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Confine your pet

Owners who fail to confine their dog face an on-the-spot fine or a court imposed penalty which is increased if the dog is not confined at night. If a dog or cat trespasses onto another person’s property after an initial complaint, the pet’s owner faces an on-the-spot fine or may have to pay a court imposed penalty.

Legal requirements for dog owners

Leash laws

All dogs must be kept on a leash while outside their property, except in designated off-leash dog parks.

Owners that allow their dogs off the lead in public places or don’t confine them to their property may face an on-the-spot fine of  $182 or charges of $363 if the matter is presented at court.

Confine your dog to your property

All dogs must be securely confined to their property, under the Domestic Animals Act 1994. The only way to ensure your dog is properly confined is to lock it in the backyard of your property.

We receive many reports of dog attacks on people and other animals. Most of these occur on or close to the offending dog's home property. Confining dogs to their property prevents the majority of dog attacks in public places.

If your dog chases someone

If your dog rushes at or chases someone, you may need to pay a court imposed penalty and we may declare your dog to be a ‘menacing dog’. This means you must have the dog on a leash and muzzle it in public at all times.

If you do not comply with these requirements, we may then declare your dog to be a ‘dangerous dog’. There are very strict controls on the housing, exercise and ownership of dangerous dogs.

If your dog attacks a person or animal

You are legally responsible if your dog attacks a person or animal outside your property, or someone trying to get to your front door. You are also responsible if your dog attacks someone who has been invited onto your property.

You could be taken to court if your dog attacks someone. If convicted, you can face substantial fines. The court may also order your dog be destroyed or declare it dangerous. Strict ownership controls are imposed on dangerous dogs for the rest of their lives. You could also be legally required to build a containment compound to house your dog.

Other reasons to confine your dog

  • An attack can be very distressing for everyone involved, especially if the victim is a child, or is badly injured.
  • If securely confined, your dog will be safe from traffic injuries or fights with other dogs.
  • Your dog will also be prevented from wandering and becoming lost.