Restricted Dog Breeds

Did you know?

The following types of dog are regarded as “Restricted breeds of Dog” for the purpose of the Companion Animals Act 1998 (the Act):

  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • American Pit Bull Terriers
  • Japanese Tozas
  • Argentinean Fighting Dog
  • Brazilian Fighting Dog
  • any other Dog of a breed, kind or description prescribed by the Regulations as restricted for the purposes of this Division.

While the Act lists the above types of dog, the only breeds of restricted dog known to be available in Australia are the Pit Bull Terrier and American Pit Bull Terrier.

Declaring a dog as a restricted dog

In addition to the above, the Act gives us the authority to declare a dog to be a restricted dog. Where we are of the opinion that a dog is on the restricted dog list or a cross breed of any such breed or kind of dog, we can commence the process to declare the dog as a restricted dog.

The Act details a process that we must follow which includes the use of breed and temperament assessments.

What are the control requirements for restricted breeds of dog?

In addition to the general requirements that exist for all dogs, specific control requirements are contained in the Act to deal with restricted breeds of dogs.

Pit Bull Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers must:

  • not be sold
  • not be acquired
  • not be bred
  • be desexed
  • be kept in an enclosure, built in accordance with the Companion Animals Regulations
  • wear a distinctive collar
  • be in the sole charge of a person over the age of 18 years
  • be under the effective control of a competent person while in a public place by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash and have muzzle securely fixed on its mouth to prevent it from biting any person or animal
  • be kept on a property displaying one or more signs showing the words "Warning Dangerous Dog" in letters clearly visible from the boundaries of the property.

Owning a restricted breed of dog

If you are the owner of a restricted dog you must notify us within timeframes specified in the Act when the dog attacks or injures a person or animal, is lost or has died.

Commencing 1 July, 2020 Annual permits will be required for certain companion animals, in addition to lifetime registration. For the purposes of section 11N (d) of the Act, an annual fee of $197 will be required to be paid for the issue of a permit for a dangerous or restricted dog.

A person must not own a restricted dog unless a certificate of compliance has been issued by us, confirming that the enclosure in which the dog is being kept complies with the requirements of the Act.

You could be fined up to $55,000 plus two years imprisonment if you fail to comply with the above requirements.

On-the-spot fines

Full details of these requirements can be found in Sections 55 to 58 of the Companion Animals Act and Clauses 32 to 36 of the Companion Animals Regulation 2018.

An authorised Officer may seize a restricted dog where the control requirements detailed in Section 56 are not being satisfied.

If you know of someone with a restricted dog that is not complying with the control requirements, please advise us.

If you cannot comply with the control requirements and wish to surrender your dog, please contact the Animal Care Facility on 02 4645 4790.

What is an enclosure?

The requirements under the Act for enclosures are as follows:

  • be fully enclosed, constructed and maintained in such a way so that the dog is not able to dig or otherwise escape under, over or through the enclosure, and
  • be constructed in such a way so that a person cannot have access to it without the assistance of an occupier of the property who is above the age of 16 years, and
  • be designed to prevent children from having access to the enclosure, and
  • not be located on the property in such a way so that people are required to pass through the enclosure to gain access to other parts of the property, and
  • have a minimum height of 1.8 m and a minimum width of 1.8 m, and
  • have an area of not less than 10 square metres for each dangerous or restricted dog kept on the property, and
  • have walls that are fixed to the floor and constructed to be no more than 50 mm from the floor, and
  • have walls, a fixed covering and a gate that are constructed of:
  • brick, timber, iron or similar solid materials, or
  • mesh that is either, 3.15mm chain mesh with a spanning of 50mm or 4mm weldmesh with a spanning of 50mm; or
  • a combination of the materials referred to, and
  • have a floor that is constructed of sealed concrete and graded to fall to a drain for the removal of effluent, and
  • provide a weatherproof sleeping area, and

Any gate to the enclosure must:

  • contain a self closing and self latching mechanism
  • be kept locked when the dog is in the enclosure
  • display a warning sign

What are we doing to enforce the control requirements?

There is an obligation on us to make sure that owners of restricted breeds comply with the requirements of the Act and in response to this Officers from the Animal Care Facility have implemented a Restricted Dog Compliance Program since March 2002.

This program involves the auditing of our records and the NSW Companion Animal Register to identify owners of restricted dogs. the project also includes a community education campaign and enforcement component.

Since March 2002 our Officers have been conducting inspections of all known Pit Bull Terrier owners' premises ensuring that they comply with the requirements in the Act for the keeping of restricted dogs.

Do you own a Pit Bull Terrier?

If you do, the Companion Animals Act 1998 requires owners of restricted dogs including Pit Bull Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers to comply with a number of regulations.

For more information, refer to the Restricted Dogs Page on the Office of Local Government website, or contact the Animal Control Rangers on 02 4645 4604.