Dog Ownership


Group of different breeds of dogs in a line

Responsible Dog Ownership

Many people enjoy having a dog for companionship, security and having fun, but everyone who owns a dog must be aware of their responsibilities.

Being a responsible dog owner is about understanding your pet’s needs and your responsibilities to the community. Your dog’s health, your children’s safety, your neighbours’ and your community’s well-being are largely dependent on you.

Is dog ownership for me?

The average lifespan of a dog is 15 years. This means dog owners need to be prepared to make a long-term commitment. To be a responsible dog owner, you must first ask yourself whether a dog is suitable for you.

Factors to consider include:

  • Do you have time for a dog? This includes:
    • Supervision
    • Training
    • Exercise
    • Attention
  • If you have other pets, will they be compatible?

Can you afford a dog

Vets advise that the average cost of owning a dog in its first year of life is about $1500.

If you are renting - check with your landlord first to make sure you are allowed to have a dog.

If you have children, you will need to spend extra time to ensure your children understand how to treat a dog. Young children should always be supervised around a dog of any age or size.

Local dog training contacts

Local dog training contacts

Local puppy preschool contacts

Local puppy preschool contacts

Rules when in a public place

  • Make sure your dog is always on a lead, unless in a designated off-lead area
  • Make sure your dog always wears a collar with an ID tag
  • Make sure you pick-up and remove dog's faeces from any public place

Failure to do any of the above may result in being issues with a fine.


De-sexed dogs are healthier, safer and easier to live with. They will be less likely to develop cancers, to roam, get in fights or be aggressive. As well, by making sure your dog doesn’t breed, you will be helping to prevent the deaths of thousands of unwanted dogs who cannot find homes.

Breeding dogs is best left to registered breeders of purebred dogs.

Restricted breeds

Legislation in NSW has deemed certain breeds of dogs to be “Restricted”. In NSW it is illegal to buy, sell, re-home or breed restricted dogs. If you currently own one of these dogs you must conform to strict new laws in regards to keeping a restricted breeds.

Restricted breeds include:

  • Pit bull terrier or American pit bull
  • Dogo Argentino or Argentinean Mastiff
  • Fila Brasileriro
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Any cross-breed of the above breeds

Eight way to care for your pet

Pets can be great friends, companions and protectors, but dogs and cats depend on you to be a responsible owner

  • Clean drinking water
  • Healthy food
  • De-sexing
  • Plenty of exercise, socialisation and training
  • Vaccination, worming and vet care
  • Proper grooming
  • Micro-chipping
  • Registration with your local council