City of Karratha

Barking or Dangerous Dogs

Need to report a barking or dangerous dog? This page will help you do all of that.

Barking dogs

Ranger Services understands the frustrations a barking dog can cause, disrupting sleep and quality of life. The laws relating to dog nuisance are prescribed by State Legislation and local authorities are bound to follow that process.

What can you do?

It is important that you approach the dog’s owner as soon as the dog/s barking becomes a problem. This is the best solution, as in the vast majority of cases if the complainant approaches the dog owner in a courteous, informative and neighbourly fashion, both parties can work together to solve the barking issue.

Should you feel unable to approach your neighbour directly, write them a polite letter stating the effects the dog/s barking is having on you. This letter should not be anonymous as this will lead to bad feelings and cause a breakdown in communication. You should keep a copy of this letter for future reference and evidential purposes.

If these steps have been taken and after a reasonable time the barking continues or you are unable to approach or write to the dog's owner, please contact Ranger Services.

What can we do to help?

Ranger Services will visit the dog's owners and explain the problem. In some instances the dog owner might not believe there is a problem or doesn't realise what their dog/s get up to when they aren’t home. To assist our rangers, we require some information such as days, times and what may be triggering the barking. Convincing a dog owner to change their pet's habits is not easy and the more information we have the easier and quicker we can help you.

To help Ranger Services help you, please download and complete the Barking Dogs Kit (522KB PDF).

Download the Barking Dogs brochure (0.8MB PDF) for more information on what you can do about barking dogs.

Dangerous Dogs

If your dog displays behavioural problems, it is important you address them quickly and with appropriate training. Contact local animal behaviouralists for further information about training. 

The State Government has amended the Dog Act 1976 to allow Councils to declare certain dogs ‘dangerous’ for offences such as attacking or repeatedly rushing, threatening or chasing people or animals, escaping, and nuisance dogs.

Once a dog is declared dangerous, it will need to be muzzled at all times in public places. Council may also impose further restrictions, such as requiring the dog be kept on a leash when in dog exercise areas or that it be excluded from specified areas.

An owner who fails to comply with a declaration order on their dog may be fined up to $4,000. Residents are entitled to take a leisurely walk in our community without the concern of being attacked or hindered by dogs that are not controlled. Even the most behaved dogs can be disconcerting to people when roaming unattended. You may think your dog is totally harmless and unlikely to attack a person, however roaming dogs are often guilty of approaching and attacking other dogs.

Restricted Breeds

What is a "restricted breed" dog?
The Dog (Restricted Breeds) Regulations (No2) 2002 declared five breeds of dog as restricted. These breeds and any dog that is a cross of any of these breeds or visibly contains any of its features is classed as a restricted breed dog.

What breeds are “restricted breeds”?

Under regulation 3 “Restricted Breed” dogs are:

  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese tosa
  • American pit bull terrier
  • Pit bull terrier
  • Any dog prohibited under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956

My dog is one of these breeds or cross breed, what do I now need to do?
The Regulations outline what an owner or a person in charge or control of one of these dogs must do. 
These are not optional. They are set out in law and penalties are prescribed if they are not done.

  1. The dog must wear a distinctive collar at all times (in public or in private)
  2. The dog's enclosure must be constructed so that it is escape-proof and young children cannot enter it. This also applies to any place where the dog is temporarily kept.
  3. Every entrance to the premises where the dog is kept must display a specific “Dangerous Dog” warning sign
  4. At all times the dog is in a public place it must be muzzled in a way to prevent it biting a person or animal
  5. At all times the dog is in a public place it must be held on a leash by a person capable of controlling the dog
  6. The owner or the person in control of the dog in a public place must be 18 years of age or over
  7. No more than two restricted breed dogs can be owned by any one person or registered at any one address
  8. All restricted breed dogs must be sterilised and proof to this must be shown to the Local Government
  9. Must immediately notify the City of Karratha if the dog is missing or the place where the dog is ordinarily kept changes
  10. Notify any buyer of a restricted breed dog that the dog is a restricted breed
  11. You must not sell or give a restricted breed dog to a person under 18 years of age.

I have one of these breeds or a cross breed but it isn't dangerous?

The Dog (Restricted Breeds) Regulations (No2) 2002 does not declare these dogs dangerous. It is not regulating the individual dog but the breed or cross breed. You will still need to comply with the requirements even if you perceive there is no threat from your dog.

What can happen if I don't comply with the regulations?

The regulations have clear provisions for non-compliance. There are court imposed penalties of up to $5000.00 for each offense. Breaches against the provisions for the collar, containment, muzzle, control in public and sterilisation can result in the seizure of the dog and may also result in the dog being destroyed.

What if I disagree or can't comply with the requirements?

If you disagree with any requirement laid upon you or are having difficulty complying, notify the City of Karratha and seek clarification or seek you own independent legal advice. Do not leave it until the last minute - you need to act before any stipulated timeframes. Whilst you are obtaining legal advice, you may still need to comply with the direction given by the Local Government. Advise the City of Karratha early of your intentions.

Where do I obtain the items required?

Local vets, animal product suppliers or a internet search will give you various options. 

For more information contact Ranger Services on: 9186 8555 or PO Box 219 KARRATHA WA 6714