Dangerous, Menacing & Restricted Dogs

Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, the only restricted breed dogs that can be kept are those that were in Victoria before 1 September 2010 and which were registered before 30 September 2011. 

For more information on restricted breed legislation, please visit the Department of Primary Industry website.

Declared Dangerous Dogs

Dangerous dogs are declared because they have attacked, are used for guarding, or have been trained to attack.

Owners of dangerous dogs are required to leash and muzzle the dog in public and to house the dog according to strict requirements: 

  • A dangerous dog warning sign must be displayed at the entrance to the property
  • The dog must be leashed and muzzled when outside the property
  • Must wear a dangerous dog collar
  • Dogs to be kept inside a dwelling or an enclosure from which it cannot escape and that prevents it from injuring visitors to the premises. The outdoor enclosure or backyard must:
  • have a weatherproof sleeping area;
  • contain lock/s that have self-closing and self-latching mechanisms on any gates into the enclosure, which can be (and are) locked when the dog is in the enclosure;
  • be constructed and maintained in a manner which prevents the dog from being able to dig or otherwise escape under, over or through the perimeter of the enclosure;
  • not be situated on premises in such a manner that people have to pass through the enclosure;
  • have a minimum floor area of 10 square metres per restricted breed dog;
  • have a perimeter fence with a minimum height of 1.8 metres.

For more information, please contact Department of Primary Industry on 136 186 or visit the Department of Primary Industry website.

Declared Menacing Dogs

A dog may be declared menacing if it has rushed at or chased a person or attacked causing minor injury.

Menacing dogs are required to be leashed and muzzled in public.

Restricted Breed Dogs

Restricted Breed dogs are declared if they are a prohibited breed, not because they have attacked.

A dog that fits the ‘approved standard’ will be deemed to be a restricted breed dog and Council is no longer able to accept registration of these dogs, unless the dog was in Victoria before 1 September 2010 and which were registered before 30 September 2011.

The approved standard provides a descriptive and diagrammatic tool for authorised officers and the general public on what dogs constitute a restricted breed.

Restricted breeds are as follows:

  • Pit Bull Terrier (including cross breeds)
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Perro De Presa Canario

It should be noted that some American Staffordshire Terriers may also now fit this ‘approved standard.’

However, the Victorian State Government has made an exemption by stating that American Staffordshire Terriers will not be considered a Restricted Breed Dog, if the owner has one of the following certificates stating that the dog is an American Staffordshire Terrier:

  • a pedigree certificate from the Australian National Kennel Council;
  • a pedigree certificate from a member body of the Australian National Kennel Council;
  • a pedigree certificate from a national breed council registered with the Australian National Kennel Council; or
  • a certificate signed by a veterinary practitioner (Note: a microchip or desexing certificate will not be sufficient).

Any unregistered restricted breed dog may be seized and impounded. If this occurs, the animal owner will have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

Restricted breed dogs will need to be kept under the following conditions:

  • The dog must be microchipped and desexed
  • A restricted breed warning sign must be displayed at the entrance to the property
  • The dog must be leashed and muzzled when outside the property
  • Must wear a restricted breed dog collar
  • Dogs to be kept inside a dwelling or an enclosure from which it cannot escape and that prevents it from injuring visitors to the premises. The outdoor enclosure or backyard must:
    • have a weatherproof sleeping area;
    • contain lock/s that have self-closing and self-latching mechanisms on any gates into the enclosure, which can be (and are) locked when the dog is in the enclosure;
    • be constructed and maintained in a manner which prevents the dog from being able to dig or otherwise escape under, over or through the perimeter of the enclosure;
    • not be situated on premises in such a manner that people have to pass through the enclosure;
    • have a minimum floor area of 10 square metres per restricted breed dog;
    • have a perimeter fence with a minimum height of 1.8 metres.

The owner of a restricted breed dog must notify the council that registered the dog within 24 hours if:

  • the dog is missing;
  • the ownership of the dog changes;
  • the owner’s address changes;
  • the place where the dog is kept changes

For more information, please contact Department of Primary Industry on 136 186 or visit the Department of Primary Industry website.

 

If you have concerns about a dog that you believe to be dangerous or restricted, please contact Council.

 


Updated : 4:37 PM, 28 October 2016

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