Dangerous or Menacing Dogs and Restricted Breeds

A potential purchaser of a dog can find out if a dog has been declared restricted or dangerous from the information recorded on the dog’s microchip paperwork. If you have any concerns prior to purchasing a dog, please contact The Hills Shire Council on 02 9843 0555 to discuss.

 

Dangerous or Menacing Dogs and Restricted Breeds

Council has the authority under the Companion Animals Act, 1998 to declare dogs to be dangerous, menacing or a restricted breed. 

A dog is considered dangerous if it has, without provocation:

  • has, without provocation, attacked or killed a person or animal (not including vermin), or
  • has, without provocation, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (not including vermin), or
  • is kept or used for hunting (not including a dog used for locating, flushing, pointing or retrieving birds or vermin),

If a dog meets the above criteria Council may declare the dog a 'dangerous dog'. Council must first give notice to the owner of the intention to declare the dog to be dangerous.  The owner will be given information about their rights to object to the proposed declaration. Objections must be made in writing within 7 days.

 

Responsibilities of owners of dangerous dogs

If your dog is declared to be a dangerous dog you must:

  • ensure it is microchipped and registered
  • keep your dog in an enclosure that complies with the requirements prescribed by the regulations.
  • clearly display one or more signs on your property showing the words “Warning Dangerous Dog” that complies with the regulations.
  • ensure your dog wears a distinctive collar consisting of red stripes alternatively spaced with yellow stripes
  • keep your dog on a secure lead and wearing a securely fitted muzzle
  • desex your dog
  • not leave your dog in the sole charge of anyone under the age of 18 years.

It is illegal to give away or sell a dangerous dog. It is illegal to accept ownership of a dangerous dog.

 

Menacing dogs

A dog is considered menacing if it has, without provocation:

  • has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (other than vermin), or
  • has, without provocation, attacked a person or animal (other than vermin) but without causing serious injury or death.

If a dog meets the above criteria Council may declare the dog a 'menacing dog'. We must first give notice to you of the intention to declare the dog to be menacing. You will be given information about your right to object to the proposed declaration. Objections must be made in writing within 7 days.

 

Responsibilities of owners of menacing dogs

If your dog is declared to be a menacing dog you must:

  • ensure it is microchipped and registered
  • clearly display one or more signs on your property showing the words “Warning Dangerous Dog” that complies with the regulations.
  • ensure your dog wears a distinctive collar consisting of red stripes alternatively spaced with yellow stripes
  • keep your dog on a secure lead and wearing a securely fitted muzzle
  • desex your dog
  • not leave your dog in the sole charge of anyone under the age of 18 years.

During any period that a menacing dog is on a property at which it is not ordinarily kept, and is not under effective control of a person of or above the age of 18 years, the dog must be enclosed in a manner that is sufficient to restrain the dog and prevent a child from having access to the dog.

It is illegal to give away or sell a menacing dog.  It is illegal to accept ownership of a menacing dog.

 

Restricted dogs

The following dogs are restricted dogs for the purposes of the Companion Animals Act:

  • American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier
  • Japanese tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario
  • Fila Brasiliero
  • other breeds whose importation into Australia is prohibited by or under the Customs Act
  • any dog declared by Council to be a restricted dog.

Owners of restricted dogs are obliged to comply with the same responsibilities as owners of dangerous dogs (set out above).

It is illegal to give away or sell a restricted dog. It is illegal to accept ownership of a restricted dog.

Heavy penalties apply if owners breach any of the laws around keeping dangerous, menacing or restricted breed dogs. Click on the links below for more information on dangerous, menacing or restricted breed dogs.