained signs saying dogs were not allowed on the beach were ambiguous because dog owners could interpret this as meaning they were allowed on the grassy foreshore.
Dog owners Greg and Carol Delaney regularly took their pooch Molly for a walk along the grass at Pilot Bay after work. The couple said they were aware dogs were banned from the area, describing it as a silly rule.
The definition of a beach on the council's website shows it includes the dunes and grassy foreshore and the woman wanted it clearly spelt out to dog owners.
She said dogs fouled the foreshore and while most owners cleaned up the droppings, children were playing and crawling where dogs had been.
When she pointed out the signs to dog owners, people who genuinely did not know were quite polite and a bit embarrassed. But it was a different story with locals - some of whom were rude and abusive.
"You get absolutely nowhere. People get incredibly possessive about their dogs. They think they have a right to exercise their dogs there. No one is policing it."
The council's environmental services manager Peter Frawley said staff were reviewing signage across the city and would be happy to consider the issues raised by the woman.
Some residents, whose homes fronted Pilot Bay, agreed dogs were a problem.
Joyce Onions' main issue was dogs fouling the grass and the residue left after the droppings had been picked up.
Another woman, who asked not to be named, said there needed to be clearer signs and more of them.
"It is quite a concern."
At Pilot Bay, a family who had brought their two dogs to the beach for an evening picnic were not aware of the rule. One woman, who did not want to be named, said dogs should be allowed at the beach in the evenings. "As long as they're in control, not running around annoying people," she said.