Wodonga Council

Page URL: https://www.wodonga.vic.gov.au/Services/Pets/Dogs


 /  ServicesPetsDogs

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Dogs provide us with much joy and unconditional love, and make amazing companions for many people of all ages and backgrounds in our community. In return, you need to be a responsible owner starting with choosing a pet that is right for you - consider the yard space, time needed for exercise and training, and other family members.

Before getting a dog, you may want to consider:

  • The costs involved such as veterinarian fees, food, immunisation and council registration costs;
  • Exercising your pet daily;
  • Providing a healthy balanced diet; and
  • Having your dog sterilised if it is not intended for breeding/showing.

The council helps owners to understand animal behaviour to protect and enjoy their animal, and ensure it does not disturb the community or local environment. All domestic dogs over three months of age must be registered each year with us. We conduct a doorknock each year to ensure all dogs and cats over three months of age are registered. Microchipping is compulsory for all animals under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

Dog owners can be fined or prosecuted for offences if your dog:

  • Is found wandering outside your premises;
  • Is a nuisance, or you fail to comply with a court notice ordering you to stop the cat or dog being a nuisance. This includes persistent barking which annoys your neighbours;
  • Wanders on to private property without the owner's permission on more than one occasion, and a warning has been issued by us, an infringement notice may be issued; or
  • Is unregistered.

You may also be fined if you:

  • Encourage or cause your dog to attack, bite, worry or chase a person or animal;
  • Allow any part of the animal's excrement to remain on any road, street, nature strip, reserve, and public or council land; or
  • Fail to take responsibility for any damage your dog may cause.

Order for the Control of Dogs

If you have received an infringement and would like it to be reviewed, complete an application for review. Infringements can include (and are not limited to):

  • Dog at large during the day time;
  • Dog at large during night time;
  • Failure to apply to register dog;
  • Dog creating a nuisance; and
  • Non-serious injury caused by a dog attack.

You can apply to review your infringement, find out more here.

Dangerous Dogs

Many dog owners believe dogs are declared dangerous due to their breed or size. This is not so. A dog may be declared dangerous if it attacks and seriously injures a person or another animal. There are rules for dogs declared ‘dangerous’ such as special identification, warning signs, the dog being muzzled when off the owners premises, etc.

We have determined that any declared dangerous dog (involved in an attack) is not welcome in our community. We will not register or renew the registration of a dangerous dog so the dog must be removed from the municipality.

You can read more about dangerous dogs here.

Restricted dogs

Five breeds of dogs are banned from being imported into Australia:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier (or Pit Bull Terrier);
  • Fila Brasileiro;
  • Japanese Tosa;
  • Dogo Argentino; and
  • Perro de Presa Canario (or Presa Canario).

Only the American Pit Bull Terrier (or Pit Bull Terrier) and one Dogo Argentino is known to be in Victoria. Restricted breed dogs may not have attacked a person or animal or displayed signs of aggression, but they are considered a higher risk to community safety than other breeds of dogs.

All dogs fitting the standard, except where exemptions are given by the standard, are considered a restricted breed dog.

Restricted breed dogs must be desexed, muzzled and on a leash while outside.

The Domestic Animals Act 1994 states that the only restricted breed dogs that can be kept or registered are those that were:

  • In Victoria prior to September 1, 2010; and
  • Registered (as any breed) prior to September 30, 2011.

To report a suspected restricted breed dog, phone our customer focus team on (02) 6022 9300 between 8.30am and 5pm or the dangerous dog hotline on 1300 101 080 between 8am and 6pm.

No matter the breed, all dogs over three months of age must be registered each year. Microchipping is compulsory for all animals.

Menacing dogs

We may declare a dog to be a menacing dog if it has rushed at or chased a person. These dogs should wear a muzzle and be restrained on a lead anytime they are outside the owner's premises.

Read more about menacing dog laws.

Barking dogs

Barking dogs can be annoying to neighbours, though sometimes the owner is unaware that the barking is causing a nuisance. If you encounter a barking dog from a neighbouring property, the first step could be to discuss the issue with your neighbour. Sometimes the issue of barking dogs can be resolved by speaking to the dog owner first, without the need to involve the council.

Once someone is aware that their dog is causing a nuisance to their neighbours, most of the time they will try to fix the problem. We strongly encourage you to discuss these issues with your neighbours.

The council has developed a friendly letter which you may wish to use to raise the issue of the barking dog with your neighbour.


Frequently asked questions

What can I do about a barking dog?

If you are comfortable doing so, you could approach your neighbour in the first instance, as they may be unaware of the problem if they are not home during the day/night. The council has also created a ‘barking dog card’ which you can print off here.

If the problem persists, please contact the council on (02) 6022 9300 to pursue a complaint. We will ask you to keep a log of the barking to assist our rangers in following up the issue.

Do dogs have to be on a lead?

Dogs must be on a leash at all times, except in nominated off-leash areas.

Not everyone is a dog lover like you. Some people might be afraid of dogs or perhaps just not like dogs.

Your dog might be friendly, but other people and pooches might not be - prevent your dog attacking or frightening people or animals. Don't allow your dog to approach or, worse, charge at another person, particularly children, or another dog. This is a common factor leading to dog attacks which can lead to serious injuries and legal consequences.

Young children may not be equipped - physically, emotionally or intellectually - to be responsible for walking a dog and should have adult supervision at all times. Children are often too small and physically unable to control a dog - particularly one that may get over-excited or aggressive. And if something should happen to their much-loved pet, they may face physical as well as psychological injuries.