Dog Owner Responsibilities & Leashing

Dogs make wonderful companions.

There are approximately 10,000+ domestic dogs living in Byron Shire. 

Keep your dog healthy, safe and avoid fines by following these essential tips.


  1. Keep your dog on-leash in public places.
  2. Exercise your dog regularly in an off leash exercise area – keep them healthy and avoid boredom. 
  3. Don’t allow your dog to roam - a roaming dog can be at risk of harm or risk of harming others. 
  4. Ensure your dog is registered - and microchipped.
  5. Always carry dog poo bags - so you can pick up your dog’s faeces and put it in a bin.
  6. Ask your neighbour if your dog is being a nuisance! You may not be aware that your dog is barking when no one is home! Avoid getting one of our post cards! 
  7. Train your dog not to bark - we can help with this. Contact us for more information.  
  8. Ensure your dog is friendly and comfortable with people to avoid dog attacks.
  9. Desex your dog if you are not a registered breeder.

Noisy neighbours?

Our barking dog post card or letter can be a gentle reminder to neighbours to manage their dog's behaviour while not at home.

Dog leashing

Putting your dog on a lead in public spaces that aren't ‘off-leash’ areas, ensures you’re always in control of your dog.

When everyone leashes, it: 

  • reduces unwanted and stressful dog interactions 
  • limits aggression and minimises bites 
  • keeps your dog safe and under control 
  • helps to protect our wildlife.   

Leashing means avoiding a $330 fine, or more if an off-leash dog rushes, harasses or chases any person or animal. 

View off lead dog exercise areas

Penalties and fines

Keep your dog under control

A dog that is in a public place must be under the effective control of a competent person by means of an adequate cord or leash.

Penalty: $330

Register your dog

Dogs are required to be registered after six months of age.

Microchipping (performed for a fee by your local vet) is a pre-requisite to registration and is required from 12 weeks of age, or at the time of sale if this occurs before 12 weeks of age.

Penalty $305

Pick up dog droppings

You should always carry bags with you to pick up your dog's droppings.

The owner of a dog that defecates in a public place must immediately remove the dog’s faeces and properly dispose of them.

Penalty $275

Barking dogs

Barking dogs can cause severe disturbances to local residents. Where Council receives multiple ongoing complaints about a barking dog the animal may be declared a nuisance.

Further barking events may result in a $220 penalty.

Dog owners are advised that any Penalty Infringement Notices issued by Council are processed and recovered by the NSW Police Service SEINS system.

Dealing with barking dogs

Dog attacks

Significant fines may be imposed on an offending dog that commits any of the following offences :

  • rushing at
  • attacking
  • biting
  • harassing
  • chasing any person or animal

Penalty $1320

Dogs and wildlife

In the Byron Shire your dog may encounter wildlife such koalas, wallabies, birds and reptiles.

Remember these tips to help keep your dog and our wildlife safe: 

  • Be aware of koala habitat
  • Off-leash dogs can cause breeding shorebirds to leave their nests. Keeping dogs out of sand dunes helps endangered shorebirds to successfully raise their chicks.
  • Keep your dog inside at night, enclose your veranda with a gate, or create a secure dog run. 
  • Place koala escape poles, climbing routes and trees inside fences. Ask if your neighbours to do similar. 
  • The smallest nip from your dog’s teeth can be fatal to a koala. If you see a sick or injured koala call the 24 hour Friends of the Koala Rescue Hotline on 02 6622 1233 

Watch the If Koalas could talk video over on YouTube.

What to consider before approaching a dog

Before approaching a dog, make sure you are aware of the following canine communication signals.

Fear v Relaxed

Fearful doghappy.jpg

Smiling v Waning

 greenlight smiling dog.jpgwarning.png

Signage in Byron Shire proudly funded by Byron Shire Council and NSW Government.

Proudly funded by NSW Government logo.png