Restricted Breeds
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Restricted Breeds

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Restricted breeds are defined under the Companion Animals Act 1998.

The following dogs are listed as restricted breeds...

  • American Pit Bull Terrier or Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Perro de Presa Canario (prohibited under the customs Act 1901)

Cross Pit Bull Terriers are not classified as a restricted breed

Of these, the Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino and Perro de Presa Canario are the only breeds currently known to exist in Australia. The only known restricted breed in Wollongong is the Pit Bull Terrier. The Pit Bull Terrier is the most controversial as the breed history often make them hard to identify.

Council aims to ensure community safety by managing restricted breeds in our community. This webpage has been designed to help residents identify a Pit Bull Terrier and, with this knowledge, help Council by making known their locations so that we can ensure the owner complies with all the necessary control requirements.

If you own a restricted breed, or a declared dangerous dog, and need information on your obligations and requirements, please contact Council's customer Service Centre on (02) 4227 7111.

 If you know of someone who owns a restricted breed and you believe they may not be complying with the control requirements, please contact Council and Council Animal Control Rangers will investigate.

The following information has largely been taken from the Dept of Primary Industries as it provides useful information and diagrams to identify a Pit-bull terrier.

The Pit Bull Terriers General Appearance & Characteristics

The Pit Bull Terrier is a medium sized dog and is strongly built with well defined muscles. The breed is noted for its climbing ability and subsequent strength in its hindquarters. The overall outline of the breed indicates it to be slightly longer in length (point of shoulder to buttocks) than height (withers to ground). Bitches may be slightly longer than males. A distance from withers to the elbow and the elbow to the ground is generally equal.

The head is proportionate to the dog. Viewed from above, the general shape of the head is that of a blunt wedge, large and broad. Viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are on parallel plains separated by a moderately deep stop. Arches over the eyes are well defined but not pronounced.
Large with wide open nostrils and may be of any colour.
Medium in size, round in shape and set low in the head – not prominent. Eyes can be all colours except blue. The eye rims are the same colour as the skin colour.
The shape and carriage of the ears will vary from dog to dog. Generally they are set fairly high on the skull, not large and may be half pricked or rose shaped (i.e. folding backwards and exposing the inner burr of the ear).
Moderate length and with great strength, tapering from the head into the shoulders. A slight arch over the crest. The neck must be free from loose skin or dewlap (loose, pendulous skin under the throat).
Strong forelegs, well boned and muscular with elbows fitting close to the body. Viewed from the front the forelegs are set moderately well apart and in a straight line to the ground.
Should not extend far beyond the point of shoulder or below the elbow. Well ribbed back with moderate tuck up (concave underline of the body curving upwards from end of the ribs to waist).
Broad, strong, firm and level and with a slight incline at the withers.
Short and deep with a slight slope to the croup.
Strong and muscular hindquarters that are in balance with the forequarters. Thighs are well developed and muscular.
All colours and combination of colours are acceptable, with the exception of blue merle and pure white. White feet and a splash of white on the chest are not uncommon on solid coloured dogs.
Height and Weight
Height at withers: Bitches and dogs 43cm–53cm

 It is illegal to give away, sell, breed from, or acquire a restricted breed

  • Your dog cannot be given away or sold
  • You cannot breed from your dog
  • You cannot purchase or accept a restricted breed from anyone else
  • Any restricted breeds that are surrendered or impounded will be humanely euthanised

Spot the Difference

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are commonly mistaken for Pit Bull Terriers. But this type of dog isn't a restricted breed. Although these dogs may appear the same, the most obvious difference between the two breeds is size. The Staffordshire bull terrier is around 14" to 17" in height and is not a restricted breed. The Pit Bull, meanwhile, is commonly around 18" to 19" in height.

For more information, please contact Council on 4227 7111.

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