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Dangerous Dog Law Requirements in Australia

Colin Seal - Friday, August 29, 2014

Dangerous Dog Acts and their requirements for Dog Owners in Australia that have been implemented throughout most Australian states aim to protect the public from dog attacks. We talk about the requirements that they demand from dog owners with these dogs and the sanctions if they are not met.

Dangerous Dog Act Requirements

Dangerous Dog MuzzledWe've already talked about the difference between Dangerous Dogs, Menacing Dogs, Restricted Dog Breeds and how they are declared in our last blog, but what about the requirements? Does each State also have different requirements? Well yes, and no. Every Australian state with a Dog Regulation Act has similar requirements for dangerous dog owners but differ in details just like the acts’ details. We’ll talk about this in a bit but first, what happens if you don’t comply?

The owner of a Dangerous Dog, Menacing Dog or a Restricted Breed Dog must comply with each and every requirement of the Dangerous Dog Act of their state to the letter. If they fail to comply with a requirement, it will be counted as an offense and each offense is met with large fines and punishments for the dog owner or worse, the dog will be seized and destroyed, so you might want to know what you’ll be facing if your dog gets declared dangerous, menacing or is included in the restricted breed dog list. Below are a list of examples but if you want a detailed list for each offense, you’ll have to contact your local government for specific guidelines and offenses for your area or visit their website.

Dangerous Dog Act Offenses & Punishments

We’ll list down a few examples of offenses and the punishment the owner must face if they do not comply with the requirements of the Dangerous Dog Act in their state. This will hopefully get your attention and make you realize that these declarations are not to be taken lightly and will come with even more responsibility than just taking care of your dog and enjoying life.

Note that each penalty unit as of 2013 is equivalent to $170 under Australian Federal Law.

OFFENSE
FINE
Not wearing of prescribed Collar and Tag in NSW Up to 50 penalty units or $8500
Not being handled by a competent person with a an adequate leash in NSW Up to 100 penalty units or $17,000
Breeding of a declared Dangerous Dog or Restricted Breed Dog in QLD Up to 150 penalty units or $25,500
Not desexing a declared dangerous or restricted dog in QLD Up to 150 penalty units or $25,500
If a dog chases a vehicle or a bicycle or if a person is urged to do so in TAS Up to 5 and 10 penalty units respectively or $850 and $1,700
Failure to install Warning Signs in TAS Up to 10 penalty units or $1,700
Not wearing a Dog Muzzle in public and/or Dangerous Dog Collar in TAS Up to 20 penalty units or $3,400
Buying, Selling or Advertising to buy or sell a Restricted Breed Dog in WA Up to $10,000
Failure to Microchip a Dangerous Dog in WA within the allotted time Up to $10,000

We know some of the offenses are as simple as just not attaching a leash to the collar, failure of wearing a Dangerous Dog Collar, Dog Muzzle, failure to install Warning Signs or chasing a moving vehicle but the fines will definitely be heavy for any of these offenses and the worst may be the seizure and destruction of the dog. If you love your dog and your family, you won’t let anything happen to your dog and your family’s budget. Give us a call or browse the Dangerous Dogs section of our website if you own a Dangerous, Menacing or Restricted Breed Dog in Australia and need products that are mentioned in these Acts.

Dangerous Dog Act Requirements

Now that you know how much the fines and penalties will hurt you and your family if you don’t comply with the Act’s requirements, you would probably want to know some of the most important requirements that you must comply with. Below is a list of the most common requirements for each Australian State with known Dangerous Dog Acts. Contact your local government if you want to have a list of every requirement for Dangerous Dogs in your area and check out your State’s specific pages in our Dangerous Dogs section.

Dangerous Dog Collar

Dangerous Dog CollarA Dangerous Dog Collar is a specially designed collar made of durable materials intentionally made for Dangerous Dogs so that they will be easily identifiable in public and from a distance. The collar features red and yellow diagonal stripes at a 45 degree angle with at least one reflective colour for easy visibility in the dark. The Dangerous Dog Collar is required in WA, NSW, VIC and TAS. Queensland requires a specially designed Dog Tag instead of a Collar. The Dangerous Dog Collar is available in Medium, Large and X-Large for NSW and VIC while WA and TAS has an additional Small size.

Dangerous Dog Warning Signs

Dangerous Dog Sign NSWDangerous Dog Warning Signs are pretty much self-explanatory. These signs must be installed in all entrances of the premises and on the enclosure where a Dangerous Dog is kept. The designs vary from state to state. WA requires a rectangular Dangerous Dog warning sign in a vertical orientation, NSW requires a square Dangerous Dog Warning Sign, Victoria also requires the sign for Dangerous Dogs in a square design but they also require a rectangular warning sign for Restricted Breed Dogs, TAS requires two separate square signs for Dangerous or Restricted Breed Dogs, and QLD has a specially designed sign for Dangerous, Menacing and Restricted Breed Dogs. Click here for more information on these signs.

Dog Muzzle and Leash for Dangerous Dogs

Dog Muzzle Plastic CageAn appropriate Dog Muzzle and Leash for a Dangerous, Menacing or Restricted Breed Dog must be worn at all times when in public. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the dog is unable to successfully attack and injure persons in public as well as being able to be controlled efficiently by a capable adult. This by far would probably the most important requirement to avoid attacks and give your wallet a headache. This is required by Dog Acts in all Australian States. If you are in need of high quality Dog Muzzle, we have them in Nylon Mesh and Plastic Cage and is available in several sizes to fit any size dog.

Housing / Enclosure for Dangerous Dogs

The enclosure that is going to be used for dangerous dog has some very specific requirements for each state. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent the dog from escaping, the ability of the dog being able to be released without the owner knowing about it, and to protect persons from being attacked by the confined dog when they are in your property especially children from inserting parts of their body that can possibly cause injury. This requirement may possibly be the most expensive since it requires specific walls, flooring, roofing and adequate space for sleeping. If you do not have the proper area for this in your property, it is best to avoid a declaration in the first place.


The requirements mentioned above are the most important but there are a lot more that doesn't need an extra-long description. Check our Dangerous Dogs section or contact your local government for more specific details on the rest of the requirements so you can avoid paying large sums of money for missing one such as not having a Dangerous Dog Collar. I really hope this blog opens your eyes as to how heavy this is for a dog owner and what precautions you must take in order to avoid a declaration.

Remember, any dog, no matter what size or breed can be declared Menacing or Dangerous in some states. On our next blog for the Dangerous Dog series, we’ll talk about what to do so you can avoid a declaration and save thousands and thousands of dollars from these requirements.



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