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You, Your Dog And The Law

Taking on a dog as a pet means accepting the many responsibilities that comes with it. This also includes, consideration of your legal obligations as a dog owner. For example, many dog owners are unsure about laws regarding registration of their dogs with their local council, controlling them when in public places, ensuring they do not create a nuisance by barking incessantly and the implications of having a dog trained to attack. These pages will deal with the most frequently asked questions of our school on these issues.

What is the name of the dog act?

The Domestic Animals Act 1996. This came into effect 10 April 1996.



Do I have to register my dog?

The answer is simple. Responsible Dog Ownership. Without immunisation, your dog is susceptible to these life threatening diseases that can also be spread to other dogs.

At what age do I have to register my dog?

The Domestic Animals Act 1996 states, a dog must be registered at 3 months of age.

In whose name do I register my dog?

Dog’s must be registered in their owner’s names and at their owner’s address. If the dog is registered to a child, one or both parents must accept responsibility for the animal. A dog cannot be registered to a Post Office Box.


Can I receive discounted dog registration?

Yes. The act provides for discounts if you are a pensioner, have had your dog de-sexed or have received the Victorian State GovernmentObedience Certificate by an approved organisation such as Command Dog Training School.

Dog Registration Tags - does my dog have to wear its Council tag?

Yes. Failing to do so is an offence. Furthermore, if your dog is found wandering, identification and the safe return of your dog can be expedited.

What happens if my dog loses its registration tag?

Contact your Local Council immediately for a replacement tag.

Dangerous Dogs

Can dogs be declared dangerous?

Yes. A council may declare a dog as dangerous if it worries, rushes, attacks a human or animal, or has been attack trained.

Can I have my dog attack, protection, security or defence trained?

No. It is against the law for members of the public to have their dog trained in this manner. Only licenced Security Guards are allowed to do so. There are heavy fines and penalties for both dog owners and the training schools or individual trainers, that break this law.

For more information, contact Agriculture Pets.

What happens if I have a dangerous dog?

The dog must be specially registered with the local council. Furthermore, the dog must always be muzzled when in public, wear a specially designated dangerous dog collar, never be allowed off lead, always kept in a child proof enclosure in the backyard and the property must display specially designated dangerous dog signs.


Do Dog Training Schools or Individual Dog Trainers have to be registered?

Yes. All professional dog trainers or schools, must be registered with their local council under the Code of Practice for Dog Training Establishments. If they are not, they are trading illegally. Always ask for proof of registration when attending a dog training class. Command Dog Training School is registered at all its locations.


Missing Dog

What should I do if my dog goes missing?

Report it to your Local Council’s By-Laws department. Also, contact the RSPCA on 03 9224 2222, Lost Dog’s Home on 9329 2755 or other animal welfare organisation.

For more information, telephone the Pets Agriculture or call them on 136 186

Will I be fined if my dog is found roaming the streets?

Under the Act, dog owners will be fined for their dog not being confined to premises.

Barking Dogs

If someone complains about my dog barking, what can happen?

The complaint will be investigated and assessed by a Local Laws Officer. In an effort to resolve the complaint, the officer will consult with the owner and may involve mediation with affected neighbours.

The Council may also notify you of the barking problem and ask you to cease the dog’s behaviour within a specified period. If the dog continues to cause a nuisance after the expiration of the specified period, you could be issued with a fine. If the offence continues, you may be issued with a Court Summons.

The best way to deal with this type of problem, is to seek the help of a qualified and accredited dog trainer or school. Command Dog Training School can provide, through its specialised Home Training Service, a properly structured training program to help solve the problem before it gets to the courts. Contact our office on (03) 9877 6522 during business hours, for information on how we can help solve your problem.

For further information on the dog laws, dog owners should check with their respective councils. Moreover, Pets Agriculture, which is the State Government department charged in dealing with these laws, has a wealth of information on the new dog act. Their telephone number is Melbourne 136 186.

Have questions you need answered?

If you’re currently unsure of how to approach your need for puppy training, obedience classes or support towards a specific issue, please do not hesitate contact us on 03 9877 6522

Alternatively, get started and ensure you get a spot in our next session by enrolling online now.


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