Everyone who is a dog owner has a responsibility to ensure that his or her dog is well looked after. In addition, it is important that dog owners respect other people in the community. This can be achieved by keeping dogs adequately confined on their properties, on a leash in public places, preventing aggressive behaviour and controlling excessive barking.
As a nation of pet lovers, we rely on dog owners to responsibly look after their dogs to ensure that we can all live together peacefully and without fear.
Regulations are in place that require dog owners by law keep their dogs under control. It also requires that owners ensure their dogs do not cause a nuisance (eg through barking or fouling); do not cause damage to property; or injure, endanger or cause distress to any person, stock, poultry or domestic animal, or protected wildlife.
A dog owner must ensure that, when their dog is on their property, it is either:
Dogs must be confined to a property in various ways, eg. by fencing, a sonic barrier or having a dog on a running wire.Any fencing must be tall enough to contain a dog - some dogs can jump well over six feet. The fencing should be impenetrable, ie. not have holes or gaps. This is especially important with hedges. Owners should check if their dog can climb on something, like a compost bin or wood pile, to jump over a fence.
If your dog has been classified as dangerous you must provide a securely fenced area so visitors can have "unhindered access to the dwelling house".
Keeping your dog under control means ensuring your dog is not causing a nuisance or danger. It means that the person in charge of the dog has the dog under continuous surveillance and is able to obtain an immediate and desired response from the dog by use of a leash, voice commands, hand signals, whistles or other effective means.
There is a range of possible consequences if any dog you own or are responsible for is not kept under control.
The council can take action against you (and your dog) by:
A dog attack is a very serious matter. If your dog attacks a person or another animal, you will be held responsible even if you are not there at the time. If your dog causes serious injury or death to a person or protected wildlife, you may be fined up to $20,000 and/or imprisoned for up to three years.
Dogs which attack people, stock, poultry, domestic animals and protected wildlife may be seized or destroyed.
You may also be required to pay damage related costs i.e vet bills
If you are convicted under the Dog Control Act or receive three or more infringement notices in a two-year period, you may be classified as a probationary owner for up to two years or you may be disqualified from owning a dog for up to five years. . Any dog not registered at the time of classification must be disposed of (given away or sold) within 14 days.
Dog owners must remove and appropriately dispose of any droppings left by the dog in a public place.
Important: Owners who do not pick up their dog's "doo" may be issued an infringement notice and a fine of up $300.
Animal Control office is responsible for enforcing orders relating to the control, impoundment, and disposition of animals. Animal Management Officers deal with dog related requests, this includes dog attacks, roaming dogs, lost and impounded animals, excessive barking and fouling.
Obedience training is critical when it comes to nurturing a healthy human- animal relationship and creating a socially compatible pet. The basic elements - sit, down, stay, come, and heel - help produce a good canine citizen. In a practical sense, obedience-trained dogs help dog owners avoid the stress and fines associated with their unruly peers.
To learn more about obedience training visit our Dog Obedience page.