Dangerous and menacing dogs

A dog of any size or breed can become aggressive when defending its territory. Even a friendly dog may guard the area on or around its property, especially when you are not present.

Most dog attacks in public places occur on the footpath or road bordering the attacking dog’s property. For this reason, it is important to make sure your dog is securely confined.

Make a report

Menacing dogs

Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 (DA Act), local councils in Victoria may declare a dog to be a menacing dog if:

  • the dog causes a non-serious bite injury to a person or animal, or
  • if it rushes at or chases a person.

'Rush at' means that the dog has approached a person within 3 metres, displaying aggressive behaviour such as:

  • snarling
  • growling
  • barking
  • raising the hackles.

Dangerous dogs

A dangerous dog is one that the council has declared to be dangerous because it has bitten or attacked a person or animal, causing serious injury or death.

The Domestic Animals Act 1994 empowers councils to declare a dog to be ‘dangerous’ if:

  • the dog has caused serious injury or death to a person or animal
  • the dog is a menacing dog and its owner has received at least 2 infringement notices for failing to comply with restraint requirements
  • the dog has been declared dangerous under corresponding legislation in another state or territory
  • or for any other reason prescribed.

A dog is automatically a dangerous dog under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 if it:

  • is kept for the purpose of guarding non-residential premises
  • has been trained to attack or bite any person or any thing when attached to or worn by a person.
  • This information does not apply to guard dogs on non-residential premises. For specific information on these dogs refer to the section on guard dogs.

You are required to notify Council if and when:

  • you commence guard-dog or attack training of any dog
  • you move to a new Council with a dog previously declared dangerous
  • the dog that has been declared dangerous attacks or injures a person or animal
  • the dog that has been declared dangerous is missing
  • there is change in ownership of the dog that has been declared dangerous.

Make a report

If you are attacked or rushed at by a dog, or need to report a dangerous or menacing dog in Maroondah City Council please report the incident as soon as it is safe to do so by contacting us on 1300 88 22 33. This is a 24 hour number. 

Make sure that you record as much detail as possible, such as:

  • time of the attack
  • location
  • description of the dog and owner
  • taking photos of any injuries
  • keeping copies of any records from your doctor or vet.