It is important for all dog owners to be aware of when a dog can be classified as dangerous or menacing, and what that means for the owner.
The Council has the authority under the Dog Control Act 1996 to classify dogs as dangerous or menacing.
A dog may be classified as dangerous if:
If the Council has classified a dog as dangerous, the owner:
Must ensure that the dog is kept within a securely fenced portion of the owner’s property that it is not necessary to enter to obtain access to at least one door of any dwelling on the property.
Must not allow the dog to be at large (in this context 'at large' means unrestrained and running freely on private property without authorisation from the property owner) or in any public place or in any private way (a 'private way' is a recognised path/lane over private land, intended for the use of certain people or groups, not the general public) except when confined completely within a vehicle or cage, without being—
(i) Muzzled in such a manner as to prevent the dog from biting but to allow it to breathe and drink without obstruction.
(ii) Controlled on a leash (except when in a dog exercise area specified in a bylaw made under section 20(1)(d)(external link)).