Dog Ownership

Responsible dog ownership includes having you dog registered and microchipped, caring for their welfare needs, keeping them safe, proving a great quality of life, and complying with local requirements for keeping dogs on your property.

Dogs make great pets and are excellent company. They can keep you active, can be loyal, entertaining and can help with your mental health.

For more information about caring for your dog, please visit Agriculture Victoria's Dogs page.

If you wish to obtain further information or advice in relation to responsible cat ownership, please contact Council.

Council registration for dogs

Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, all dogs over the age of 3 months must be registered with Council. To register your dog, see our Council Registration for Dogs and Cats page.

Microchipping and desexing

All dogs living in Greater Shepparton must be microchipped prior to being registered with Greater Shepparton City Council.

Desexing helps to reduce the number of unwanted puppies and can assist to prevent your dog from roaming.

Please contact your veterinarian to have your dog microchipped and desexed.

For more information, please visit the Microchipping and Desexing pages.

Wandering dogs

Dogs are often highly valued members of our families. However if they are allowed to wander, they can cause serious issues.

Wandering dogs can:

  • get hit by a car or become injured
  • be involved in a serious dog attack where they are either seriously injured or killed, or they injure or kill another animal
  • attack, bite or rush at a person
  • be stolen
  • catch fatal diseases such as Parvovirus
  • annoy or threaten neighbours by wandering
  • become lost.

The most common causes of dog attacks in the Greater Shepparton City Council is as a result of a dog wandering. If your dog attacks and seriously injures or kills another animal or a person, there can be serious consequences. You may be charged with offences and be required to attend the Magistrates Court.

  • You may receive a criminal conviction.
  • You may be banned from owning a dog for 5 years.
  • You may be required to pay a fine or costs, which can be thousands of dollars.
  • Your dog may be declared a dangerous dog and may be destroyed.
  • You may go to jail.

Please ensure you keep your dog confined to your property. It is an offence for a dog to be outside the owner’s premises at any time of the day or night unless it is under effective control by a chain, cord or leash. If your dog is found wandering, rangers may seize your dog, issue legal notices and/or infringement notices, or commence legal action if your dog wanders off your property.

How to confine your dog

  • Build a secure fence that your dog cannot get any part of its body under, over or through. This includes ensuring that your dog’s nose cannot get through any part of the fence.
  • Ensure that your dog is not kept in the front yard. Any person has a right to walk to your front door without being harassed by your dog.
  • Make fences difficult to jump. You can try attaching floppy chicken wire to the top of your fences to make them harder to climb, or build an inward-facing ledge along the top of them.

Provide your dog with what it needs

To prevent your dog from becoming bored or developing behavioural problems, provide it with environmental enrichment, including:

  • companionship (from yourself and/or another pet)
  • exercise through play (for example: walk your dog on a leash, play fetch in the backyard, visit Council's off-leash dog park)
  • toys, bones and other items to chew
  • access to fresh air, grass and an area in your backyard for your dog to run around.

For more information, please visit Agriculture Victoria's page on Dog Welfare Needs, or contact Council for a brochure on keeping dogs.

What happens if your dog becomes lost?

Ensure your dog is wearing its registration tag on its collar at all times. If your dog becomes lost, contact the Shepparton Animal Shelter to report your missing pet. Council Community Rangers and the Shepparton Animal Shelter can identify a lost dog’s owner through its microchip and registration tag.

Shepparton Animal Shelter

The Shepparton Animal Shelter cares for lost animals or when an animal’s owner can longer care for them. For more information please visit the Shepparton Animal Shelter page.