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Dogs in public places

All dog owners are responsible for their pet’s behaviour in the community.

Please ensure when walking your dog on the footpath, that it is always on a leash. When exercising your dog in a designated "off leash” reserve, it is a requirement your dog is under effective control.

Effective control means that your dog is trained and will always return to you when called, is never out of your sight and will not demonstrate hostility to people or other animals.

Please take the time to check the signs prior to exercising your dog to understand the regulations for the specific area.

The above are requirements under the Dog and Cat Management Act and penalties may apply for owners of dogs not under effective control.

For more information, download the dog and Cat Management Act 1995

Walking your dog

State Government legislation states that a dog must be on a leash by means of a chain, cord or leash that does not exceed two metres in length whilst on public roads, footpaths, and in all public places, unless otherwise specified by Council by-laws.

In parks and on beaches, the dog must be under effective control which is by command, the dog being in close proximity to the person and the person being able to see the dog at all times.

Dogs in Food Premises

Dogs other than assistance dogs are not allowed inside food premises, but the food premise may permit dogs to be present in outdoor dining areas.

The Food Health Safety Standards states that: live animals are not permitted in areas where food is handled as defined below and makes it clear that dogs may be permitted in outdoor dining areas.

Food handling definition – the handling of food includes the making, manufacturing, producing, collecting, extracting, processing, storing, transporting, delivering, preparing, treating, preserving, packing, cooking, thawing, serving or displaying of food. This is intended to cover all the activities that take place in relation to food before it is sold.

Dogs in parks and reserves

Dog owners can exercise their pets off-leash in about 150 parks and reserves in the City of Marion.

To ensure the community can continue to use open spaces safely, Council has reviewed its dog exercise areas.

Council endorsed designating 95 parks and reserves on-leash at the General Council meeting of 26 June 2018.

Currently dogs must be on-leash within 5-metres of a playground, at the wetlands, or at any park where organised sport is being played.

Dogs in national parks

Dogs are not allowed in the Hallett Cove Conservation Park. They are banned under State Legislation that is administered by the Department and Environment and Natural Resources.

For more information visit the Department for Environment and National Resources website website or phone (08) 8204 1910.

Dogs near organised sport

The City of Marion's By-law number 4 states that no person shall allow any dog to be unleashed on any ground where there is organised sport, during those times when organised sport is being played.

Dogs near a playground

Under the City of Marion By-Law number 4, no person shall allow any dog other than a guide dog, hearing dog or accredited disability dog to be in any children’s playground or allow any unleashed dog within 5 metres of any children’s play equipment.

Dogs on beaches

Whilst some Councils have by-laws limiting the times and conditions under which dogs may be exercised on their beaches, City of Marion does not have such limitations and follows the legislation as outlined above. On beaches, the dog must be under effective control which is by command, the dog being in close proximity to the person and the person being able to see the dog at all times.

NOTE: The only beaches in City of Marion are Marino and Hallett Cove. Brighton and Glenelg beaches are the responsibility of Holdfast Bay Council (Phone: 8229 9999).

Exercising dogs on school grounds

Dogs are not permitted on school grounds (either private or public schools), even if on a leash, unless permission has been granted from the school in advance.

Picking up after your dog

Under the Dog and Cat Management Act, a dog owner or the person responsible for a dog at the time, is responsible for the immediate removal of any faeces deposited by their dog in any public place. A fine of $210 can apply if a person who owns or is responsible for the control of a dog does not immediately remove and properly dispose of the dog's faeces (this does not apply to accredited assistance dogs).

Several of City of Marion's reserves have free plastic bags available from a dispenser to assist dog owners. It's important to remember these bags are for "emergencies" only. It is the responsibility of the dog owner to ensure they have a bag with them when exercising their pet.

The City of Marion may investigate complaints relating to dog owners who do not remove dog faeces.

Under the City of Marion's By-law number 4, a person must not, on local government land or on any road or footpath, be in control of a dog, unless the person has, in his or per possession, a bag or other object for the purpose of picking up and lawfully disposing of any faeces that the dog may generate while in that place.

If you would like to make a complaint, please provide as much information as possible, such as:

  • You name and contact details
  • Where the dog was at the time
  • The dog owner's name and address
  • Breed and description of the dog
  • Time and date of the incident
  • Dog's registration disc number (if possible).

Number of dogs permitted

To maintain a balanced living environment for the enjoyment of all residents, Council has limited the number of dogs permitted on each property.

Residents in a small property can have one dog, whilst residents in a larger property can have two dogs.

A small property is defined as a property involving any self-contained dwelling where the property of part thereof (ie flat, home unit, etc) contains a secured unobstructed yard area of less than 100 square metres.

Should a resident wish to keep more than the permitted number of dogs, an application must be submitted. Each application will be investigated by a Community Safety Inspector and each application is judged on its merits.

Step one - download and complete form

Step two - submit form via My Marion

A Community Safety Inspector will conduct a desktop inspection of the property and will assess the application.

The approval process may take up to 4 weeks. Council will advise you of the decision in writing. The approval is only valid for the dogs listed in the application. Approval may be withdrawn if a complaint is received, e.g. excessive barking.

Tips for dog owners with barking dogs

  • Placing a radio in the area where the dog is kept on low volume.
  • Keeping the dog inside at night.
  • Giving the dogs more toys and interaction.
  • Daily exercise.
  • Screen off areas in the fence that allow the dogs to see outside of the property.

Please note the above are suggested solutions only. Should your dog be resistant to the above suggestions, other options may include seeking professional advice and/or training.

Dog breeds

Dangerous breeds of dog

Several breeds have been declared 'prescribed breeds' by the State Government due to their characteristics.

These breeds must be under the effective control of a responsible person over the age of 18, be muzzled and on a lease no greater than two metres in length at all times whilst in a public place.

These breeds are:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Presa Canario

Greyhounds are required to be under effective control by a leash of no more than two (2) metres at all times when outside of the premises they are kept. Off-leash areas (such as dog parks) do not apply to greyhounds, unless the greyhound is attending a Board approved council greyhound off-leash event.

If a Greyhound does not have an exemption the greyhound is required, when in public, to have a muzzle securely fixed to their mouths. There are some exemptions to this law.

Exemptions from muzzling

Greyhound As Pets (GAP)

Greyhounds retired from racing and adopted through Greyhounds As Pets (GAP) are exempt from wearing muzzles, once they have passed an accredited behavioural assessment and have a green collar to signify this exemption.

This accreditation will be recorded on Dogs and Cats Online which will indicate the greyhound is exempt from the muzzle requirement.

Dog and Cat Management Board

If you have adopted a retired racing greyhound directly from its trainer, breeder or owner, it will be required to be muzzled in public. If you wish to apply for a muzzle exemption, your greyhound can undertake an accredited safety test with a Dog and Cat Management Board Approved Greyhound Assessor.

If successful, you can apply to the Board for a muzzle exemption. Once granted, your greyhound's accreditation will be recorded on Dogs and Cats Online showing the greyhound is exempt from the muzzling requirement.

Please see the Dog and Cat Management Boards ‘Approval of Greyhound Muzzle Exemptions Policy’ for more information. Approval-of-Greyhound-Muzzle-Exemptions-Policy-2022.pdf (


If a greyhound with a muzzle exemption initiates an attack or harassment, the registered owner must notify their council and the Dog and Cat Management Board immediately. The incident will be investigated to determine whether the muzzle exemption should be revoked.

Training and obedience club

A range of dog training service providers are available and can be sourced through the internet, white pages or yellow pages.

Breeding and Selling

South Australia has laws to regulate the breeding, sale and welfare of dogs and cats. Anyone selling a dog or cat they have bred, must follow the six basic rules below. This includes rescue groups and owners of animals who have ‘accidental’ litters.

Visit Selling Dogs and Cats for more information or resources

Uphold welfare standards for breeding animals

The South Australian Standards and Guidelines for Breeding and Trading Companion Animals set out the acceptable housing, husbandry, veterinary care and living standards for breeding animals and their litters. You must follow or exceed these standards to avoid breaking state animal welfare laws.

Register as a breeder in Dogs and Cats Online

Everyone that breeds dogs or cats for sale must register as a breeder at Dogs and Cats Online and pay the ($75) registration fee. This includes rescue groups and owners of animals who have had ‘accidental’ litters. Dogs and Cats Online is the state database for dog, cat, breeder registrations; microchip and desexing information. If your contact details change (address, email or phone number) at any time, you must update this information in Dogs and Cats Online.

Adhere to advertising rules

Any advertisements to sell dogs or cats must include the following information for each breeder and person involved in the sale (you can follow this example).

  • Names and phone numbers
  • DACO breeder numbers
Microchip dogs and cats before sale

You must have puppies and kittens microchipped before you sell them and have the microchip recorded in Dogs and Cats Online.

  • Typically the implanter records the microchip number to the breeder (current owner) in Dogs and Cats Online.
  • When puppies or kittens are sold, the breeder then transfers the microchip number to the buyer via Dogs and Cats Online
  • The breeder gives the microchip number to the purchaser so they can register their animal.

Download breeder's guide to microchip transfers

Information for Purchasers

Anyone that sells a dog or cat must provide the following information to the purchaser in writing (or use this template).

  • Names, phone numbers and DACO breeder numbers of everyone involved in the breeding and sale of the animal.
  • Vaccination details, known illnesses or medical conditions.
  • If desexed, the name and address of the vet and date of procedure.
  • The animal’s microchip number, date of procedure, any national registries the microchip information is stored on and name and address of the microchip implanter.
  • For dogs, any control order on the dog.
  • Any vet exemptions from microchipping or desexing.
Understanding the desexing laws

Dogs and cats born after the 1 July 2018 must be desexed before 6 months of age or within 28 days of purchasing. Breeders registered in Dogs and Cats Online do not have to have their breeding animals desexed. Other dogs and cats exempt from desexing are those registered and owned by Dogs SA, Feline Association of South Australia or Governing Council of the Cat Fancy members; working livestock dogs; registered Greyhound Racing SA dogs; or any a vet has declared in writing that to do so would compromise its health or wellbeing.

Further information

Should you be unable to find an answer to any of your queries on this site, please contact:

City of Marion
Customer Service Centre

In person: 245 Sturt Road, Sturt SA 5047
Post: PO Box 21, Park Holme SA 5043