Frequently Asked Questions



What are the microchip requirements for dogs?

From 1 November 2013 it became compulsory for cats and dogs to be microchipped from the following dates:

1 November 2013

  1. All dogs registered for the first time and dogs changing ownership

    30 November 2013

  1. All dangerous dogs

    1 November 2015

                  ALL DOGS





    What can I do if I live near a dog that barks excessively?

    Dog owners are often not aware of their own dog’s excessive barking.

  1. Firstly, the owner should be approached directly and the problem explained to them. It may help to provide them with times the dog is barking.

  2. Secondly, if your neighbours are unapproachable or do not agree there is a problem, a complaint should be made to the rangers at your local government.

    What will rangers do when I make a complaint?

    Local governments are responsible for enforcing the nuisance provisions of the Dog Act 1976 and each Council may take a different approach to dealing with complaints.

    In the first instance, rangers need to be satisfied that a nuisance is being created.

    He or she could do this by talking to neighbours, observing behaviour, using a bark count collar or asking you to keep records.


    What if the barking continues?

    If the barking problem continues, and further complaints are lodged, the ranger may issue a noise abatement notice which requires the owner to abate the noise. This notice has effect for six months.

    If the owner does not comply with the notice, they may be issued an infringement notice of $200 or be taken to court, where a penalty of up to $5,000 may be issued.

    What if my dog is a nuisance barker?

    There is no quick fix or easy solution to problem barking. Don’t yell at or hit the dog for barking as this may cause other behaviour problems. Instead:

  1. Consult your local veterinarian, dog obedience club or animal behaviourist for advice on the best approach for your situation.

  2. Some dogs have behavioural problems such as separation anxiety, which requires specific treatment and behavioural modification.

  3. Dogs can also bark due to boredom, so ensure your dog has plenty to do when left home alone i.e bones, treat toys, chew toys. And is exercised regularly to burn off energy.

    Protecting its property

    Most dogs will bark if a person or an animal is near their territory. To help prevent your dog barking at things it can see beyond the fence, you may like to:

  1. Cover the fence or gate to a suitable height with material which obstructs its vision.

  2. Prevent the dog having access to the area on your premises where the dog tends to bark (i.e. by blocking access down the side of a house or to the front yard).


     What if I make a false complaint?

    Making a false report (for whatever reason) may result in civil court action being taken against the complainant for a false declaration.



    Dogs that roam are potentially a public safety risk to motorists, pedestrians and other animals. Irresponsible owners will be liable for any injuries or damage caused by their dog.

    Dog attacks on adults are caused mostly by dogs roaming outside their owners’ properties. Children who come into contact with roaming dogs at parks and other public places are more vulnerable to dog attacks.

    Keep your dog adequately confined on your property and follow the rules of responsible pet ownership to help prevent your dog attacking someone.

    Roaming dogs often approach and sometimes attack other dogs.

    Everyone is entitled to walk in their neighbourhood without being harassed or attacked by uncontrolled and often quite frightening dogs.

    Even if your dog is well behaved, it can be frightening to other people if it is roaming unattended.

    Although you may think your dog is unlikely to attack a person, roaming dogs often approach and sometimes attack other dogs. Responsible pet owners and their dogs are often targets of these attacks.


    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.

    Serious dog attacks

    Recent amendments to the Act have introduced separate penalties for a serious dog attack where physical injury occurs, and a minor dog attack where no physical injury occurs.

    This means that a dog attack can include a dog aggressively rushing at or attempting to attack a person or animal, as well as tearing clothing, biting or causing physical injury.

    Court imposed penalties

    Court imposed penalties for dog attacks range from $3,000 to $20,000 depending on the seriousness of the attack and whether the dog is known to be dangerous. A local government may also choose to issue an infringement notice.

    If you urge your dog to attack, you may receive a penalty of up to $10,000 and 12 months imprisonment, or $20,000 and 2 years imprisonment for dangerous dogs.

    You may have a defence if your dog is provoked, attacked or abused, or if someone unlawfully enters your premises, including a private residence or vehicle.

    Local governments may seek a court order for a dog to be destroyed if it has attacked and caused injury or damage.

    Liability for injury or damage

    The dog’s owner is also liable for any injury or damage resulting from a dog attack. A person who has been attacked may take private legal action for any injury or damage.

    Preventing dog attacks

    To reduce the potential for dog attacks, dog owners should:

    1. Limit the risky genetics (select an appropriate breed).

    2. Understand the animal.

    3. Train the animal.

    4. Limit the risky circumstances (restrain the animal in potential attack situations).



  1. In urban areas, your dog must always be on a leash in public, except at designated dog exercise areas.


    As the owner, you can be given an on-the-spot fine of $200 for not having your dog on a leash or for allowing it to roam.

    If the matter goes to court, the penalty could be up to $5000.

    Dog exercise areas

    Check with your local government for the location of dog exercise areas in your local area. Even in dog exercise areas, dog owners should still carry a leash at all times, and ensure the dog remains in reasonable proximity.


    Dangerous dogs

    If a local government declares your dog a “dangerous dog” or it is a restricted breed, then it must be kept on a leash, muzzled and wearing a red and yellow hazard collar in public places at all times even if it is in a dog exercise area.



    When exercising your dog in a public place, you should always clean up after it.

    Most local governments have local laws that require the person in charge of a dog in a public place to remove their dog’s excreta and dispose of it.

    There are penalties for not doing so a $200.00 infringement will be issued. Some local governments provide “plastic poo bags” and animal waste bins so that you can keep the environment clean for the enjoyment of others.

    Dog excreta in the garden should also be removed daily to reduce fly and health related problems.