How Many Dogs Can You Own in Australia?

Last Updated on May 24, 2023 by Becky Roberts

Bringing a dog into your family is a great moment. You gain a new companion, a walking partner, and a constant source of humor and entertainment—not to mention tons of fluffy cuddles! In an ideal world, many of us would fill our homes with dogs in every room, but this is not practical.

First, few of us have space, time, or energy for multiple dogs. They take up an awful lot of your life! In addition, many states have restrictions on the number of dogs you can own. Ignoring this could land you a fine or more serious consequence, so check out your state below to find out the regulations in Australia – and save yourself from getting into hot water.

The rules vary between regions, so it is essential to do your research if you are planning to move house or travel.

Own a dog in Australia


Within Brisbane, you are only allowed to keep two domestic dogs within your home. If you wish to keep more than this, you will need to apply for a domestic dog permit. This permit will allow you to keep up to 14 dogs with no more than four being over the age of three months unless you are a licensed breeder. There are certain circumstances where you are unlikely to be granted a permit:

  • The animal lives in a premise which is not a single detached dwelling, such as a townhouse or unit.
  • The premises for the animal to live on is less than 400 square meters.
  • You have been denied permission to hold a similar permit from another local government.
  • You are not a breeder, and the dogs in question for the application have not been desexed.

If you are planning to keep more than two dogs for racing, breeding, sale, or show, you will need to apply for a separate breeder or show permit.

New South Wales

In New South Wales, the law states that no one person may have more than four dogs in their control when in a public place. There are currently no legal guidelines for the number of dogs you can have at home, though this looks set to change soon.


You may only own two dogs at home in Tasmania unless you have a license which allows more. All applications will require a ‘notice of intention’ to apply for a license, and this will need to be published in the local newspaper by the dog owner.


Victoria has a restriction of two dogs per household, with approval required if you are looking to keep the following:

  • Three or more dogs over the age of 12 weeks
  • One or more dogs on non-residential premises
  • A guard dog
  • Dogs of a restricted breed
  • A dog kept temporarily, for longer than one month

South Australia

Permission is required to keep more than two dogs on a residential property, or more than three on a rural property.

Western Australia

If you are looking to keep more than two dogs but less than six, you will be required to obtain a three to six dog permit.

Northern Territory

You may keep two registered dogs at your property. If you wish to keep more, you will need to apply for a Council license.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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