How Many Dogs Can You Own in Australia?

In Australia, the pet ownership laws vary by state. Generally, there isn’t a limit on the number of dogs you can own. However, if you own more than 2 or 3 dogs, some jurisdictions may require you to obtain a permit.

Certain city councils have set by-laws with limits. For instance, in NSW, under the Companion Animals Act, you’re allowed to have up to 4 dogs in a household. In Victoria, you’re allowed 2 dogs without needing a permit, while in Queensland there’s no set limit unless you refer to local council laws.

Yet, it’s always best to check with local council or shire regulations to determine the legal requirements that apply in your particular area. Always consider space, time and resources in addition to legal constraints when deciding how many pets to have.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

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.

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