Keeping a dog

Council aims to keep Brisbane a dog-friendly city, ensuring wandering dogs don’t become a nuisance to neighbours, destroy wildlife or endanger themselves or people.

Council collects registration fees to:

  • support the work of our animal shelter officers who collect around 5,000 stray animals each year
  • create and maintain fenced off-leash areas and bins with collection bags in many parks


In Brisbane you can keep two dogs per residence without a permit.

If you want to keep more than two dogs, you may need to apply for a permit. To find out more about applying for a permit, refer to permit to keep dogs or contact Council. If the keeping of the animals is authorised under a development approval issued by Council, a permit will not be required.

The keeping of more than four dogs over the age of three months is prohibited, unless the keeper is a breeder. 

Choosing the right dog for you

Advice about choosing the right breed for your family is available when you adopt a dog from a Council animal shelter.

Your responsibilities as a dog owner

You should ensure your dog is healthy, safe and properly cared for. Find out what cat and dog regulations you need to follow.

Your responsibilities as a dog owner are to:

  • register your dog before they reach three months of age and every year after that
  • walk your dog on a lead when in a public place, except in off-leash areas
  • keep your dog quiet (see animal noise)
  • keep your dog in your yard and maintain an enclosure that is appropriate to prevent it going over, under, through or otherwise escaping it
  • prevent your dog attacking or frightening people or animals (see dangerous, menacing and restricted dogs)
  • pick up after your dog when it is in a public place
  • microchip your dog in accordance with Queensland Government legislation. More information can be found under new requirements for cat and dog owners

Fencing and shelter

A part of caring for your dog is ensuring that it has a safe, secure environment in which to live. Constructing an adequate fence around your property protects both your dog and your neighbourhood. Remember, this is a Council requirement. Failure to provide an adequate enclosure could result in a fine.

If your dog sleeps outside, ensure it has a covered shelter to protect it from wind, sun and rain and that it has warm bedding for winter.

Loud noises during thunder storms and fireworks can scare your dog, causing it to run away from home.

If your dog is scared of loud noises, Council recommends the following:

  • place your dog in a dark room or enclosed area
  • take your dog to another home where the noise won’t be heard 
  • don’t tie your dog up in the yard as it may injure itself trying to get free
  • try not to comfort your dog during storms or fireworks as it reinforces its fear
  • ensure your dog is registered and is wearing its registration tag in case it flees in fright

GPS dog collars

Council understands the distress that can be caused when your family pet goes missing. Registering and microchipping your dog provides the best opportunity for reuniting you with your lost pet.

Council also acknowledges new and emerging technology which may also assist, for example, GPS enabled dog collars. Before purchasing any of this technology, Council recommends that you research different products on the market to ensure you find the most appropriate product or collar for your dog.

Dog off-leash areas

Council has set up special areas in parks across Brisbane so your dog can run around leash-free, without attracting a fine.

Most off-leash areas have: 

  • fencing
  • water
  • bins to dispose of dog droppings
  • shaded areas
  • seating

While using off-leash areas, dog owners must follow the conditions displayed on site.

Find your nearest off-leash area.

Obedience training

We recommend you seek advice of a professional dog obedience trainer.

Some tips for training your dog are to:

  • keep a sense of humour and never scold your dog if it makes a mistake 
  • always use a kind, firm voice and short, simple words such as ‘sit’, ‘come’, ‘down’, ‘heel’ 
  • emphasise rewards not punishment 
  • never use a stick or raise your hand to your dog 
  • keep lessons short for puppies. Start with 10 minute lessons and go for longer as the dog grows older
  • it is recommended to teach your dog the command 'come'. To teach your dog this command:
  1. Start by adding the word 'come' to the dog's name when you call. Use a pleasant voice.
  2. To attract your dog, clap your hands or offer a reward. This can gradually be eliminated as the dog responds to the word 'come'.
Last updated: 3 May 2019