Guide for 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.

Your responsibilities at a glance

Register your dog

All dogs in New Zealand legally need to be registered by 3 months of age.

How to register your dog.

Microchipping your dog

All dogs born after 1 July 2006 must be microchipped.

Caring for your dog

Provide shelter (that is warm, free from draughts and excessive heat or cold), water, food and exercise.

You are legally obligated under the 1996 Dog Control Act to ensure your dog is supplied with proper and sufficient food, water and shelter as well as exercise.

Animal Welfare Act.

Desexing your dog

Desexing your dog can prevent accidental litters of puppies, health problems and calm behavioural issues such as pee-marking and inter-dog aggression. Desexing your dog will reduce your registration price with Hutt City Council.

Vaccinating your dog

Dog owners should vaccinate their dogs annually to protect their animals and prevent the spread of canine diseases such as Parvovirus.

Controlling your dog

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

Menacing and dangerous dogs are classified by Council and dog owners are notified of the criteria and obligations they need to meet to keep the dog.

You have to take all reasonable steps to ensure your dog does not:

  • cause a nuisance to any other person
  • injure, endanger, intimidate or otherwise cause distress to any person
  • injure, endanger, or cause distress to any stock, poultry, domestic animal or protected wildlife
  • damage or endanger any property belonging to any other person.

Dogs in public spaces should be under supervision by an owner to ensure no nuisance or harm comes to the general public. This includes tethering outside of shops and other public spaces.

You can teach your dog at a young age some appropriate behaviours to use towards people and other dogs. If you need assistance with this here are a few places you can contact:

Exercising your dog

If you're in a public place, your dog needs to be on a lead. When you're in a designated dog exercise area, your dog can be off leash but must remain under control and be carefully supervised. You must carry a leash and poo bags at all times.

Dog Exercise Areas

In designated dog exercise areas your dog doesn’t need to be on a lead but you need to have one with you. Even when you're exercising off-leash, you must keep your dog under control at all times. If your dog's recall is not reliable keep your dog on a leash or use a long-line. Long lines can be purchased at Animal Services 21 Meachen Street and 73 Moa Point Road, Rongotai.

In public places your dog needs to be on a lead. This includes all walking and multi-use tracks in Lower Hutt.

If you're taking your dog out in public it’s your responsibility to clean up after it. Used litter bags can be placed in public rubbish bins on the street.

Use the map to see specific areas where you:

Cleaning Up after your dog

Carry a waste bag for picking up your dog's faeces and dispose of it in a rubbish bin. You can buy biodegradable dog waste bags from supermarkets and pet stores.

Did you know…

Under the Hutt City Council Dog Control Bylaw 2015, "If a dog defecates in a public place or on land or premises other than that occupied by the owner, the owner or other person having control of that dog shall immediately remove the faeces." If you do not pick up after your dog, you may get a $300 fine.

For more information

Dog Control Bylaw