Attacks and dog safety

We love dogs! But even good dogs have bad days. Dogs aren't usually outright nasty, but all dogs can bite if they're threatened, protecting territory, are sick, or frightened. There are many reasons dogs will bite. When a dog growls, that's a really serious warning and you should back off immediately. Before it gets to that, please learn about dog bite safety at >Good dogs have bad days<

Attacks gdbd link

Check out >Good dogs have bad days< for tips for being safe around dogs.

What do you do if a dog attacks?

It is an offence for a dog to attack, harass or chase people or pets. Dogs are not usually deliberately aggressive. This is often a response to fear, perceived threats or behaviours caused by their environment or people around them.

In the event of a dog attack, your first priority is to seek medical or veterinary treatment. If your dog is the initiator, restrain it if it’s safe to do so. You have a duty of care to others, so check the welfare of others involved and support them where possible. Councils must be notified and may investigate. Please cooperate and don't be fearful of the process.

If you or your dog has been attacked, observe and collect as many details as possible and report it to the council as soon as possible. Time is critical factor, especially if the offending dog is wandering on its own, posing a public safety risk. You'll need to provide the following details to the local council:

  • Date, time and location
  • Description of the dog including registration disc or collar details
  • Description of the owner including name, address, phone number.
  • Description of car including car registration number, make, model, colour
  • Decription and photographs of any injuries to you and your pet

If council is unavailable, consider calling the Police for emergency assistance.

What happens next?

Council investigators may take statements and photographs of any evidence, including injuries, from any involved parties or witnesses. Depending on the severity of the attack, councils can either issue a warning; impose a fine of $315 or if more serious, take court action. Council can also impose a 'control order' on the dog and its owner. There are four types of control orders. Three have specific instructions for the owner to manage the dog's behaviour (nuisance, dangerous or menace) and the fourth and final order is for the dog's destruction.

Claims for damages (this can also include veterinary care) are addressed as civil matters. Councils are not able to facilitate any compensation to victims.

Dangerous dogs

If a council animal management officer has assessed a dog to be potentially dangerous, it will have to wear a collar to identify it. This collar warns others to give the dog space. These collars have yellow and red diagonal stripes. Any dog of any breed or size can be dangerous.

Dangerous collar dogss