Menacing and dangerous dogs

Dogs showing potentially dangerous behaviour and certain breeds of dog are classified as dangerous or menacing. Find out about the different regulations that apply to these dogs.


A dog can be classified as dangerous, no matter what breed it is, if:

  • it poses a threat to the safety of any person, animal, or protected wildlife based on evidence of aggressive behaviour
  • the owner has been convicted of an offence due to the dog rushing at a person, animal or vehicle
  • the owner admits the dog poses a threat to the safety of any person, animal or protected wildlife.

If your dog is classified as dangerous, you need to pay a higher annual registration fee. Your dog's registration fee will be higher than dogs that are not classified as dangerous. You can't change ownership of your dog without our written consent.

You must also make sure your dog is:

  • muzzled in all public places
  • on a lead in all public places
  • kept within in a securely fenced area at home
  • desexed
  • microchipped.

Parliament has restricted the importing, breeding and sale of dogs that are full breed or a predominant mix of these menacing breeds:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier – dogs deemed as wholly or predominantly of Pit Bull type may be classified by us as menacing dogs
  • Brazilian Fila
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Presa Canario.

Menacing dogs also applies to any dog (regardless of breed) that council considers may pose a threat to any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal or protected wildlife.

Any dog can also be classified as menacing by deed no matter what breed it is. This usually happens when a dog has been proven to be a risk to the public, other animals or protected wildlife. If we classify your dog as menacing, we'll give you a notice telling you about the classification.

Once your dog is classified as menacing, it must be:

  • muzzled in public except when in a vehicle or cage
  • on a lead in public at all times
  • either desexed or certified unfit to be neutered within one month
  • microchipped within two months.

If you don't follow Council requirements for keeping dangerous and menacing dogs, you can be fined up to $3000.


Contact details

Telephone: (04) 570 6666