Guide for new dog owners

Find out how to house and train your dog, where you can exercise your dog, and the ways we promote safety around dogs.

New Zealand and Hutt City Council have laws and guidelines to help you look after your dog in a way that's good for you, your dog , and the community.

  • register your dog
  • microchip your dog
  • provide shelter, water, food
  • exercise your dog
  • keep your dog on a lead in public places (unless at a dog exercise area)
  • pick up after your dog
  • get your dog trained
  • get your dog desexed.

You are legally responsible for keeping your dog under control at all times. Failure to do so is an offence with a fine of up to $3,000 or an infringement fee of $200.

Menacing and dangerous dogs have a different set of rules to follow.

Menacing and dangerous dogs

All dogs born after 1 July 2006 must be microchipped. There are some exceptions, but it's the best for your dog and for you if your dog goes missing.

Microchipping your dog

If you need  dog training advice you can contact:

  • the Avalon Dog Training Club on phone: 04 586 5536; or
  • the Wainuiomata Dog Training Club on phone: 022 153 3029 or email:

There are perks to becoming a responsible dog owner. You can get a discount off your registration.

Apply for responsible dog owner status

If you're in a public place, your dog needs to be on a lead, but when you're in a designated dog exercise area, your dog can run free.

Your dog does need to be under your control, and you must carry a leash at all times.

Dog exercise areas

  • You must clean up after your dog on any property that's not your own.
  • Carry a spare plastic bag whenever you're in public with your dog.
  • Put dog waste bags in a rubbish bin or wrap them up and put into your home rubbish.

Our education officers talk to groups such as Police, postal services and community groups on keeping safe when dogs are around. You can book one of these courses for your organisation.

Workplace Dog Bite Prevention Programme

We also visit schools, playcentres, kindergartens and school holiday programmes to teach children about how to keep themselves safe around dogs.

We can bring a dog into the classroom so that children can practise safe handling.

Dog safety education programme for preschools or primary schools

For more information

Dog Control Bylaw