You may have seen a bit of talk about the new dog collar system in Queensland for ‘regulated dogs’. But do dogs have to wear collars by law, or is it more of a guideline?
The answer is that it depends on your state or territory. In quite a few states, dangerous and/or regulated dogs do have to be identified by a distinctive collar. But in others, there is no such legislation.
When it comes to non-regulated dogs, collars aren’t a legal requirement.
What is a regulated dog?
The term ‘regulated dog’ refers to canines that are either restricted (breeds prohibited from being imported into Australia) or declared dangerous or menacing. A dog declared dangerous or menacing may have seriously attacked someone or another animal, have displayed dangerous behaviour or an authorised person has determined the dog to have the potential to do so.
The restricted breed list is below.
New dog collars law in Queensland
Queensland has recently introduced new legislation pertaining to mandatory collars. While dogs don’t have to wear collars by law under normal circumstances, as of 1 January 2022 certain dogs will now be required to do so. Regulated dogs must now wear a distinctive red and yellow striped collar.
This is in an effort to reduce dog attacks and incidents of dog aggression. Theoretically, if all regulated dogs wear the same highly distinctive collar, members of the public would know not to approach them.
Of course, you’d still have to keep your animals away. But it does mean you’d be able to identify them from a distance and put safety measures in place if needed.
As mentioned, the collar must be worn by any dog who has a history of attacking a person or animal or a dog that’s been assessed by an expert who believes they could attack in future. In addition, following five breeds will all be required to wear the collars regardless of their history:
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
- Japanese Tosa
- American Pitbull Terrier
- Perro de Presa Canario
Do dogs have to wear collars by law in other states?
Not all dogs are required to wear collars by law in ordinary circumstances. That said, if you’re walking your dog in a public place, it’s always best to have one on. It makes it easier to hold a dog or attach a lead in an emergency situation, even if your dog is usually in off-leash areas.
Plus, a dog collar can include your name and phone number. This means there’s a way for people to easily contact you if your dog is found when lost. In addition to microchipping your dog, of course.
Dangerous dogs and laws around collars
Legislation is new in Queensland, but some other states have had these laws in place for some time already.
For instance, dangerous dogs in New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia, and Victoria are also required to wear the striped red and yellow collar. The criteria for “dangerous dogs” differs slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, although not significantly.
For further details, the definitions for dogs in VIC can be found here, along with the restrictions for WA, TAS, and NSW. The ACT and SA don’t have the exact same legal requirements. That said, if a control order has been specifically issued for a dangerous dog in South Australia, they’re required to wear the collar.
Regardless, a dangerous dog collar is still a good idea if your dog is likely to attack a person. Or an animal. Better safe than sorry!
Concerned about dangerous dogs or that your own dog gets a little excitable and might hurt someone? Dog insurance means you can make an emergency vet trip if your dog gets injured by another. And if your dog nips someone else or their pet, if they don’t already have a history of violence the third party liability included in all our plans may offer you cover for damage your pet causes to other people or their pets or property.
Take a look at our pet insurance plans today.