Dog attack

Who is responsible?

Dog owners are responsible for their dog’s actions. It is an offence for a dog to attack, harass or chase a person, another animal or a bird owned by a person.

Preventing your dog from attacking

Dogs bite for many reasons. The most common reasons are fear, pain or confusion when mixing with people and other dogs. Ignoring signs of stress and aggression can result in serious injury to you, a member of your family or others.  You can keep your dog happy and safe by:

  • socialising your dog from an early age so that it learns how to mix with other dogs and other people in public
  • avoiding situations that may cause your dog to become nervous or anxious
  • training your dog – dog training classes help you learn about your dog, its body language and how you can communicate with it
  • desex your dog - research shows that desexed animals are less aggressive and less inclined to wander
  • note that mandatory desexing applies to all dogs born after 1 July 2018
  • asking your vet for advice if your dog shows any signs of aggression.

For more information on being a good dog owner, visit GooddogSA

Reporting a dog attack

After a dog attack, you should seek medical or veterinary treatment as a priority.

When it’s safe to do so, report the attack to us. During business hours phone 8384 0666 or email, after hours emergencies phone 8384 0622.