Controlling your dog

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You are responsible for controlling your dog at all times.

Under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 you must make sure that your dog does not:

  • wander at large (wander into a public or private place without consent)
  • attack, harass or chase a person or animal
  • attack a person lawfully entering premises
  • go into a school, kindergarten or child care centre without permission
  • go into a shop, or a place where food and drink is sold or prepared (except pet shops, veterinary offices or dog groomers)
  • chase a vehicle.

Failure to control your dog may result in a fine.

These offences do not apply to guide dogs or hearing dogs.

Dogs in the front yard

While there are no set rules about where you can keep your dog on your property, we recommend that you keep your dog confined to your back yard.

This is because under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 (sections 43, 44) an owner is guilty of an offence if their dog attacks, harasses or chases or otherwise endangers the health of a person or if a dog is Wandering at Large (WAL).

This applies where a dog being kept in the front yard is seen to be a major factor in an attack. This means that you could face legal issues if there is an incident involving your dog and it is:

  • kept in the front yard or
  • allowed free access to the front of your property.

Keeping your dog in the front yard fact sheet

What can happen

If there is an incident we can:

  • impose a$210 expiation fee for WAL, or a $315 expiation fee for 'Attack, harass or chase'
  • impose control orders requiring you to keep the dog inside, or the yard securely fenced so as to prevent the dog from escaping
  • take direct court action, which carries a maximum $2,500 penalty if convicted.

The victim can also take civil action against you (the dog owner) and sue for damages.

More information

Email an Animal Management Officer or contact 8416 6333.