In this section you will find information about the registration and regulations for owning a dog.


Lead the way - Stay up to date with summer dog rules

Alongside the welcome warmth of summer comes changes to our local dog rules. Summer rules about where you can walk your dog are put in place from Labour Weekend to 1 March, with additional restrictions and prohibitions from 20 December to 31 January. These rules help to protect dogs, humans, and wildlife during peak periods and important nesting times for our precious manu takutai. 

The most important rule to remember is that dogs must be on lead unless specified otherwise. So, when in doubt, put your dog on a lead. 

Our bylaws team will be spending time talking to dog owners about our local rules, especially if dogs aren't on lead where they should be. If your dog is off-lead in an area that's not designated as off-lead, you could be fined $300.

But don't worry, you'll get the chance to make it right. Our aim is to educate people about our rules and to encourage voluntary compliance by giving out free dog leads. Multiple instances of non-compliance can still result in a fine.  

Things you've got to know


Dogs in urban areas: Dogs must always be kept on lead while in urban areas like town centres and roads. Our friendly bylaws officers will be out this summer enforcing this simple rule and are able to provide leads to dog walkers who don’t have one on them.  



Dogs on beaches: Most of our beaches have summer restrictions. Dogs may be completely prohibited or only allowed on the beach during certain times - usually before 9am and after 6pm. These restrictions are not only to keep dogs off beaches when there are a lot of people, but to protect important bird habitat areas during their summer breeding time.

Please look for signs at beach access ways which indicate places where dogs are allowed off-lead, places where dogs must remain on-lead, and places where dogs are temporarily prohibited.   

Our Council makes it so easy to stay up to date with the rules at your favourite beach. Look for these signs when you take a walk, and ensure you abide by these rules. 




greenGreen signs denote exercise areas: You can have your dog off-leash but under control at all dates and times.


oraangeOrange signs denote restricted areas: We use the restricted term for the summer period and holiday weekends. It means that there are restrictions around where you can take your dog during certain dates and times. We also have some areas that dogs are restricted from all year round.

redRed signs denote prohibited areas: This means no dogs at all. We have some areas that are prohibited all year round, but most are during the dotterel nesting season, so the prohibition is always from Labour Weekend to 1 March. 




Dogs around playgrounds: Dogs should never be in a children's playground. Our rules state dogs are prohibited from children's play areas at all times. This rule was put in place to avoid harm to both children and dogs, and to protect the sanitation of these sites. 

Dog rules specific to your area

We have produced summaries of the area rules for each Community Board area including dog walking rules for summer. Check the Dog Control Bylaw for all the rules.

• Coromandel-Colville Community Board area 
• Mercury Bay Community Board area 
• Tairua-Pāuanui Community Board area  
• Thames Community Board area 
• Whangamatā Community Board area 

For information on dog access to public conservation land check

Rules you probably know, but here's a reminder

• Dogs must not enter areas sign posted as bird nesting areas. 
• Owners must remove dog droppings.
• All dogs aged over three months must wear a current registration tag.
• Avoid strenuous activity with your dog during extremely hot periods of the day.
• Make sure there is plenty of fresh water and shade available. 
• Never leave your dog unattended in direct sunlight or in a closed vehicle.
• Dogs can be sunburned just like humans. White and light-coloured dogs are especially sensitive. Apply pet sunscreen on the ears and nose 30 minutes before going out in the sun. If your dog stays outside every day, apply sunscreen daily.
• Be careful not to let your dog spend too much time on hot sand or asphalt. Dogs can burn their pads easily.

Dog Control Policy and Bylaw 2016 

The updated Dog Control Policy and Bylaw came into effect 1 August, you can read the Dog Control Policy and Dog Control Bylaw here. To read the area summaries click the Dog Rules link.

Animal Control Report

As a requirement of the Dog Control Act 1996 our Council has approved the 2020/2021 Annual Report on Animal Control to the Secretary Local Government New Zealand.

This report is available for public viewing and is available at any TCDC service centre or by clicking on the following link - Animal Control Report 2020-2021