Summary

  • Council can declare a dog to be dangerous or menacing.
  • Restricted breed dogs can be registered with Council.
  • You can report problems with restricted breed dogs to Council.

Dangerous and menacing dogs

Council can declare a dog to be dangerous or menacing.

A dangerous dog declaration has serious consequences for how these dogs must be housed and looked after. For example, dangerous dogs must be muzzled, on a lead and controlled by a person over the age of 17 at all times in public spaces.

A dog might be declared dangerous if it:

  • has caused serious injury to a person or animal by biting or attacking
  • is kept as a guard dog or has been trained to attack people or animals
  • is declared a menacing dog and its owner has received at least 2 infringement notices for the dog not being leashed and/or muzzled in a public place
  • has been declared a dangerous dog by another council.

A dog might be declared menacing if it:

  • 'rushes' at a person - this means the dog comes within 3m of the person while displaying aggressive signs such as snarling, growling or raised hackles
  • causes a non-serious bite to a person or animal
  • has been declared a menacing dog by another council.

Restricted breed dogs

You can register a restricted breed dog in Victoria with Council, in accordance with the Domestic Animals Amendment (Restricted Breed Dogs) Act 2017.

Dogs that are considered restricted breeds:

  • full or cross-bred American Pit Bull Terrier (or Pit Bull Terrier)
  • Pit Bull crossbreeds
  • Perro de Presa Canario (or Presa Canario)
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Fila Brasileiro.

Importantly, a restricted breed dog can include any dog of a mixed breed that visibly contains any of the above prohibited breeds.

Report a dangerous or restricted breed dog

If you want to report a suspected unregistered restricted breed dog or a registered restricted breed dog you believe is not being kept according to legal requirements, contact Council for an authorised Council Officer to investigate.

Alternatively, call the Victorian Government hotline on 1300 101 080.

You can also report a dog attack to Council.

You'll find more information about dangerous and menacing dogs and restricted breed dogs and the related laws and penalties on the Agriculture Victoria website.