Restricted dogs

The NSW State Government has classified a range of dog breeds as restricted. This includes dogs that are of a specific breed, a kind of breed or are a cross-breed of a restricted dog.

Restricted breeds

The following breeds are classified as restricted:

  • American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier,
  • Japanese tosa,
  • dogo Argentino,
  • fila Brasiliero
  • any dog containing any part restricted breed, declared by a Council under Division 6 of the Companion Animals Act,
  • any other dog of a breed, kind or description prescribed by the Companion Animals Regulation.

Note that importing restricted dogs into Australia is prohibited.

It is illegal to sell, give away, acquire or breed with a restricted dog.

Requirements for owners of restricted dogs

From 13 January 2006, if you own a restricted dog, you must ensure that each of the following requirements are met. Owners can face severe penalties and/or the dog can be seized if the following requirements are not met:

  1. Distinctive collar - The dog must at all times wear a durable, secure, red and yellow striped collar, which complies with the Companion Animal Regulations.
  2. Lead and muzzle - Whenever the dog is outside of its enclosure, which is able to restrain the dog and prevent a child from having access to it, the dog
    • must be under the effective control of some competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and that is being held by (or secured to) the person, and
    • must be muzzled in a manner that is sufficient to prevent it from biting any person or animal.
  3. Registration - All dogs must be identified by microchip and registered on the Companion Animals Register. Owners of dogs of a restricted breed or declared to be dangerous are required to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee from the 1 July 2020.
  4. Supervision - The dog must not at any time be in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years.
  5. Signage - One or more signs must be displayed on the property showing the words "Warning Dangerous Dog," in letters clearly visible from the boundaries of the property and which comply with requirements set out in the Regulations.
  6. Notification of any change in details - The owner must notify Council, of any of the following matters:
    • that the dog has attacked or injured a person or animal (other than vermin) - notice to be given within 24 hours after the attack or injury, must be muzzled in a manner that is sufficient to prevent it from biting any person or animal
    • that the dog cannot be found - notice to be given within 24 hours after the dog's absence is first noticed
    • that the dog has died - notice to be given as soon as practicable after the death
    • that the dog is no longer being ordinarily kept in the area of the council - notice to be given as soon as practicable after the change of location
    • that the dog is being ordinarily kept at a different location in the area of the Council - notice to be given as soon as practicable after the change of location.
  7. Desexing - Restricted dogs must be desexed.
  8. Enclosure requirements - While the dog is at home, the dog must be kept in an enclosure that complies with the requirements outlined in the Regulation.

Declaring a dog as restricted

If Council is of the opinion that a dog is of a breed, kind of breed or is a cross-breed of a restricted dog, Council may give notice to the owner of the dog of its intentions to declare the dog to be restricted.

Contesting a restricted breed declaration

If Council notifies a dog owner of its intention to declare their dog as a restricted breed dog, the owner can contest it. To contest, the dog owner - at their own expense - must arrange for an approved Breed Assessor to provide a certificate stating the breed of the dog.

If the Breed Assessor confirms that the dog is of a restricted breed, Council will declare it restricted. If the certificate shows the dog to be a cross of a restricted breed, the owner can - at their own expense - arrange for an assessment by an approved Temperament Assessor. If the Temperament Assessor states in writing that the dog is not a danger to the public and is not likely, without being provoked, to attack or bite a person or animal, Council will not declare the dog restricted.

Where this is not or cannot be done, Council may declare the dog to be restricted and the owner must comply with the requirements in the Companion Animals Regulation regarding restricted breed dogs.