Dangerous & restricted dogs

Rules for restricted, menacing and dangerous dogs

Rushing at, chasing, harassing, or biting a person or animal, even if no injury has occurred, are all considered to be dog attacks under the Companion Animals Act 1998.

If your dog "attacks" another person or animal Council will conduct an investigation into the matter.

There are very hefty fines for owners of a dog that has attacked a person or animal (other than vermin) and the dog may also be declared dangerous or menacing. There are strict guidelines that owners of a dangerous dog must comply with.

Responsible dog owners restrain their animals at home so they cannot escape and also keep them on a lead in public.

Dangerous dogs 

If a dog is declared to be a dangerous dog the owner must comply with the following strict controls:

  • The dog must be kept on a lead and be muzzled securely and under the effective control of some competent person while not confined to an enclosure on its own property
  • The dog must never be in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years
  • A sign with "Warning Dangerous Dog" must be clearly visible from the boundaries of the property where the dog is normally kept
  • The dog must, at all times, wear a distinctive red and yellow striped collar with one colour to be light reflective
  • The dog must be desexed within 28 days of the declaration being made
  • The dog must be restrained within an approved childproof enclosure while on the property where it is usually kept

Menacing dogs

If a dog is declared to be a menacing dog the owner must comply with the following strict controls:

  • The dog must be kept on a lead and be muzzled securely and under the effective control of some competent person while not confined to an enclosure on its own property
  • The dog must never be in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years
  • A sign with "Warning Dangerous Dog" must be clearly visible from the boundaries of the property where the dog is normally kept
  • The dog must, at all times, wear a distinctive red and yellow striped collar with one colour to be light reflective
  • The dog must be desexed within 28 days of the declaration being made
  • The dog must be restrained within an approved childproof enclosure while on the property where it is usually kept and not under the effective control of a person of or above the age of 18 years

Restricted breeds

List of restricted dog breeds

The following dogs are restricted:

  • American pit bull terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasiliero
  • Any other dog of a breed, kind or description declared by Council or prescribed by the regulations

Control requirements for restricted breeds

Restricted dogs must comply with very strict control requirements. Some of these requirements are:

  • Must be kept on a lead and muzzled securely and under the effective control of some competent person while not confined to an enclosure on its own property
  • The dog must never be in the sole charge of a minor
  • A sign with "Warning Dangerous Dog" must be clearly visible from the boundaries of the property where the dog is normally kept
  • The dog must, at all times, wear a distinctive red and yellow striped collar with one colour to be light reflective.
  • Must be desexed
  • Must be restrained within an approved childproof enclosure while on the property where it is usually kept
  • Owners of a restricted dog are prohibited from selling or advertising to sell, giving it away, or allowing it to breed with any other animal
  • A person who accepts ownership of a restricted breed is guilty of an offence

Under the Act, owners may be responsible for any injury or damage caused by a dog if it attacks a person or animal.

The Companion Animals Act recognises that a dog may be provoked into attacking. This includes a situation where a dog is being teased or treated cruelly, a dog responding to an attack on its owner or member of the owners family, or a dog responding to a trespasser.

If this is the case, the measures in the Act will not apply. However, if a person deliberately encourages a dog to attack another person and cause injury very serious penalties apply under the Crimes Act.

Back to top