1. Overview

All dogs in New South Wales must be on a lead when in a public place, unless in a designated off-leash area.

The Companion Animals Act 1998 states that "A dog that is in a public place 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."

Dogs that are not under effective control have the potential to cause harm to the community through a variety of unwanted/illegal activities including: 

  • Defecating on public or private property
  • Destructive behaviour towards property
  • Causing traffic accidents
  • Attacking other dogs, animals, or people


Many owners fail to realise their pet, which in many instances is an extension of their family, may be a nuisance to the rest of the neighbourhood. The best way to address these issues is to: 

  • Ensure that your dog is always walked on a lead enabling you to adequately control your dog at all times whilst in a public place
  • Adequately confine your dog to your property ensuring the dog can not escape and/or roam

NOTE: An infringement notice can be issued for non compliance


2. 10 Essential tips for dog owners

1. Do not allow your dog to roam.

2. Ensure your dog wears a collar and tag.

3. Avoid unwanted puppies, have your dog desexed.

4. Have your dog microchipped and registered (unless exempt).

5. Pick up your dog’s faeces from public places and put it in a bin.

6. Ask your adjoining neighbours if your dog creates any problems, and correct them.

7. Socialise your dog to avoid unwanted behaviours associated with attacks.

8. Keep your dog healthy and happy.

9. Exercise/enrich your dog regularly to avoid problems associated with boredom.

10. Make sure you really want a dog and are prepared to care for it before acquiring none.


3. Dogs in parks

Dogs are welcome in the parks; however, there are some rules you need to follow. Dogs are to be on a lead (and secured to a person) at all times, and you must clean up after them (on the spot penalties can apply for non compliance).