Dangerous & Restricted Breeds

Dangerous and restricted breeds of dogs can be a serious problem for the community if they are not managed properly. There are now increased controls for dangerous and restricted dogs, greater responsibilities for owners and higher penalties for non-compliance.

If you own a dangerous dog or restricted breed, or just want to find out more information, please explore the FAQ’s below:

Dangerous Breeds FAQs

A declared dangerous dog is a dog that an authorised Council officer or local court has declared as dangerous because it:

  • Has, without provocation, attacked or killed a person or animal (not including vermin), or
  • Has, without provocation, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (not including vermin), or
  • Has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (not including vermin), or
  • Is kept or used for hunting (not including a dog used for locating, flushing, pointing or retrieving birds or vermin).

Many people keep a dog to deter trespassers and burglars. There is no problem with this, providing that it does not become a danger to other people or animals (not including vermin).

Your dog may only be declared dangerous if it:

  • Has, without provocation, attacked or killed a person or animal (not including vermin), or
  • Has, without provocation, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (not including vermin), or
  • Has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (not including vermin), or is kept or used for hunting (not including a dog used for locating, flushing, pointing or retrieving birds or vermin).

 If you have received a Notice of Intention to declare your dog to be a dangerous dog, you must ensure:

  • that your dog is registered (within 7 days),
  • that it wears a muzzle, and
  • is under the control of a competent person by means of a suitable chain, cord or leash at all times when away from the property where it is ordinarily kept.

If you fail to meet the control requirements for proposed dangerous dogs, you may be issued with a penalty notice.

You have 7 days from the date of issue of the Notice of Intention to lodge an objection with Council. You may provide evidence in support of your objection which may include a behavioural assessment from a professional behavioural assessor. Council must consider your objection before making the decision whether or not to declare your dog a dangerous dog. To locate a professional behavioural assessor contact your local Vet for advice or refer to your local Yellow Pages.

It is also an offence to sell, advertise for sale, give away or transfer ownership of a proposed dangerous dog.

You must ensure that:

  • your dog is microchipped and lifetime registered.
  • your dog is desexed (or permanently sterilised).
  • your dog is not, at any time, left in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years.
  • your dog is contained in an appropriately constructed  enclosure when on the premises where it is ordinarily kept. You must obtain a certificate of compliance from Council certifying that the enclosure meets the law’s requirements.
  • you prominently display dangerous dog warning signs on the premises where your dog is ordinarily kept.
  • your dog wears a prescribed collar at all times.
  • your dog wears a muzzle and is securely leashed at all times when outside the enclosure where it is ordinarily kept. If your dog has been declared as a dangerous dog because it is being kept or used for hunting, it is exempt from the requirements to be muzzled and securely leashed when outside the enclosure where ordinarily kept when it is actually hunting. 
  • you notify the Council where you intend to keep your dog, if this council area is different to the council area where your dog was kept when it was declared dangerous.
  • you notify the Council for the area in which your dog is ordinarily kept:
    • if the location (within the same council area) at which your dog is ordinarily kept changes as soon as practicable after the change of location
    • if your dog, with or without provocation, attacks or injures a person or animal, other than vermin (must notify within 24 hours of the attack or injury). It is an offence to encourage a declared dangerous dog to attack a person or animal
    • if your dog cannot be found (must notify within 24 hours of your dog's absence first being noticed)
    • if your dog dies (must notify as soon as practicable after your dog's death).
  • you do not transfer ownership of your dog. It is also an offence to accept ownership of a dangerous dog.
  • you do not sell (sell includes give away) your dog or advertise it for sale. 
If you fail to comply with these requirements, you may be issued with a penalty infringement notice and / or be liable for imprisonment and your dog may, under certain circumstances, be seized and destroyed. 

If you own a declared dangerous dog and the location at which your dog is ordinarily kept has changed, you must inform Council as soon as practicable after the change of location using a Change of Owner/Details (C3A) form or a Change of Address Notice (C3C).

This enables the local council to ensure that you are complying with control requirements for declared dangerous dogs and issue you with a certificate of compliance, certifying that your dog's enclosure meets regulatory requirements. 

You can find further information on dangerous dogs on the Office of Local Government’s website.

Alternatively, contact Cowra Ranger Services on (02)6340 2052 or Council on (02)6340 2041.

Restricted Breeds FAQs

In NSW, a restricted dog is one of the following:

  •  American pitbull terrier or Pitbull terrier
  • Japanese tosa
  • Dogo Argentino (Argentinean fighting dog)
  • Fila Brasiliero (Brazilian fighting dog)
  • Any other dog of a breed, kind or description, whose importation into Australia is prohibited by law.
  • Any dog declared by an authorised officer of a council to be a restricted dog. 

If you have received a Notice of Intention to declare your dog to be a restricted dog, you must ensure:

  •  That you follow all instructions in the notice.
  • That the dog is contained securely by a leash under the control of a competent person.
  • That the dog is lifetime registered with Council within 7 days.

If you fail to meet the control requirements for proposed restricted dogs, an authorised Council officer may seize the dog.

If you wish to contest the notice, you have 28 days. You may obtain a certificate confirming that your dog is not of a restricted breed or cross breed of a restricted breed from an approved breed assessor.

If you do not obtain a certificate or your dog is certified as a pure breed restricted dog, your dog will be declared a restricted dog.

If your dog is assessed as a cross breed of a restricted breed, you may obtain a certificate from an approved temperament assessor stating that your dog does not pose a threat to the community or is not likely, without provocation, to bite any person or animal.

If you do not obtain a certificate or your dog fails the temperament assessment, your dog will be declared a restricted dog. 

If you are the owner of a restricted dog, you must ensure that: 

  • Your dog is microchipped and lifetime registered.
  • Your dog is desexed (or permanently sterilised).
  • Your dog is contained in an appropriately constructed enclosure when on the premises where it is ordinarily kept. You must obtain a certificate of compliance from Council certifying that the enclosure meets the law’s requirements.
  • Your dog wears a muzzle and is securely leashed at all times when outside the enclosure.
  • Your dog wears a prescribed collar at all times.
  • You prominently display dangerous dog warning signs on the premises where your dog is normally kept.
  • Your dog is not left at any time in the sole charge of a person under 18 years of age. 
  • You notify Council if:
    • Your dog attacked or injured a person or animal (other than vermin) with or without provocation. It is also an offence to encourage a dog to attack someone.
    • Your dog cannot be found (must notify within 24 hours of your dog’s disappearance first being noticed).
    • Your dog has died (must notify as soon as practical after dogs death).
    • Your dog will no longer be ordinarily kept in the same Council area.
    • Your dog will ordinarily be kept at a different location in the same Council area. 
  •           You do not breed from, or advertise as available for breeding, your dog prior to desexing.
  •           You do not transfer ownership of your dog. It is also an offence for someone to accept ownership of a restricted dog.
  •          You do not sell (sell includes giving away) your dog or advertise it for sale.  

If you fail to comply with these requirements, you may be issued with a penalty notice and/or liable for imprisonment and your dog may, under certain circumstances, be seized and destroyed.

If you own a restricted dog and the location at which your dog is ordinarily kept has changed, you must inform Council as soon as practicable after the change of location using a Change of Owner/Details (C3A) form or a Change of Address Notice (C3C).

This enables the local council to ensure that you are complying with control requirements for declared restricted dogs and issue you with a certificate of compliance, certifying that your dog's enclosure meets regulatory requirements. 

You can find further information on restricted dogs on the Office of Local Government’s website.

Alternatively, contact Cowra Ranger Services on (02)6340 2052 or Council on (02)6340 2041.