Dog owners' responsibilities

Learn about responsible pet ownership and how to keep your pet dog and people safe.

All dog owners must securely confine dogs to their property, or they risk being fined if their dog escapes.

A dog of any size or breed can become aggressive when defending its territory. Most dog attacks in public occur on a footpath or road surrounding the dog's property.

All dog owners must securely confine dogs to their property according to the Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act 1994.

This means your yard must have a closed gate, and an escape-proof fence that your dog can not jump over, get under or walk through. You can be fined even if your dog doesn't leave your property but manages to get through your gates or fence.

Visitors to your home must have safe access to your front door without being stopped by your dog. Ensure your dog is properly confined, keep it in the backyard behind a locked gate.

A dog attack can be very distressing for everyone involved, particularly if the victim is a child or is badly injured. By securely confining your dog it will also be safe from other dogs, traffic injuries, and prevents the dog from becoming lost.

Avoiding dog attacks

80% of hospitalised dog attack victims are bitten in private homes by their own dog, or that of a friend or neighbour. Therefore it is important to know how to approach a dog safely, and in particular, children need to be taught how to behave around dogs.

Children aged 0-4 years old are most at risk of a serious injury from a dog bite. Parents need to be aware of the importance of active supervision. There are a number of education programs available to teach children and parents about safety around dogs.

Further information

Pet training

Train your dog and cat to ensure they are well behaved and to ease their boredom. Training your dog means being able to control your dog both at home and well in public. Training can be useful for dogs and cats to help them socialise with other people and animals.Training can help prevent and treat behavioural problems in your pet.

Darebin has several Dog Associations you can turn to for training and advice, and your vet may be able to advise you about puppy preschool or kitten kinder classes.

Further information

Domestic Animal Management Plan

In February 2022, we adopted the Domestic Animal Management Plan for Darebin. The Plan aims to guide us and the community towards the goal of responsible animal ownership and management. The plan aims to encourage and incentivise responsible pet ownership, which in turn lowers the number of unwanted or abandoned animals in the community.