Dangerous, restricted and menacing dogs

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Important informationsign displaying warning dangerous dog with a picture of a snarling dog

Dangerous dogs

A dog is considered dangerous if it has, without provocation:

  • attacked or killed a person or animal (other than vermin)
  • repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal.

If a dog meets the above criteria Council may declare the dog a 'dangerous dog'. We must first give notice to you of the intention to declare the dog to be dangerous.  You will be given information about your right to object to the proposed declaration.  Objections must be made in writing within 7 days.

If you wish to report a dog attack or threat, please fill in the dog attack or threatened form.

Responsibilities of owners of dangerous dogs

If your dog is declared to be a dangerous dog you must:

  • ensure it is microchipped and registered
  • keep your dog in an enclosure constructed and maintained in such a way that the dog is not able to dig or otherwise escape
  • clearly display one or more signs on your property showing the words “Warning Dangerous Dog”
  • ensure your dog wears a distinctive collar consisting of red stripes alternatively spaced with yellow stripes
  • keep your dog on a secure lead and wearing a securely fitted muzzle
  • ensure they do not access any dog off-leash areas
  • desex your dog
  • not leave your dog in the care of anyone under the age of 18 years
  • do not leave your dog in sole charge of your children.

Read the Dangerous Dogs brochure for more information.

It is illegal to give away or sell a dangerous dog.  It is illegal to accept ownership of a dangerous dog.

You can also refer to the Office of Local Government - Declared dangerous and menacing dogs - webpage for more information.

Menacing dogs

A dog is considered menacing if it has, without provocation:

  • attacked a person or animal (other than vermin) without causing serious injury or death
  • shown unreasonable aggression towards any person or animal.

A dog may also be considered menacing if it has been declared menacing by another state or territory.

If a dog meets the above criteria Council may declare the dog a 'menacing dog'. We must first give notice to you of the intention to declare the dog to be menacing.  You will be given information about your right to object to the proposed declaration.  Objections must be made in writing within 7 days.

Responsibilities of owners of menacing dogs

If your dog is declared to be a menacing dog you must:

  • ensure it is microchipped and registered
  • clearly display one or more signs on your property showing the words “Warning Dangerous Dog”
  • ensure your dog wears a distinctive collar consisting of red stripes alternatively spaced with yellow stripes
  • keep your dog on a secure lead and wearing a securely fitted muzzle
  • ensure they do not access any dog off-leash areas
  • desex your dog
  • not leave your dog in the care of anyone under the age of 18 years
  • do not leave your dog in sole charge of your children.

During any period that a menacing dog is on a property at which it is not ordinarily kept, and is not under effective control of a person of or above the age of 18 years, the dog must be enclosed in a manner that is sufficient to restrain the dog and prevent a child from having access to the dog.

It is illegal to give away or sell a menacing dog.  It is illegal to accept ownership of a menacing dog.

You can also refer to the Office of Local Government - Declared dangerous and menacing dogs - webpage for more information.

Restricted dogs

The following dogs are restricted dogs for the purposes of the Companion Animals Act:

  • American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier
  • Japanese tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasiliero
  • other breeds whose importation is prohibited by the Customs Act
  • any dog declared by Council to be a restricted dog.

Owners of restricted dogs are obliged to comply with the same responsibilities as owners of dangerous dogs (set out above).

It is illegal to give away or sell a restricted dog.  It is illegal to accept ownership of a restricted dog.

Read the Restricted Dogs brochure for more information.  You can also refer to the Office of Local Government - Restricted dogs - webpage for more information.

Penalties

Council is responsible for keeping the public safe from restricted breed dogs or those that have been declared dangerous or menacing.  Our officers have the power to issue nuisance orders, declare dogs dangerous or menacing, as well as seize and destroy dogs.  

Heavy penalties apply if owners breach any of the laws around keeping dangerous dogs and restricted breeds.  The maximum penalty for dog-related offences under the Companion Animals Act is a gaol term of up to 5 years and/or fines of up to $77,000.