Dog safety

Dangerous Dogs and Restricted Breeds

As a dog owner, you are liable any time your dog attacks a person or animal outside your property. This may result in fines and in extreme circumstances the dog may need to be destroyed.     

Supervising dogs and children

Never leave a child alone with a dog of any size or kind. Any dog, no matter how friendly, can bite especially if:

  • food is around
  • the dog is nervous, scared or excited
  • the dog is sick or hurt
  • there are puppies
  • children are playing in or near the dog’s bed or territory.

If you are not sure how your dog will react, put a muzzle on him. This will protect the kids and your dog.

Also, teach your kids how to safely pet dogs: ask the owner's permission, allow the dog to sniff, and pet gently.

Wandering dogs

If you are walking and are approached by a strange dog, do not look him in the eyes. If you think the dog may be dangerous, back away slowly.

A dog wagging its tail is not necessarily happy. Tail wagging is a sign of excitement, good or bad, so watch out for these more reliable signs of aggression:

  • a stiff legged walk and 'tall' posture
  • ears erect and hairs on the back and neck raised
  • tail horizontal or upright (can be wagging)
  • a direct stare
  • lifting of the leg and urination
  • growling, snarling or curling of the upper lip.

If you feel threatened back away slowly without making eye contact.

If your dog is with you make sure it is under your control. Pick up your dog if it is a small dog.

Do not scream and shout, turn and run, move forward or allow your dog to rush forward or strike out or kick at another dog.  

If you sight or find a stray wandering dog please contact us on 9747 7200.        

Dog attacks

A dog attack includes incidents where a dog rushes, chases, harasses, bites a person/animal and may cause injuries to a person/animal.

If you have witnessed or been involved in a dog attack please contact us on 9747 7200.

Ensure you give as much information about the attack as possible including the time, location, description of the dog /owner involved in the attack and your contact details.

Council will investigate the matter and penalties can apply if a dog attacks a person/animal.

Dogs can become aggressive for a variety of reasons:

  • Territory - Near their home, inside their owner's car, around their family, even at there favourite park - a dog might try to protect any person or place they see are there own.
  • Safety - If a dog is scared, abused, or pulled by the collar, ear or tail, they might try to fight off the threat.
  • Food - One of the most dangerous situations involves food. A small child reaching for his bowl or another dog (normally a playmate) moving in on a treat can cause a dog to nip, bite or attack.

Any dog, no matter how friendly, can bite when threatened or scared, so watch out for warning signs and dangerous situations.