Transport Canberra and City Services


The Canberra Dog Model

The Canberra Dog Model (PDF 7.7MB) was released in May 2019 and outlines a vision for best-practice dog management in the ACT and sets a number of immediate on-ground actions to bring us closer to achieving this vision.

Responsible dog ownership is fundamental to best-practice dog management. The Canberra Dog Model promotes a combination of responsible dog ownership and compliance and enforcement to ensure the best outcomes for dogs, their owners and the broader community.

A range of initiatives are committed to in the Canberra Dog Model, including:

  • an education and awareness campaign and programs for children and families
  • a new compliance program
  • off-leash area changes
  • dog desexing initiatives
  • free dog microchipping and registration days
  • launching the Yellow Dog campaign for dogs that need space
  • a pet census for improved data
  • annual dog registration for 2020-21
  • a range of other incentives for responsible dog owners.

Further information on these initiatives can be found in the Canberra Dog Model.

In recent years significant focus has been placed on responsible dog ownership, strengthening the regulatory framework and improving dog management in the ACT. The Canberra Dog Model builds on this progress to bring the ACT forward as a leader in dog management and welfare.

The Animal Welfare and Management Strategy 2017-2022 committed to a review of the legislation around how animals are managed and cared for in the ACT. As a result, the Domestic Animals Act 2000 has since undergone extensive amendments to bring the ACT in line, and ahead of, other jurisdictions in Australia. A review of the Animal Welfare Act 1992 was also undertaken and the proposed Animal Welfare Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was brought before the community in late 2018 and early 2019.

The Independent Expert Review into the Management of Dogs in the ACT was released in 2018 and put forward 34 recommendations to Government, one of which being to develop the Canberra Dog Model.

Find out more on the steps we have taken in reaching the Canberra Dog Model in Background to the Canberra Dog Model (PDF 3.2MB).

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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

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