Dog Owner Responsibilities

Owning a dog is a big responsibility, and the law sets out things you must do for it. These include:

  • Register your dog at the age of three months
  • Make sure your dog has everything to keep it healthy and happy, including proper shelter, clean water and food
  • Accept legal responsibility for a dog if you are in charge of it
  • Ensure your dog does not threaten or injure other dogs, people, stock, poultry, domestic pets or protected wildlife. If  it does, it can be seized or destroyed immediately
  • Keep your dog under control and on a lead at all times when walking in public areas
  • Advise council, in writing, within 14 days if your dog dies or goes to live at another address

Simple tips for keeping your dog healthy


  • Give your dog enough food and plenty of clean, fresh water
  • Give your dog plenty of exercise
  • Make sure your dog has shade and shelter
  • Include your dog in your family life

Dog Control Officers 

A Dog Control Officer can enter private property if:

The officer has good cause to suspect an offence is being committed. The officer can also bring other people on to the property for assistance

A Dog Control Officer has the power to remove a dog from its property:

  • It threatens the safety of people or other animals
  • It is left without food or water
  • If a court orders it
  • If the dog has no current registration
  • If the dog is not confined and can freely leave the property

No more than two dogs over three months of age may be kept on an urban residential property. You can apply for a permit to have more than two dogs:


Contact an Animal Control Officer at Council if you have any queries regarding animals on phone (06) 871 5000 or email