A declared dangerous dog is a dog that an authorised council officer or a local court has declared as dangerous because it:

  • has, without provocation, attacked or killed a person or animal (not including vermin), or
  • has, without provocation, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (not including vermin), or
  • is kept or used for hunting (not including a dog used for locating, flushing, pointing or retrieving birds or vermin), or
  • has been declared a dangerous dog under a law of another State or a Territory that corresponds with the Act.

A declared menacing dog is a dog that an authorised council officer or a local court has declared as menacing because it:

  • has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (other than vermin), or
  • has, without provocation, attacked a person or animal (other than vermin) but without causing serious injury or death, or
  • has been declared a menacing dog under a law of another State or a Territory that corresponds with the Act.

Many people keep a dog to deter trespassers and burglars. There is no problem with this, providing that it does not become a danger to other people or animals, other than vermin (including displaying unreasonable aggression).

If you have evidence that a dog is dangerous or menacing, you should notify your local council.

From 1 July 2020, the Government introduced annual permits for owners of restricted dog breeds and dogs declared to be dangerous.

Owners of these dogs are required to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee. Please refer to the Annual Permits section for more information.

Placing further control measures on dangerous and restricted dogs will serve as a further disincentive to owning high-risk dogs and encourage owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal.

AgressiveDog

Further Information

  • What you must do if you have received a Notice of Intention to declare your dog to be a dangerous or menacing dog?

    The Act provides that an authorised officer may seize a dog that is subject to a notice of intention to declare the dog to be a dangerous or menacing dog, if the dog is not microchipped and lifetime registered at the time the Notice of Intention is issued.

    If you fail to meet the control requirements for proposed dangerous or menacing dogs, you may be issued with a penalty notice.

    You have 7 days from the date of issue of the Notice of Intention to lodge an objection with your local council. You may provide evidence in support of your objection which may include a behavioural assessment from a professional behavioural assessor. Your local council must consider your objection before making the decision whether or not to declare your dog a dangerous or menacing dog.

    Your local council or the Office of Local Government do NOT recommend or provide contact details of professional behavioural assessors to owners issued with a Notice of Intention to declare a dog a dangerous or menacing dog.

    To locate a professional behavioural assessor contact your local Vet for advice or refer to your local Yellow Pages.

    It is also an offence to sell, advertise for sale, give away or transfer ownership of a proposed dangerous or menacing dog.

  • Penalties relating to proposed dangerous or menacing dogs
    Offence under Companion Animals Act 1998 Imprisonment Provision Max Penalty Amount
    Failure to register proposed dangerous or menacing dog No 60 penalty units/$6,600
    Failure to hold a valid annual permit for a dangerous dog No 60 penalty units/$6,600
    Failure to ensure that proposed dangerous or menacing dog is muzzled and under the control of a competent person by means of a suitable chain, cord or leash at all times when away from the property where ordinarily kept No 50 penalty units/$5,500
    Selling, or advertising for sale, a proposed dangerous or menacing dog No 150 penalty units/$16,500
    Accepting ownership of a proposed dangerous or menacing dog No 150 penalty units/$16,500
  • Control requirements for owners of declared dangerous dogs

    If you own a dog that has been declared dangerous, you must ensure that:

    •  your dog is microchipped and lifetime registered
    • your dog is desexed (or permanently sterilised)
    • you have a valid annual permit for the dog
    • your dog is not, at any time, left in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years
    • your dog is contained in an enclosure that meets the requirements of clause 24 of the Companion Animals Regulation 2008 when on the premises where it is ordinarily kept. You must also obtain a certificate of compliance from your local council, certifying that the enclosure meets the regulatory requirements
    • you prominently display dangerous dog warning signs on the premises where your dog is ordinarily kept
    • your dog wears a prescribed collar at all times
    • your dog wears a muzzle and is securely leashed at all times when outside the enclosure where it is ordinarily kept. If your dog has been declared as a dangerous dog because it is being kept or used for hunting, it is exempt from the requirements to be muzzled and securely leashed when outside the enclosure where ordinarily kept when it is actually hunting
    • you notify the local council for the area in which you intend to keep your dog, if this council area is different to the council area where your dog was kept when it was declared dangerous.
    • you notify the local council for the area in which your dog is ordinarily kept:
      • if the location (within the same council area) at which your dog is ordinarily kept changes as soon as practicable after the change of location
      • if your dog, with or without provocation, attacks or injures a person or animal, other than vermin (must notify within 24 hours of the attack or injury). It is an offence, under the Companion Animals Act 1998, to encourage a declared dangerous dog to attack a person or animal
      • if your dog cannot be found (must notify within 24 hours of your dog’s absence first being noticed)
      • if your dog dies (must notify as soon as practicable after your dog’s death).
    • you do not transfer ownership of your dog. It is also an offence to accept ownership of a dangerous dog
    • you do not sell (sell includes give away) your dog or advertise it for sale.

    For more information contact your local council.

    If you fail to comply with these requirements, you may be issued with a penalty notice and/or liable for imprisonment and your dog may, under certain circumstances, be seized and destroyed.

  • Control requirements for declared menacing dogs

    The same control requirements apply to a declared menacing dog as those which apply to a declared dangerous dog, with the exception of the enclosure requirement, which is as follows for a declared menacing dog:

    During any period that the menacing dog is on property on which the dog is ordinarily kept, and is not under the 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.

  • What you must do if your declared dangerous or menacing dog attacks or injures a person or an animal?

    If you own a declared dangerous or menacing dog and it attacks or injures a person or an animal, other than vermin, with or without being provoked, you must report it to the local council of the area in which your declared dangerous or menacing dog is ordinarily kept within 24 hours of the attack or injury.

  • What you must do if you have a declared dangerous or menacing dog and you are moving or have moved?

    You must inform the local council, for the area you intend keeping your declared dangerous or menacing dog, that you will be keeping your dog in its area. This enables the local council to ensure that you will comply with all control requirements for declared dangerous or menacing dogs.

    In the case of a declared dangerous dog, this also enables the council to issue you with a certificate of compliance, certifying that your dog’s enclosure meets regulatory requirements. For further information on control requirements, refer to ‘What control requirements you must comply with as the owner of a declared dangerous dog.’ section above.

    After that location has changed, you must inform the local council for the area your dog has, until now been ordinarily kept, that your dog is now being kept in a different council area.

    If you own a declared dangerous or menacing dog and the location at which your dog is ordinarily kept has changed, you must inform the local council, for the area your dog has, until now, been ordinarily kept (even if the location at which your dog is now ordinarily kept is in the same council area). You must do this as soon as practicable after the change of location using a Change of Owner/Details (C3A) form or a Change of Address Notice (C3C).

    This enables the local council to ensure that you are complying with control requirements for declared dangerous or menacing dogs. In the case of a declared dangerous dog, this also enables the council to issue you with a certificate of compliance, certifying that your dog’s enclosure meets regulatory requirements.

  • What you must do if your declared dangerous or menacing dog is missing or dies?

    If you own a declared dangerous or menacing dog and it is missing, you must inform the local council, for the area your dog is ordinarily kept, within 24 hours of your dog’s absence first being noticed.

    If you own a declared dangerous or menacing dog and it dies, you must inform the local council, for the area your dog has ordinarily been kept, as soon as practicable after your dog’s death.