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Last reviewed: Thu, 21 May 2015

Dog owner responsibilities

The Council's Animal Management Team can advise on your responsibilities as a dog owner.

An owner exercising their dog.

While the most important thing is to love and have fun with your dog, you also have a number of legal and moral responsibilities to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your pet and those around you. Please be aware of all your responsibilities before getting a dog.

Ensuring your dog is registered and microchipped (where applicable) is legally required and helps us reunite lost pets with owners.

It is important to remember that any dog can bite so care must be taken to ensure your dog is kept under control at all times. Whether inside or outside your home, please ensure your dog obeys your commands and is on a leash or under voice control in areas where it is allowed to run free.

It is always best to avoid letting your dog run free in areas where small children, livestock, poultry or protected wildlife are present. Christchurch has a number of safe, controlled environments where you can exercise your dog off a leash.

If you own a dog that is classified as dangerous or menacing, then you have more obligations to ensure everyone’s safety.


Authorising Unit: Inspections and Enforcement

Last reviewed: Thursday, 21 May 2015

Next review: Saturday, 21 May 2016

Keywords: dog, dogs, registration