Dog Ownership Rules and Management

Dog Registration

All dogs over three months of age must be registered and microchipped. For more information on how to register your dog, visit our dog registration page.

Whenever they are not on their owner's property, all dogs must wear their collar with their registration tag. Registering and microchipping helps you recover your dog if it is lost.

Where Can I Take My Dog?

Refer to the tabs below to find out where you can take your dog. A map is also available in the Your Dog Brochure (PDF).

  • Dogs are permitted to run free on all parks and reserves which are not prohibited or restricted provided they:

    • Are under effective control (this means the dog will come back when called at all times)
    • Are accompanied by someone who is capable of controlling the dog
    • Do not attack other dogs, people or wildlife
    • Are close to their owner so that the leash can be quickly attached if they become aggressive

    Dogs are not permitted in Prohibited Areas (see tab above) and are restricted to being on a leash if they are in a Restricted Area (see tab above).

  • Dogs are not allowed in these areas:

    • Blackwall Reach Reserve (Bicton)
    • Point Walter Reserve (Bicton)
    • Burke Drive Foreshore Nature Reserve (Attadale)
    • Deepwater Point Reserve (Mt. Pleasant)
    • Heathcote Heritage Precinct (Applecross)
    • Piney Lakes Reserve (Winthrop) in the Northern Bushland (except on leads on sealed paths)
    • Eastern Core conservation area and sensory playground
    • Jeff Joseph Reserve (Applecross)
    • Point Dundas (Applecross)
    • Bicton Swimming Area (Bicton)
    • Oz Park (Palmyra)

    Dogs are not permitted in any areas set aside by a wall, fence, sandpit of other softwall surface as a children's playground. They are also not permitted at foreshore reserves unless they are designated as 'restricted areas' (see the tab above).

  • Dogs are allowed at the below parks and reserves, provided they remain on a leash at all times:

    • Wireless Hill Reserve (Ardross)
    • Booragoon Lake Reserve (Booragoon)
    • Attadale Conservation Area (Attadale)
    • Melville Reserve (Melville)
    • Blue Gum Reserve (Booragoon)
    • Civic Centre (Booragoon)
    • Marmion Reserve (Myaree)
    • Apex Park Reserve (Canning Bridge)
    • Ern Stapleton Reserve (Attadale)
    • Wal Hughes Reserve (Attadale)
    • Harry Sandon Reserve (Attadale)
    • Tompkins Park (Applecross)
    • Piney Lakes (Winthrop - as sign posted)
    • Foreshore areas between:
    • Flannagan Road and Canning Bridge (Applecross)
    • Queens Road and Cranford Avenue (Mt Pleasant)

    Dogs must also remain on a leash on all streets and shared pathways, and also on any reserve on which a sporting activity is in progress.

Microchipping

Microchipping is a permanent method of being able to identify dogs. The chip is very small (about the size of the grain of rice) and is inserted between the shoulder blades of the animal. 

How do I get my dog microchipped?

A vet, vet nurse or a person with the relevant qualifications from a registered training provider is able to implant a microchip in your dog. For more information on microchipping, contact your regular vet.

What are the benefits of microchipping? 

Microchipping your dog make it easier for you to be reunited if they were to get lost. Any ranger or vet can scan the microchip to reveal your contact details. If your dog is impounded and they are not microchipped, you may be liable for a fine. 

What happens if I do not get my dog microchipped? 

When you register your dog, you will be required to provide proof that the dog has been microchipped by providing the microchip number. A person who fails to ensure their dog is microchipped may be liable for a penalty.

On The Spot Fines

As per the Dog Act 1976 (WA) Local Laws Relating to Dogs, please see below for a list of dog offences and the penalty.

Nature of OffencePenalty
Dog attack or chase causing physical harm$400
Dog attack or chase causing no physical injury$200
Dog causing a nuisance$200
Failure to produce document issued$200
Failure to remove dog excreta$100
Permitting a dog to be in a prohibited area$200
Unregistered dog$200
Failure to give notice of new owner$200
Kepping more than the prescribed number$200
Breach of kennel establishment licence$200
Dog in a public place without a collar$200
Dog not held by a leash in public$200
Control of dog in excercise/rural area$200
Greyhound not muzzled$200
Dog in a place without consent$200
Failure of alleged offender to give name$200
Unregisted dangerous dog$400
Dangerous dog not on leash in public$400
Uncontrolled dangerous dog$400
Dangeous dog attack or chase causing no physical injury$400
Dangerous dog not muzzled$400
Dangerous dog in specifically prohibited area$400
Dog enclosure not complied with$400
Dangerous dog not wearing a specificed collar$400
Not advising of dangerous dog owner change$400
Not advising Council of location change$400
Not advising of dangerous dog attack$400
Dangerous dog causing a nuisance$400
Dangerous dog signs not displayed$400

Other Tips for Responsible Dog Ownership

Barking Dogs

The City of Melville appreciates that a barking dog can severely disrupt people’s lives.

If a dog barks continually without reason, the cause may be lack of training, insufficient exercise, loneliness, inadequate shelter, ill health or deliberate or unintentional provocation by people or roaming dogs.

Residents are encouraged to try to improve the barking situation by:

  • Politely speaking to the dog owner and advising them that their dog is causing a nuisance. If you are not comfortable speaking directly with your neighbour, an anonymous Bark Card (PDF) can be dropped in their mailbox
  • If you have contacted the dog owner and are getting no results, contact us by phoning customer service on 1300 635 845, or by report the barking dog online

You may be asked to provide evidence in the form of a 'Barking Diary'. These diaries need to be as accurate as possible, covering a period of 14 days.

Dog Attacks

We encourage the reporting of all dog incidents and or attacks. You can call the council office during business hours on 1300 635 845 or after hours on 0418 943 219. You can also fill out a Dog Attack Statement Form (PDF).

A dog does not have to inflict a wound for it be classed as an attack. Our rangers investigate each report, even if an injury has not occured, to provide the dog owner with information to prevent any future incidents or attacks. If you report an attack, our rangers may get in contact to ask you some questions about the incident.

If a dog attacks a person or an animal the owner or person in control at the time may be held responsible. The number and severity of reported dog attacks is constantly monitored.

Dangerous Dogs

The council may declare individual dogs 'dangerous' for offences such as attacking or repeatedly rushing, threatening or chasing people or animals.

If a dog is declared dangerous, the owner will be required to: 

  • Ensure the dog wears a specified collar indicating a dangerous dog
  • Display warning signs indicating a dangerous dog at all access points at the premises at which the dog is kept
  • Have the dog microchipped
  • Providing clearly signposted, child and dog-proof enclosures
  • Notify the local government if a dog attacks, goes missing or moves to another owner or address
  • Notify the council if a female dog has puppies

Commercial guard dogs need to be specifically registered and their owners will be required to meet similar requirements.

Restricted Breeds

A restricted dog is defined as a breed whose importation into Australia is prohibited under the Commonwealth Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956. At present this includes:

  • Dogo Argentino (Argentinian fighting dog)
  • Fila Brasileiro (Brazilian fighting dog)
  • Japanese tosa
  • American pit bull terrier
  • Pit bull terrier breeds
  • Any dog of mixed breed that visibly contains any of the above prohibited breeds

The regulations require owners to:

  • Ensure the dog wears a specified collar indicating a dangerous dog
  • Display warning signs indicating a dangerous dog at all access points at the premises at which the dog is kept
  • Keep the dog in a child-proof and escape proof enclosure when at home
  • Leash and muzzle the dog while in public places, or confine it in an enclosed place if not.
  • Have the dog sterilised
  • Notify the local council within 24 hours if the dog is missing or if ownership changes
  • Advise a new owner in writing that their dog is a restricted breed
  • Be 18 years or over and ensure persons in charge of the dog in public places are also 18 or over. (The leash or chain must be held by a person who is physically able to control the dog)

The City can enforce penalties of up to $5,000 for any breach of the legislation. Residents of the City of Melville may have two restricted dogs per owner without a permit.

Collars for Dangerous and Restricted Dogs

According to the Commonwealth Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956, dogs for dangerous or restricted dogs need to:

  • Bear alternating red stripes and yellow stripes, each stripe being 25 mm wide and set at an angle of 45 degrees to the rim of the collar
  • Reflect light from at least one of those colours so that the collar can be rendered visible in darkness
  • Be made of durable material
  • Be capable of being securely fastened
  • Be capable of being attached to a leash
  • Have a minimum width of:
    • 15mm for a dog weighing less than 10kg
    • 25mm for a dog weighing 10kg or more but less than 20kg
    • 40mm for a dog weighing 20kg or more but less than 40kg
    • 50mm for a dog weighing 40kg or more
Signs for Dangerous and Restricted Dogs

A sign must be displayed informing that a dangerous or restricted dog is on the property.

The sign must:

  • Be a white rectangle measuring 200mm by 300mm
  • Made of a durable material
  • Contain the word 'WARNING'' in white capital letters, 30mm high on a red rectangular panel measuring 190mm by 45mm near the top of the rectangle
  • Contain below the 'WARNING' panel:
    • a red circle 160mm in diameter containing the black head and neck of a dog 100mm high wearing a collar
    • the words 'DANGEROUS DOG' in capital letters 20 mm high.
Excreta Disposal

If your dog excretes on a street or public place, you must remove and adequately dispose of it. Failing to remove or dispose of excret, is an offence under the City of Melville Dog Local Laws.

The council provides pooch pouches and bins on reserves to dispose of dog excreta. If your local park does not have any, submit a request for maintenance of doggie bag bins and pouches.

Fencing Requirements

Upon registering your dog, you must make a declaration to certify that the fences and gates at your home are capable of confining your dog within your premises. Gates must also have effective self-closing mechanisms.

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