Under the Dog Control Act, a dog can be classified as menacing either by their breed or behaviour.
Menacing by breed
The Dog Control Act automatically classifies dogs that are wholly or predominantly of these breeds as menacing, no matter how they behave individually. These dogs are the Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Perro de Presa Canario and American Pit Bull Terrier.
Menacing by behavior
Any dog can also be classified as menacing by behavior, regardless of its breed.
This happens when a dog has been proven to be a risk to the public, other animals or protected wildlife.
In the South Waikato District, if Animal Control Officers classify your dog as menacing, we issue you with a notice of your dog's classification. Your dog must then be:
- muzzled in public except when in a vehicle or cage.
- neutered or certified unfit to be neutered within one month of being classified as menacing due to behavior.
If you dog has been classified as menacing due to its breed, we strongly recommend that you have your dog desexed. Please ask advice on how we might be able to assist in helping you get your dog desexed by ringing 885 0340.
Funding Available to De-sex Dogs Classed as 'Menacing'
In 2017 the government made funds available to have all dogs classified as Menacing under the Dog Control Act, de-sexed at no charge to the dog owner. The South Waikato District Council applied for an amount of money, based on its existing menacing classification database and that money has been available to the community for around 8 months. If you are the owner of a menacing breed you would have received an information letter sent to your address notifying you of this offer. Please note that these funds are only to be used to de-sex dogs classified as menacing under section 33 of the Dog Control Act, it does not apply to other breeds of dogs.
If you are the owner of a dog that has been classified as Menacing under the Dog Control Act, we advise you to take the opportunity to get your dog(s) de-sexed free of charge. To find out more and make an appointment please contact a Council Office or speak with a Compliance Officer.