FAQs for Dog Owners
What are my responsibilities as a dog owner?
As the owner or person in charge of a dog, you have certain responsibilities and legal requirements. These include:
- registering a dog that is over the age of six months
- microchipping a dog that is over the age of six months
- keeping your dog on a lead at all times unless it is in a specified off-lead exercise area
- ensuring that the dog does not roam and that it is under your effective control at all times
- restricting your dog sufficiently whilst it is in or on a vehicle so that it is unable to leave the vehicle or attack any person or animal outside the vehicle
- preventing your dog from rushing at or chasing a moving vehicle or bicycle whilst in a public place
- making sure that a bitch on heat is confined away from public places
- cleaning up after your dog
Does my dog have to wear a collar?
Under the Dog Control Act 2000 the owner or person in charge of a dog, other than a guide dog or hearing dog, must ensure that the dog is wearing a collar in whilst in public.
The dog's current registration tag is to be attached to the collar. It is an offence for anyone, without good reason, to remove a collar from dog that is in a public place.
This provision does not apply to dogs engaged in:
- obedience or agility trials
- training for any of the above
Does my dog have to be on a lead in a public place?
The Dog Management Policy(PDF, 1MB) has strict requirements for when a dog is on or off lead. Please make yourself familiar with these areas to avoid receiving a penalty notice. In most cases your dog MUST be on a lead and under effective control when in a public place.
A dog is said to be under effective control only if the lead is less than two metres long, and if the person is of a sufficient age and strength to control the dog.
If a dog is tethered to a stationary object, it must be on a lead which is less than two metres long and for a period not exceeding 30 minutes.
Where can I exercise my dog?
The Dog Management Policy(PDF, 1MB) provides areas for exercising dogs. Information regarding appropriate exercise areas can also be found on the Animal Exercise Areas page on this website.
Are there any areas where my dog is not allowed?
As well as earmarking areas for exercising dogs, the Dog Management Policy(PDF, 1MB) lists the areas where dogs are prohibited, including sporting grounds. This does not apply to guide dogs or hearing dogs.
Council has also declared areas where dogs are restricted from entering:
- during specific hours, seasons or days
- during specific hours, seasons or days, unless they are on a lead
Do I have to clean up after my dog?
When exercising your dog in a public place you are always required to clean up after them. Dog faeces are unpleasant and damage the environment. Cleaning up can be done simply and easily with the aid of a scooper or plastic bag and placing the waste in the nearest rubbish bin. This does not apply to a guide dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially blind person.
Locations of the poop bag dispensers can be found in the Dog Management Policy(PDF, 1MB)
Failure to clean up after your dog can result in a fine.
Can my dog be removed from my property?
If an authorised council employee has reason to believe that a dog owner has breached a provision of the Dog Control Act 2000 or the Dog Management Policy(PDF, 1MB) , then he or she is legally able to:
- enter onto land owned or occupied by the dog owner, but not any dwelling on that land; and
- search for and seize any dog on that land
If the authorised person wishes to enter a dwelling on that land, he or she is able to do so by a warrant issued by a magistrate.
How many dogs may I keep?
Under the Dog Control Act 2000 you are required to apply for a kennel licence if you intend to keep:
- more than two dogs over the age of six months; or
- more than four working dogs over the age of six months
More information about kennel licencing can be found here
What should I know about the enclosed dog park?
Devonport has an enclosed, off-lead dog park located near Splash Aquatic Centre (260 Steele Street, Devonport).
Because the first visit to a dog park can be stressful for the new user (both human and dog), first-time visitors should consider visiting the park at non-peak times (peak times are generally late afternoons to dark on weekdays and after 9:30am weekends).
Dogs coming into the dog park must be registered, desexed (unless a permit has been issued) and fully vaccinated.
Declared restricted breeds or declared dangerous dogs are not permitted in the park.
Keep your dog on a leash when entering and exiting the enclosure. Quickly move away from the entrance and into the open. This will help dispense dogs who may come and greet you (and your dog).
Learn to read and respond to your dog's posture and body language.
Make sure you clean up after your dog. Poop bag dispensers and a rubbish bin are located within the enclosure.
For more information download our Dog Park Etiquette flyer(PDF, 647KB) .