Dog attacks, dangerous dogs and restricted dogs

Dog attacks

A dog attack is considered to occur if a dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal (other than vermin), whether or not any injury is caused to the person or animal.

All dog attacks reported to Council are considered very serious allegations. Council officers thoroughly investigate reports of dog attacks on persons or animals and this may result in serious consequences. The minimum on the spot fine for a dog attack is between $550 and $1,320.

A person reporting a dog attack may be required to make a formal statement to support their claim of the attack. Council may rely on this statement to proceed with formal action such as the issue of a Dangerous Dog Order or the issue of Penalty Infringement Notices.

Offence On the spot penalty
(maximum)
Local Court penalty
(maximum)
Dog attack $550 - $1,760 $5500 - $33,000
Dog in a prohibited place ^ $330 - $1,760 $1,100 - $11,000
Dog not on lead $220 to $1,760 $1,100 - $11,000
Animal not permanently identified (microchipped) $165 - $1,320 $880 - $5,500
Animal not registered $165 - $1,320 $880 - $5,500
Dog without a collar and name tag $165 - $1,320 $880 - $5,500
Fail to remove dog faeces $275 $880

Dangerous dogs

Council may declare a dog dangerous if it is satisfied it has, without provocation:

  • Attacked or killed a person or animal (other than vermin), OR
  • Repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (other than vermin)

The owners of dogs declared dangerous must comply with certain control requirements that include but are not limited to:

Restricted dogs

The following dogs are considered "restricted dogs" under the Companion Animals Act 1998:

  • (a) American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier
  • (b) Japanese tosa
  • (c) Dogo Argentino
  • (d) Fila Brasileiro
  • (d1) any other dog of a breed, kind or description whose importation into Australia is prohibited by or under the Customs Act 1901
  • (e) any dog declared by a council to be a restricted dog
  • (f) any other dog of a breed, kind or description prescribed by state regulations

Council may issue a Notice of Intention to declare a dog to be restricted dog if it is of the opinion that a dog:

  • (a) is of a breed or kind of dog referred to from (a) to (d1) above, OR
  • (b) is a cross-breed of any such breed or kind of dog

Requirements for dangerous and restricted dogs

Dogs declared dangerous and restricted must obey certain control requirements that include but are not limited to that the dog must be:

  • desexed
  • kept in an enclosure prescribed by the Companion Animals Regulation 2008
  • wear a muzzle when outside the enclosure
  • be kept in a place that displays ‘Warning Dangerous Dog’ signs
  • wear a distinctive collar

As part of Council's responsibility under the Companion Animals Act 1998, regular inspections are carried out by Council to ensure that all requirements are being complied with. For further information read the Companion Animals Act 1998.

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Page last updated: 12 Nov 2018