Living in Dorset

Dorset Council provides community services based on the principles of quality, equity, value and responsiveness.

Visiting Dorset

Dorset has a unique blend of wilderness, wildlife, stunning scenery, mining heritage, secluded beaches and world class golf courses.

Contact us

  • Phone (03) 6352 6500
  • Fax (03) 6352 6509
  •  After Hours: 1300 858 824

Business community in Dorset

Dorset Council is focused on providing support to potential investors to facilitate sustainable developments large and small.

Contact us

  • Phone (03) 6352 6500
  • Fax (03) 6352 6509
  • After Hours 1300 858 824
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Dog Management

A dog is persons best friend - but only when controlled. The moment you take delivery of your dog you take on an extra responsibility in law. The Dog Control Act 2000 and Regulations detail all requirements for the keeping and behaviour of dogs. If you need any advice on any aspect of the law relating to dogs, please contact the Council on (03) 6352 6500.

Declared Areas

To ensure residents have areas to walk their dogs without conflict with non-dog owners, some areas will be declared restricted to dogs (excluding guide dogs or hearing dogs) during certain hours and periods of the year, or will be prohibited to dogs (excluding guide dogs or hearing dogs accompanying their owner) entering altogether. Other areas will be open to exercise dogs year-round. Council will consider the provision of further exercise areas along with training areas, prohibited areas and restricted areas as needs are established. Importantly, dogs must be under the effective control of a person at all times in public places.

The municipal area will be actively patrolled by Council staff and infringement notices will be issued where a dog is observed being active in a declared area that is in contravention of the Dog Management Policy. Special care must be taken to ensure that dogs are not at large in coastal areas during the breeding times of native birds and animals.

The following areas are areas where dogs can be exercised:

The following areas are areas where the activities of dogs need to be restricted (other than guide dogs or hearing dogs):

The following areas are areas where dogs (other than guide dogs or hearing dogs accompanying the owner) are prohibited due to the presence of sensitive habitat for native wildlife:

  • Bridport Foreshore BRIDPORT - All area eastward of the Bridport Foreshore Walking Track, from Granite Point to the Trent Water inlet to Anderson Bay (but excluding the area eastward of the Bridport Foreshore Walking Track from Eastmans Beach to Goftons Beach, inclusive).

Under Section 28 of the Dog Control Act 2000, a person must not take a dog into the following:

  1. any grounds of a school, preschool, kindergarten, creche or other place for the reception of children without the permission of a person in charge of the place;
  2. any shopping centre or any shop;
  3. the grounds of a public swimming pool;
  4. any playing area of a sportsground on which sport is being played; or
  5. any area within 10 metres of a children's playground.

This requirement does not apply to:

  1. a guide dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially blind person or is in training for that purpose; or
  2. a hearing dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially deaf person or is in training for that purpose; or
  3. a pet shop; or
  4. the premises of a veterinary surgeon; or
  5. a pet grooming shop; or
  6. any other premises related to the care and management of dogs.

Have you found a dog or other animal wandering in the Dorset Region? During business hours, contact Dorset Council 03 6352 6500. Outside business hours contact Council's After Hours Service 1300 858 824.

Every dog, on any property, over the age of six months must be registered.

To register a new dog, you can download a New Dog Registration form or visit the Council offices at 3 Ellenor Street, Scottsdale. The Fees and Charges Schedule for this financial year can be viewed here.

No more than two dogs can be kept on a property unless a Kennel Licence has been issued, unless they are "working dogs" used for driving or tending of livestock, detecting illegal substances, searching, tracking or rescuing or working with Police. Below is an information pack containing all the information you need to advertise/apply for a kennel licence:

Information Pack - Kennel Licence Application

Training is essential to ensure your dog integrates well with society. Training may include where your dog sleeps, eat, plays and toilet business. Daily walks are important for dogs, not only for exercise, but they also provide lots of interest as the dog sniffs and smells new sites and surroundings.

Dogs need stimulation in their daily lives to prevent them from becoming bored and showing destructive behaviours.

Ensure that your dog doesn't roam by day or night. Ensure that your dog is fenced in or tied up. When the dog is taken for a walk it must be kept on a lead of no longer than two metres when in a built up area and under effective control. At all times the dog must be in sight of the owner and responsive to a command.

Dogs are not permitted on beaches (except the two exercise area beaches listed) sports fields, reserves, children's playgrounds or school properties. Council has approved dog exercise areas.

Owners must ensure that a dog is not a nuisance to their neighbours for example by barking excessively.

Should any dog defecate in a public place or land not owned by the person, the owner is responsible and must clean up the droppings and dispose of them. Council provide Dog Tidy Bags & Dog Tidy Bins for your convenience (located in King & George St and Northeast Park Ring Road Scottsdale, Listers Lane Walking Track, Adams Beach, Trent Water & Wildflower Reserve Walking Track Bridport, Gladstone Road Gladstone).

Please download a copy of the Dorset Council Dog Management Policy (No.37) for further information.

For further information on dog ownership, please see the information brochures below which may be downloaded: