Responsible Dog Ownership

Owning a dog takes a commitment. When choosing your companion, you must consider a number of factors to ensure the dog you select will suit your lifestyle. These factors are outlined in the Good Dog SA brochure and include:

  • Size of the dog
  • Size of your yard
  • Daily exercise
  • Your lifestyle
  • Do you intend to take your dog to training?
  • How long will your dog be alone each day?
  • Are you aware of the legal responsibilities of owning a dog?

Choose Carefully

Before making a decision, take the Select-an-Owner quiz at the Good Dog SA Website.


How to be a responsible dog owner

Dogs make wonderful pets and companions for people of all ages and are recognised as valuable family members. Pets and children can form a wonderful close bond, to learn more on the benefits of having pets in the family, please visit the We Are Family SA website >.

There are a number of ways that you can be a responsible dog owner. These include socialising your dog, supervising your dog around children and other dogs, exercising your dog regularly and ensuring that your dog is registered, microchipped and that the dog's yard is adequate and secure.

Below are some great resources for information on managing your dog in the home:

Kids and Dogs

Good owners lead to good dogs

Natural Pet Care for Dogs

Keeping Your Dog Happy Fact Sheet

Identifying your dog

Whilst microchipping and Facebook are great ways to reunite lost dogs and owners. A dog registration tag remains the quickest and most convenient way for your dog to be identified and returned to you.


Desexing your dog or cat prevents antisocial behaviour and unwanted litters, it can also assist in prevention of cancers and other diseases of the reproductive system. Council encourages owners to have their pets desexed and provides registration rebates for dogs that are desexed.   For more information on desexing your dog please download the the Good Dog SA Factsheet on desexing >.

Local Veterinarians

Tanunda Veterinary Services
21 Murray Street
(08) 85630235 

Barossa Veterinary Surgery
29 Railway Terrace
(08) 85621162

The Vet Clinic
24 Murray Street
(08) 85643488

Birdwood Veterinary Clinic
Main Street
(08) 85685220

Dog Training Services

Dog Training, obedience and socialisation classes are a great way to ensure an obedient, well behaved and well-mannered dog. Local companies providing dog training services are below.

The Vet Clinic
24 Murray Street

Positively Pawesome Training Solutions

Sara Martin

4 Coward Street
0437 795 520

Kapunda & Districts Kennel and Dog Obedience Club
Dutton Park Oval
PO Box 326
Kapunda SA 5373
(08) 8566 2868

Exercising your dog

All dogs must be on a lead when in a public place, other than a park. Dogs can be exercised off lead in any Council park, unless otherwise signed. While being exercised off lead in a Council park, the person responsible for the control of the dog must be exercising effective control of the dog at all times, being, the dog immediately response to voice command, the dog is in close proximity to the person and can be seen at all times.

Picking up after your dog

Dog droppings are a health risk, all droppings on public streets, parks or benches must be picked up and disposed of in a waste bin. If you don’t pick up after your dog, you can be issued a $55 expiation notice.

Council provides dog bag dispensers in many of its recreation parks for the convenience of dog owners.

Prescribed Breeds 

Five breeds of dog are prescribed in the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995.

They are:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Fila Braziliero
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentina
  • Presa Canario

No breed of dog is banned in South Australia. The prescribed breeds are all Mastiff type dogs, that at some time in their history were specifically bred for fighting. 

The owner of a prescribed breed must:

  • Effectively confine the dog to their property;
  • Muzzle the dog when in public;
  • Restrain the dog, in public, with a lead not exceeding two metres (even if that dog is in an area where other dogs are allowed off-lead);
  • Produce evidence that the dog is desexed, if requested by a Council Officer to do so; and
  • Must not sell or give the dog away, or advertise it for purposes of sale or give away.

In addition, all the penalties relating to dogs wandering at large, attacking and other offences under The Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 are considerably higher if the dog involved is of a prescribed breed.

Please refer to to Good Dog SA website for further information regarding prescribed breeds >

Limit of dogs on premises 

Council’s by-laws limit the number of dogs that can be kept on premises. 

Two Dogs are allowed to be kept in all township premises. Rural and rural living property owners are allowed to keep three dogs.

This limit does not apply to rural properties where the dogs registered as Working Dogs and the dogs are principally used for the tending or droving of stock. If you want to keep more dogs than the limit allows then you must apply for a permit.

Application for Permit to Keep Excess Dogs

Keeping your details up to date

It is important to ensure that your contact details are up to date in Council's register. These details are important for ensuring your dog can be returned to you if found wandering at large.

Should you and your dog move address or should your contact details change, please complete the form attached and return to council as soon as possible so that the records can be updated.

Advice to Registrar

Legal Responsibilities

Under law, it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog is registered and wearing its registration disc whenever off your property. This disc is essential for identifying your dog so that it can be returned to you if found wandering at large.

An implanted microchip does not count as identification under legislation, however, this is a very useful way of ensuring your dog can be identified and returned home safely.

You must always keep your dog’s microchip details up to date with the relevant microchip registry.

Your Dog and the Law Fact Sheet