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Dangerous, menacing and restricted breed dogs

To protect our community, dogs that are declared to be of a restricted breed or declared dangerous must be kept in certain conditions that include specific fence height, size and materials used to construct an enclosure.

A dog is considered dangerous because of what it has done.

A dog is declared to be of a restricted breed due to the way it looks.

Dangerous dogs

A 'dangerous dog' is one that has been declared so by Council after either:

  • a serious attack on a person
  • a serious attack on an animal
  • menaced people on more than one occasion

Read information on dog attacks below

The term 'dangerous dog' is often used to describe a dog that acts in an aggressive manner or dangerously. This is not correct.

Dogs that are trained to attack are automatically deemed to be 'dangerous dogs' and owners of these dogs must notify Council of this when they register them. Dogs that are kept on non-residential properties, or guard dogs, are also deemed dangerous and have to be kept in special conditions.

Restricted breed dogs

Restricted Breed Dogs in Victoria include:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier (or Pit Bull Terrier)
  • Perro de Presa Canario (or Presa Canario)
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Fila Brasileiro

American Staffordshire Terriers

American Staffordshire Terriers are not considered Restricted Breed Dogs, if an Authorised Officer believes a dog is a restricted breed dog the owner may prove its breed with:

  • a pedigree certificate from the Australian National Kennel Council
  • a pedigree certificate from a member body of the Australian National Kennel Council
  • a pedigree certificate from a national breed council registered with the Australian National Kennel Council; or
  • a certificate signed by a veterinary practitioner

Registering your restricted breed dog

Declared dogs are not eligible for the reduced fee for registration with Council.

More information

This page was last updated on 8 June 2022.