Dangerous dogs and restricted breeds

Under Victorian law, we can declare a dog dangerous if it is involved in an attack on a person or animal.

Dangerous dogs

According to the Domestic Animals Act 1994, a dog can be declared dangerous if it is:

  • trained to attack people or animals in order to guard humans or property
  • kept to guard non-residential property
  • involved in a serious attack on another animal or a person
  • declared dangerous by another council.


If we declare a dog as dangerous, the Act states the owner must:

  • keep the dog indoors or in an enclosure that is child-proof and escape-proof, unless
  • the dog is guarding a non-residential property
  • place warning signs prominently at the each entrance of the premises
  • place a dangerous dog collar on the dog
  • place a lead and muzzle on the dog anytime it is outside its premises.

Restricted dog breeds

The government has set laws for owners of restricted breed dogs under the Domestic Animal Act 1994.

Restricted breed dogs are defined as dogs that either are, or fit the Victorian approved standard for, identified breeds.

For more information on the Restricted Breed Dog laws, visit the restricted breed dogs page on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 22 March 2022