Dangerous and Menacing Dogs

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The Botany Bay City Council is responsible for keeping the public safe from dogs that are a restricted breed, or have been declared dangerous or menacing. We have the power to act on complaints about dog attacks

Under NSW law, restricted breeds can no longer be sold or given away in NSW. It is illegal to accept ownership of such a dog. If you already own such a dog, you must desex and register it with Council. 

If your dog is reported by a member of the public to us, or a Council Ranger suspects your dog is one of these breeds (or a cross breed) and you haven’t notified the Council, we will investigate and possibly declare the dog a restricted breed.

You will be notified and if you disagree, you can request a breed assessment (from a registered assessor). You can also request a temperament assessment to test whether your dog is dangerous.

Rules for restricted, dangerous and menacing dogs

Owners of restricted breeds and declared dangerous dogs must follow these rules:

  • The dog must be desexed, microchipped and registered.
  • At home, the dog must be kept inside a certified purpose-built enclosure and warning signs must be displayed on the property.
  • The dog must wear a securely fitted muzzle when outside its enclosure (at home or in a public place).
  • When outside the enclosure, the dog must wear a distinctive red and yellow striped collar and be walked on a secure chain or lead.
  • The dog can never be walked off its leash, even in a designated off-leash park.

If such restricted, dangerous and menacing dogs are surrendered to a shelter, they will be humanely put down.

A restricted breed or a dog declared dangerous or menacing cannot be owned by, or left in the care of, anyone under the age of 18 years.

Menacing Dogs: Must comply with the same control requirements as dangerous dogs outlined above, with one exception – menacing dogs do not need to be kept in a purpose-built enclosure at home. 

Greyhounds: The requirements for control and management of greyhounds can be found on the Department of Local Government website.


Heavy penalties apply if owners breach any of the laws around keeping dangerous dogs and restricted breeds. More details can be found at fines for restricted dogs and fines for dogs declared dangerous and menacing.

The City regularly carries out inspections to ensure compliance.

A dog may be seized and immediately put down if the enclosure or muzzling requirements are not met on 2 separate occasions over a 12 month period.

Owner’s objections 

An owner has 7 days after the date the notice is given in which to object to the proposed declaration.

If an owner does not object within that time, Council Rangers will proceed to make the declaration after the 7 days have passed. If an owner does object within that time, Botany Bay City Council will consider the objection and, within a further 7 days, notify the owner of the dog with its final decision.

Revoking a Declaration of a Dangerous or Menacing Dog

The owner of a dog that has been declared a Dangerous dog or a Menacing dog can apply to Botany Bay City Council for the declaration to be revoked, after a period of 12 months has passed since the dog was declared to be a Dangerous dog or a Menacing dog.