Dog Controls in Public Places policy

Dog Controls in Public Places Document No: CPL50.3
Approval Date: 11 December 2018
Approved By: Council
Review Date:  
Responsible Officer: Director Planning and Development Version No 03
Authorising Officer: Chief Executive Officer


The purpose of this policy is to recognise that dog controls in public places is necessary, and implemented on a balanced approach, for the benefit of all members of the community.

The policy will guide the community with respect to understanding dog control rules within the municipality and conditions that apply in open public spaces to ensure community safety, environment protection and fair and equitable access to such spaces.


The policy applies to all Council managed lands subject to a Council Resolution and Order under Section 26 (2) of the Domestic Animals Act 1994.



Road has the same meaning as ascribed to it by Section 3 of the Local Government Act

Council Policy

The following principles will be used for the implementation of this policy:

Off Leash ‘Supervised’ Areas


Dogs are allowed off leash and supervised in specific designated public open space areas and/or any area as indicated by the relevant signage. This includes, amongst other designated public open spaces:

  • Those paths and adjoining land located on the Fyansford Common and the shared path on the northern side of the Barwon River upstream from the Queens Park Bridge to Fyansford Common including Zillah Crawcour Park)
  • Sporting grounds/ovals (playing area) outside times when being used for organised sports, including training (as defined by a formal booking with council); except those playing surfaces/spaces with artificial surfaces and dogs must be kept a minimum of 10 metres away from turf wickets
  • Sporting complexes/reserves – outside times when being used for organised sports, including training (as defined by a formal booking with council). The exception to this is any Equestrian Centre which is an on leash area at all times.
  • A range of Reserves and broad Open Space Parks as listed in the attachment to this Policy and as represented by Table 1.
  • Council approved Dog Parks

Council will review the effectiveness of these ‘Off Leash – Supervised Areas’ on an ongoing basis and will also consider any request for new ‘Off Leash – Supervised Areas’ to be established based on the following criteria, which will ensure safety, and equitable access to such spaces.  These include:

  • Linear open public spaces (i.e. green corridors, easements) may be considered if there is sufficient width to ensure safe use and passage
  • Public open spaces that do not contain a playground or where the playground is fully enclosed/fenced.  Open public spaces with centrally located playgrounds are not suitable as an ‘Off Leash - Supervised Area’
  • Public open spaces that are located at a safe distance from busy roads
  • Any other public open space not mentioned above that is not adjoining/adjacent to a water body and where no wildlife is present
  • Places where there is no detriment to public safety or the environment through the use of such open public spaces
  • Suitable open spaces will be reviewed annually to monitor performance and identify any additional reserves that may be suitable as “Off Leash - Supervised Areas’.

Conditions Applicable to ‘Off Leash - Supervised Areas’

The following conditions must be followed when using the ‘Off Leash - Supervised Areas’:

  • Dog owners must have a leash in their possession at all times so as to secure their dog when required and to place their dog back on the leash when leaving an off leash area;
  • Dogs that are over excitable and providing unwanted attention towards people, wildlife, cyclists or other dogs, should be kept on leash in such circumstances.  Those dogs that are aggressive and/or behave in an anti-social manner towards other people, wildlife, cyclists or other dogs should be muzzled and on leash when in public.

When encountering other people or animals using this area, the dog must be supervised and under effective control, which includes.

  • The handler must be able to demonstrate audible control of the dog.
  • Dogs must remain in visual and audible range of their handler to allow it to be effectively recalled at any time.
  • The dog owner applying necessary recall and restraint to their dog when the dog interacts with other dogs or persons within an off leash area, unless permitted otherwise by the owner of the other dog (s) or persons to enable the safe socialisation of dogs.
  • Dogs must not enter water habitats that contain wildlife, beach nesting birds or chase wildlife in these areas;
  • Dogs attracted to the motion of wheels must be controlled at all times;
  • Dogs declared menacing/dangerous/restricted breed are not permitted to be walked off-lead in ‘Off Leash – Supervised Areas’.
  • The handler must at all times have a means to pick up and appropriately dispose of dog droppings in a waste bin.


  • Signs will clearly indicate those parks, reserves or public open spaces where dogs are permitted to be off a leash and supervised.

On Leash ‘Controlled’ Areas

  • Within the City of Greater Geelong, unless otherwise designated by signage as an ‘off leash’ area (Table 1) , all public  Open Space Areas, Parks, Reserves and other Council lands shall be designated as ‘On Leash  - Controlled Areas’

More specifically this includes:

  • All roads and footpaths/nature strips/shared paths.
  • Beaches, reserves and parks.
  • Shopping centres.
  • High use areas pedestrian and/or cycling areas (for example the Waterfront Precinct in Geelong).
  • Sporting complexes and reserves (not including playing area) during times of organised sports (as defined by a formal booking with council which includes times booked for sports practice/training). The exception to this is any Equestrian Centre which is an on leash area at all times.
  • All areas in the Kardinia Park Reserve Precinct (except for the Kardinia Park West Oval playing surface and Geelong Cricket Ground playing surface) at all times.
  • At Council sanctioned/approved events, markets etc.
  • Shared use paths or walking paths and including areas either side of the abutting edge of the path; (except those in designated ‘Off Leash – Supervised Areas’).
  • Dogs are prohibited within ten (10) metres of a children’s playground but can be safely tethered no less than ten (10) metres from any play equipment; beyond ten (10) metres, the dog rules (as per the signage) for that location would apply;
  • Dogs being within and/or tethered within ten (10) meters of picnic and barbecue areas (as defined by council provided barbecues and/or tables and associated seating).
  • In areas designated as environmentally significant
  • Jetties, piers and boat ramps.
  • Water bodies such as creeks, rivers,  lakes and beaches unless signposted as a dedicated swimming area for dogs.
  • Beach foreshore and coastline areas (except those designated otherwise).
  • Other council lands

Conditions applying to all ‘On Leash Controlled Areas’ and ‘Off Leash Supervised Areas’

  • The handler must at all times have a means to pick up and appropriately dispose of dog droppings in a waste bin
  • Dogs when tethered in a public place must be safely secured within the line of sight and able to be adequately and promptly supervised.
  • All leads including retractable leads must be restricted to approximately 2 metres in length in ‘On Leash – Controlled Areas’ when encountering other people, wildlife, cyclists or dogs.

Dog control categories

Dog Control Categories (applicable to coastline areas and other public open spaces as designated) apply to reflect the needs of all public open space users and ensure community safety and environmental protection.

Category 1 (Green) – Off leash ‘Supervised’ Area

  • Areas where dogs are permitted off leash and supervised all year round.

Category 2 (Yellow) – Conditional Off Leash ‘Supervised’ Area

  • Allow dogs off leash and supervised during specified times all year round; in the mornings prior to 10.00 a.m. and in the evenings after 5.00 p.m. Dogs would be required to be on leash at all other times.

Category 4 (Brown) – On Leash ‘Controlled’ Area (Environmentally Sensitive Areas) and/or high use pedestrian/tourist precincts

  • Areas where dogs are required to be on leash all year round due to:
    • environmental sensitivity;
    • where there is an Order by Council;
    • the land management authority (not being Council) has regulated dog access under their own rules or legislation; and
    • high use pedestrian/tourist precincts.

Category 5 (Purple) – Conditional On Leash ‘Controlled’ Area (Hooded Plover and Wildlife Zones)

  • Allow dogs on leash during specified periods as designated by signage including periods during the hooded plover nesting season and/or other periods dedicated to protecting other wildlife (that is: seals, penguins).  Dogs are permitted to be off leash and supervised at other times/periods.

Category 6 (Red) - Exclusion Area All Year Round

  • Areas that will have dogs prohibited where:
    • there is extremely high environmental sensitivity;
    • there is an Order by Council;
    • the land management authority (not being Council) has prohibited dogs   under their own rules or legislation (effected by a dog control order);
    • there is are artificial sporting playing surfaces;
    • organised sport is being played on a sporting reserve/oval (playing area only); 
    • they are Council buildings (Guide/Assistance Dogs exempted);
    • the facilities are of Regional importance; these include the John Landy Athletics Track/Field, Goldsworthy Athletics Track/Field, Geelong Baseball Centre (Pioneer Park).

Table 1 - Designated ‘Off Leash - Supervised Areas’

Park/Reserve Location
North zone
All Sporting Grounds/Ovals (playing surfaces) when no organised sport is being played 21  (as at September 2018)
All Sporting Reserves (non- playing surfaces)  when no organised sport is being played 14 (as at September 2018)
Elcho Park (all areas other than the Equestrian Centre) 125 Elcho Road Lara
Abe Wood Reserve 300 Evans Road Lovely Banks
Sutcliff Reserve 240-268 Plantation Road Corio
Stead Park 190-216 Princess Highway Corio
Myers Reserve 5-35 Bluestone Bridge Road Bell Post Hill
Seagull Paddock 380-400 Melbourne Road North Geelong
Fyansford Common Deviation Road Fyansford
Goldsworthy Open Space Reserve 49 Goldsworthy Road, Corio
Hume and Hovell Memorial Reserve 106 Rennie Street, Lara
Rippleside Park (conditional off leash – before 10:00am and after 5:00pm) 42 Bell Street, Rippleside
Haines Reserve 1A Wilks Street, Hamlyn Heights
Kevin Kirby Reserve 39-49 Haytesbury Street, Herne Hill
Chirnside Park 39-65 Patullos Road, Lara
Weddell Street Reserve 56-98 Weddell Road, North Geelong 
Hovells Creek reserve, Limeburners point Open Space areas 150 Foreshore Road, Corio
Sparrow Park 158-178 Hope Street, Geelong West
South zone
All Sporting Grounds/Ovals (playing surfaces) when no organised sport is being played 25 (as at September 2018)
All Sporting Reserves (non- playing surfaces)  when no organised sport is being played 16 (as at September 2018)
Rotary Centennial Park 188A West Fyans Street, Newtown
Frank Mann Reserve 5 Heal Street, Ceres
Grinter Reserve (all areas other than the Equestrian Centre) 125-177 Coppards Road, Moolap
Brearley Reserve Grove Road, Marshall
Breakwater Road Reserve Breakwater Road, Belmont
Brearley Reserve 67-99 Grove Road, Marshall
Gundog Lane 26-76 Gundog Lane, Belmont
Aldershot Reserve 41-55 Aldershot Reserve, St Albans Park
Barwon Valley Park 42-120 Barrabool Road, Belmont
Pepperdine Park 84-102 Thornhill Road, Highton
Montpellier Park 8-10 Westbury Terrace, Highton
Woolscour Lane 5-23 Woolscour Road, Marshall
Eastern Park – sporting ovals when not being used for organised sport Eastern Park Circuit, East Geelong
John Croft Reserve 35-53 Heyers Road, Grovedale
Transmission Line Reserve 14A Greenville drive, Grovedale
Transmission Line Reserve 37 Burdoo Drive, Grovedale
East zone
All Sporting Grounds/Ovals (playing surfaces) when no organised sport is being played 14 (as at September 2018)
All Sporting Reserves (non- playing surfaces)  when no organised sport is being played 13 (as at September 2018)
Portarlington Recreation Reserve 4-22 Sproat Street, Portarlington
Drysdale Recreation Reserve 30 Duke Street Drysdale
Charles McCarthy Memorial Reserve 1202-1240 Murradoc Road, St Leonards
Kingston Park Recreation Reserve 8-52 Adco Grove Ocean Grove
Green Acre Drive Reserve 14-24 Green Acre Drive, Leopold
Lake Avenue Reserve 36-66 Blue Waters Drive, Ocean Grove
Collendina Reserve 93A Sunset Strip Ocean Grove
Beacon Point Reserve Beacon Point Road Clifton Springs

Dog Controls in Coastal and Other Open Space Areas

The following maps (19 in total) show various coastal beaches and any adjoining reserves and open space areas within the City of Greater Geelong. The maps commence at the south western boundary of the municipality and work around the coastline to the north eastern boundary near Little River.

Map number Description
Map 1 Overview of Municipality Coastline.
Map 2 Designated ‘Off Leash - Supervised’ Areas within Sporting Complexes and Reserves.
Map 3 Redgum Island, Fyansford Common – Barwon River.
Map 4 Breamlea Beach and Bancoora Beach.
Map 5 Ocean Grove, Collendina and Point Lonsdale Beaches.
Map 6 Deleted
Map 7 Deleted
Map 8 Deleted
Map 9 Ramblers Road; The Dell; Jetty Road and west of Jetty Road Beaches Clifton Springs.
Map 10 Point Henry (east and west side).
Map 11 Waterfront Precinct, Geelong.
Map 12 Western Beach; Rippleside Beach and St Helens Beach.
Map 13 Moorpanyal Beach, North Shore; Shell Foreshore (beach area); Grammer School beach; Limeburners Lagoon and Avalon Beach.
Map 14 Batesford Reserve, Batesford.
Map 15 Land along Barwon River from Queens Park Bridge to Breakwater. This land is managed by Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (with a small portion managed by Barwon Water near the MacIntyre Footbridge). Existing dog controls have been implemented by these land managers and Council does not have the authority to amend these controls.

Colour coding of the maps demonstrates dog controls at a glance. The category of controls in turn relate back to Council’s Policy on Dogs in Public Places.

The areas depicted on the Maps are those where Council has made a decision in relation to dog controls on coastal reserves. Map 2 is a quick reference to the other open space off leash areas applicable at the time of the policy update

Quality Records

Quality Records shall be retained for at least the period shown below.


Retention/Disposal Responsibility

Retention period


Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act 1994

Victorian Government



Domestic Animal Management Plan 2018-2021

Council Record Management System

4 years

Electronic Data System


Page last updated: Thursday, 14 March 2024