Dangerous Dogs
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Dangerous Dogs

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This page provides information on the meaning of a dangerous dog and the processes involved in declaring a dog dangerous. The special restrictions and requirements outlined on this page also apply to restricted breeds. See Council’s “Restricted Breeds & The Pit Bull Terrier” brochure for more information about restricted breed dogs.

The Companion Animal Act states that a Dangerous Dog is a dog that...

  • Has, without provocation, attacked or killed a person or animal (other than vermin), or
  • Has, without provocation, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (other than vermin), or
  • Has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (other than vermin), or
  • Is kept or used for the purposes of hunting.

The definition of declaration of a dog as being dangerous is based on deed, not breed, as not all members of a dog breed behave in exactly the same way.

Owners of dangerous dogs have a range of obligations they are required to meet in order to ensure that people and other animals are protected.

How is a dog declared as Dangerous?

Council must comply with certain procedures before declaring a dog to be dangerous.

Council will send written notice to the owner of the dog of the officers’ intention to declare the dog dangerous.

Council will also advise the owner that they have seven days from the date of the notice to supply any written objection that they may have to the declaration.

If no objection is received within that seven-day period, the investigating officer may proceed with the declaration.

If a written objection is received, the officer must consider the objection before proceeding.

The officer will then give written notice to the owner of the dog whether the declaration will proceed or not.

Under Section 41 of the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 the owner of an animal declared dangerous can, within 28 days appeal to the local court against the declaration.

Can a dangerous dog declaration be revoked?

Yes. Under Section 39 of the NSW Companion Animal Act 1998. After a period of 12 months the owner of a dog that has been declared dangerous can apply to have the declaration revoked. 


Restrictions of a Dangerous Dog

The owner of a dog that is declared to be dangerous under the Act must ensure that each of the following requirements is complied with while the declaration is in force...

  • The dog must be desexed within 28 days after it is declared a dangerous dog
  • A person, under the age of 18 years, must not, at any time, solely be in charge of the dog


  • Be fully enclosed, constructed and maintained in such a way so that the dog is not able to dig or otherwise escape under, over or through the enclosure
  • Be constructed in such a way so that a person cannot have access to it without the assistance of an occupier of the property who is above the age of 18 years
  • Be designed to prevent children from having access to the enclosure
  • Not be located on the property in such a way so that people are required to pass through the enclosure to gain access to other parts of the property
  • Have a minimum height of 1.8 meters and a minimum width of 1.8 metres
  • Have an area of no less than 10 square metres for each dangerous or restricted dog kept on the property
  • Have walls, a fixed covering and a gate that are constructed of brick, timber, iron or similar solid materials, or mesh that is chain mesh manufactured from at least 3.15mm wire to form a maximum mesh spacing or 50mm or weld mesh manufactured from at least 4mm wire with a maximum mesh spacing of 50mm 
  • Have a floor that is constructed of sealed concrete and graded to fall to a drain for the removal of effluent
  • Provide a weatherproof sleeping area

Enclosure gates

  • Contain a self-closing and self-latching mechanism that enables the enclosure to be securely locked when the dog is in the enclosure
  • Be kept locked when the dog is in the enclosure
  • Display the warning sign referred to below.

Warning signs

Be displayed on the property on which a dangerous dog or restricted dog is ordinarily kept must comply with the following requirements...

  • The sign must be no smaller than 40cm x 40cm
  • The sign must be made of durable materials
  • The sign must show the words "Warning Dangerous Dog" in letters that are sufficient size so as to be clearly visible from the boundaries of the property, and in letters that are at least 50mm high and 10mm wide

Distinctive collars

A prescribed collar must be worn at all times. This type of collar...

  • Consists of red stripes alternatively spaced with yellow stripes each being a width of 25mm and set diagonal to the rim of the collar at an angle of 45 degrees
  • Is made from a material that reflects light in the dark. Only one of the two colours needs to be reflective
  • Is made of durable materials
  • Has a device or other facility that enables it to be attached to a leash
  • It has a minimum width of
    25mm for a dog weighing less than 20kg
    40mm for a dog weighing between 20kg and 40kg
    50mm for a dog weighing more than 40kg

Approval for the construction of an enclosure

Council Approval

The building of an enclosure, which complies with the above requirements, may require approval by Council before construction. For more information please contact Council’s customer Service Centre on (02) 4227 7111

Department of Housing Approval

If you live in a property owned by the Department of Housing, you will need to make enquiries with the Department as to whether the construction of this type of enclosure would be permitted.


Residents which are renting or leasing the property in which they occupy will need to make enquiries with the owner of the property, seeking approval, before considering the construction of this type of enclosure.

For more information please contact Council’s customer Service Centre on (02) 4227 7111

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