Dog Owner Responsibilities
Our dogs are a valuable part of the whānau, so it’s important that owners know what their responsibilities are, and how we can work together to keep both the people and dogs in our communities happy, healthy, and safe.
A responsible dog owner:
- Picks up their dog's poo. Please carry bags with you or use one of our dog poo bag dispensers across the district.
- Makes sure their dog has access to shade, fresh drinking water and never leaves their dog in a hot car.
- Carries a lead at all times and has their dog under control when off-lead (unless you are in a designated dog exercise area, you must have your dog on a lead).
- Ensures their dog is registered and wears a registration tag at all times. If your dog is registered in another district, an ID with your name, mobile phone number and/or address will help if your dog gets lost or picked up by a Dog Control Officer.
- Remembers the 5-second rule: Whenever you take your dog outside, place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can't hold it there for 5 seconds, it's too hot to walk your dog.
- Makes sure their property has somewhere to keep their pet safe, secure and under control (and in the shade), where they will not be a nuisance to neighbours.
Ensure your dog registration information is current, accurate, and visible.
If your dog's registration tag is damaged or lost, please let us know as soon as possible so we can arrange a replacement for you. Either complete our online Dog Maintenance Form or pop into one of our offices.
If your dog passes away, please let us know in writing by using our online Dog Maintenance Form, which can be found here.
Please note that at the time of notifying us of your dog passing away, you may request a pro-rata registration fee refund for any months remaining in the current registration period.
*Pro Rata fee - determined by dividing the registration fee payable for a full year by 12; and multiplying that amount by the number of complete months remaining in the registration year.
Change of details
Please visit our Change of Circumstances page for more information.
Our Bylaws & Compliance Officers may issue infringement notices for breaches of the Dog Control Bylaw.
Visit our Dog Rules page to familiarise yourself with the dog rules for our district.
Under the Dog Control Act 1996, there are certain circumstances that we may disqualify a person from being an owner of a dog. A disqualification under the Act is enforced for a period specified by us, which may vary depending on the circumstances.
Please see section 25 of the Dog Control Act for more information, or we will be happy to receive any questions at email@example.com
Working Farm Dogs
A working farm dog is any dog kept by any person earning their main income from sheep or cattle farming, solely or primarily for the herding or driving of stock.
Under section 36A of the Dog Control Act 1996, working dogs are not required to be microchipped. If you wish to register a dog as a working farm dog, you will need to complete our statutory declaration form and supply this when registering the dog for the first time.
Note: You can get a rebate on fourth and subsequent working dogs. To be eligible for this rebate, Council must have on record a completed statutory declaration form for each dog.
Menacing and Dangerous dogs
Under the Dog Control Act, Councils in New Zealand may classify a dog as Menacing or Dangerous for a number of reasons, with the safety of our communities in mind. When a dog is classified as either Menacing or Dangerous, the classification extends over New Zealand, meaning wherever you and your dog reside in New Zealand, the classification remains in force.
Under the Act, as an owner of a classified dog, you have certain responsibilities to be adhered to. See below for an outline on each classification.
Under the Dog Control Act, Councils in New Zealand may classify a dog as Menacing if they consider the dog to pose a threat to any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal or protected wildlife due to any observed or reported behaviour OR any characteristics typically associated with the dog's breed or type. As stated in section 4 of the Dog Control Act 1996, these are listed below:
Breeds that are classified as Menacing:
American Pit Bull Terrier
Your responsibilities as the owner of a Menacing dog include:
- you must not allow your dog to wander and be in any public place or private way, except when confined completely within a vehicle or cage; and
- when in public, your dog must be muzzled in a manner that prevents the dog from biting while still being able to breathe and drink without obstruction; and
- if requested by a Council, within 1 month after receiving notification of the classification, provide that Council with a Vet Certificate verifying that the dog has been neutered OR for reasons specified on the certificate, that the dog is not in a fit condition to be neutered; and
- if required, you must provide a Vet Certificate verifying that your dog has been implanted with a microchip.
Under the Dog Control Act, Councils in New Zealand are required to classify a dog as Dangerous if:
- the owner of the dog has been convicted of an offence in relation to the dog under section 57A(2); or
- the Council has reasonable grounds, on the basis of sworn evidence attesting to aggressive behaviour by the dog on 1 or more occasions, to believe that the dog constitutes a threat to the safety of any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal, or protected wildlife; or
- the owner of the dog admits in writing that the dog constitutes a threat to the safety of any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal, or protected wildlife.
Your responsibilities as the owner of a Dangerous dog include:
- You must ensure that, from a date no later than 1 month after notification of the classification, the dog is kept within a securely fenced portion of your property (note: it must not be necessary to enter the portioned area to access at least 1 door of any dwelling on the property); and
- you must not allow your dog to wander or be in any public place or private way, except when confined completely within a vehicle or cage, without being-
- muzzled in a manner that prevents the dog from biting while still being able to breathe and drink without obstruction; and
- controlled on a leash (except when in a dog exercise area specified in our Dog Control Bylaw)
- you must provide, within 1 month after receiving notification of the classification, your Council with a Vet Certificate verifying that the dog has been neutered OR for reasons specified on the Vet Certificate, that the dog is not in a fit condition to be neutered; and
- if required, you must provide a Vet Certificate verifying that your dog has been implanted with a microchip; and
- you must, at the time of registering your dog each year after the date of notification of classification, pay the registration fee for your dog at 150% of the level that would apply if the dog were not classified as Dangerous; and
- you must not, without the written consent of the Council in whose district the dog is to be kept, dispose of the dog to any other person.
Registering/Renewing Registration for a Dangerous dog
As stated above, the registration of Dangerous dogs requires an additional fee. Please see our Schedule of Fees & Charges for the current rates.