Dogs in the Shire of Exmouth

One of the Ranger Services tasks is the management of dogs within the Shire. Should you have any concern with an animal, whether native or domestic, please contact them for advice. The ranger's contact number is 0428 518 413.

Ensure your dog is not able to exit the confines of your property boundary. If your dog is found wandering unattended in a public place, your dog may be impounded and you may incur an on-the-spot fine of $200. Should you have reason to believe that your dog has been impounded, contact the Shire Office during working hours.

Fees are imposed on all impounded animals and are payable to the Shire Council before the release of the animal from the pound which is located on Wilersdorf Road. All dogs must be registered prior to release. Any animal impounded for more than 72 hours may be put down.

Dog Registration

Microchip Your Dog

Dog Exercise Areas & Prohibited Areas

Owning Multiple Dogs

Dog Attacks

Dangerous Dogs

Kennelling Facilities

Useful Links

Dog Registration

The law requires that all dogs in a local government area over the age of 3 months must be registered with the Shire in the name of a person over the age of 18. Dog registrations are due on November 1 of each year and you can choose the option of a 1 year or 3 year term. Click the link below to download a Dog Registration Form.

Dog Registration Form

Your dog is also required to wear a tag showing your name and address/contact phone number, together with the registration tag. By doing so, any person who locates your dog wandering unattended in a public place will be able to contact you directly. Failure to do so may result in an on-the-spot fine.

Please note: The Department of Local Government has informed the Shire that dog registration fees have been increased (refer the table below for the new fees). Any new dog registration effective from 1 November 2013 will be charged at the new rate.


Dog Registration Charge Information
Registration Charges1 year3 yearsLifetime
Unsterilised dog/bitch $50.00 $120.00 $250.00
Sterilised dog/bitch $20.00 $42.50 $100.00

Pensioners receive a 50% discount on presentation of their pension card.

Sterilisation certification needs to be sighted by the person issuing a registration. All dog owners are encouraged to sterilise their pet to prevent them contributing to the increasing population of unwanted dogs and puppies.

It is an offence not to register your dog with the maximum penalty for failing to register your dog being $500.00.

If the ownership details of dog change, including your phone number, address or a new owner, please notify Council in writing so our registration records can be kept up to date. This in turn will mean your dog will be returned home sooner.

Microchip Your Dog

The Dog Act 1976 requires all dogs to be microchipped.

A microchip is a tiny electronic chip that is unique and unalterable and is inserted under an animal's skin by a veterinarian. The data on this chip is then registered on a national database. Local Rangers, pounds, veterinarians and animal shelters can scan a lost dog and retrieve the owner's details from the microchip.

Microchipping is a permanent and cost-effective way of increasing your pet's chances of being returned to you should it become lost or stolen. The transient population of Exmouth increases the likelihood of your dog being stolen and driven out of the district. With a microchip, the chances of your 'best friend' being returned home increases as local government rangers and Vets will scan a lost dog for a microchip. There have been many cases in which dogs have even been returned home up to 9 years later.

It is also important that you keep your contact information on the microchip up to date so that you can be contacted.

Microchipped animals must still wear their registration and name tags at all times.

Dog Exercise Areas and Prohibited Areas

The Exmouth area provides plenty of open spaces and beaches for exercising dogs. Whilst in these areas the dog must be kept under control at all times. Please note that Shire Ovals and Recreation Grounds are NOT dog exercise areas where your dog can roam freely without a leash. Dogs are prohibited, even whilst on a leash from all Shire buildings, the Ross Street Mall, all outdoor dining areas, the beach area adjacent to Town Beach between the ablution block and the Yacht Club, sporting ovals and children's playground area.

If your dog is not in an exercise area it must be on a leash at all times. If your dog is in a leash free exercise area, it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog does not cause a nuisance to other dogs or users of the area. Failure to do so may incur an on-the-spot fine of $200.

Please click here for a map indicating the Dog Exercise and Prohibited Areas within the district.

Owning Multiple Dogs

Current legislation allows for property owner's to keep a maximum of two dogs. In some circumstances, residents may wish to keep more than the prescribed number; however, approval from the Council is required.

The Dog Act 1976 allows residents to apply to keep up to three (3) dogs on properties within the town site and up to six (6) dogs on properties outside the townsite provided they have the consent from their neighbours and that the dogs are well behaved and do not create a nuisance.

A non refundable fee is charged at the time of lodging your application to cover the costs of processing your application.

View Council Policy 8.9 - Multiple Dogs for more information or to apply to keep more than two (2) dogs at your property, please contact Ranger Services on 9949 1699.

Dog Attacks

A dog attack is a very serious matter. If your dog attacks a person or another animal, you will be held responsible even if you were not there at the time. The only exception is where the dog was provoked to attack. A dog attack now includes a dog aggressively rushing at or attempting to attack a person or animal, as well as tearing clothing, biting or causing physical injury.

There are very substantial penalties of up to $10,000 for a dog attack and $10,000 and/or 12 months goal for inciting a dog attack.

The dog's owner is also liable for any injury or damage to property resulting from a dog attack.

This Council may also seek a court order for the dog to be destroyed.

To reduce the likelihood of your dog attacking:

  • Always keep your dog leashed.
  • Ensure your dog gets regular exercise, to avoid boredom and irritability.
  • Make sure your dog is properly trained and disciplined. Ask your vet if they run dog obedience classes.
  • Never allow your dog to wander unsupervised.
  • Ensure you have appropriate and secure fencing on your property.
  • If your dog has displayed unpredictable behaviour previously, always keep it leashed and remain vigilant around other dogs and owners.

If you, a family member or your pet has been attacked by a dog, please contact Ranger Services on 9949 1699 or 0428 518 413 to report the incident. Dog attacks are taken very seriously and need to be reported as soon as possible.

Dangerous Dogs

Once a dog is declared dangerous, it will automatically have to be muzzled at all times in a public place. Councils may also impose further restrictions, such as requiring that the dog be kept on a leash when in dog exercise areas or that it be excluded from specified areas.

Owners can appeal to the council or the local court if they believe the order in unfair. However, an owner who fails to comply with a declaration order on their dog may be fined up to $4,000. A dangerous dog declaration will only be removed if the Council becomes satisfied the dog is safe, i.e., by passing an obedience training course. The muzzle requirement would then be lifted.

For many offences, on-the-spot fines are doubled when the offence involves a declared dangerous dog.

Kennelling Facilities

The Shire of Exmouth does not currently have kennelling facilities available.

Useful Links