Australian Laws on Owning a Rottweiler

Australia is known as one of the countries that have dog breeds specific legislation (BSL), i.e. the laws pertaining to specific dog breeds. The Australian laws have absolutely forbidden the import of Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese tosa, American Pit Bull Terrier (Pit Bull Terrier), and Perro de Presa Canario (Presa Canario) into the country. They are also demanding the spaying or neutering of all the existing dogs of these breeds in order to eliminate their population.

Rottweiler photo

Photo Credit: El Coleccionista de Instantes/Flickr

Section 55 of the Australian Companion Animals Act of 1988 contains a number of restrictions for the prescribed breeds. Particularly, their owners must comply with the following requirements:

  • The dog must be kept in a child proof enclosure.
  • The dog cannot be in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years.
  • One or more signs “ Warning Dangerous Dogs” must be displayed on the boundaries of the property
  • When the dog is away from its normal property it must be under the effective control of a competent person
  • The dog cannot be sold to a person less than 18 years of age
  • The dog owner must notify the Local Council of the following matters
  • That the dog has attacked or injured a person or animal (within 24 hours)
  • That the dog cannot be found (within 24 hours)
  • That the dog has died (as soon as possible)
  • That the dog’s ownership has changed (within 24 hours)
  • That the dog is no longer being ordinarily kept in the area of the council (as soon as possible)
  • That the dog is being ordinarily kept at a different location in the area of the council (as soon as possible)

A Rottweiler dog breed is not included in this list though some Australian hotheads state that it should be. By today the breeds specific legislation pertaining to Rottweilers exist in Ireland, Malaysia, Portugal, Romania, Singapore (restricted), and Ecuador (banned).

This uncertain situation raises questions among Australian dog lovers who want to obtain the Rottweiler:

- I am looking at dog breeds and apart from all of the factors contributing to getting a rottweiler I would first like to know what the restrictions are like. I know rottweilers are not illegal in Australia but I have heard the BSL is trying to ban it. Also are there any restrictions on it like always have a leash in public and always muzzled.

- What are the laws in Western Australia on owning a Rottweiler? Are there any other things i need to know about Rottweilers? Any other issues I need to address before I get a Rottweiler?

Here are some answers and views.

Answer by Little Miss Hatter
there are now laws. but to stay out of trouble, try to train it very well and learn some stuff about them. they are highly strung dogs and are often very vicious, but with good training and great treatment, they can make great pets.
check out this page for more info!! best of luck!!

Answer by Sharna B:

Owning a Rottweiler in Australia is not illegal. Its illegal to have a dog off a leash in public. If you were going for a general walk around town etc, to the beach your dog HAS to be on a leash. But most suburbs and citys have "dog off leash" areas and parks where your dog can run free.

In terms of a muzzle, your dog WILL have to wear one if it has been deemed dangerous by your local council. This usually happens if your dog is menacing, vicious to passers by or attacks an another animal. Or if you feel your dog is not socialised enough and gets a bit nippy when walking, then a muzzle is suggested.

Answer by Lorraine

I haven't got a clue about laws in Australia but I do know all about owning and issues of a rottweiler.

They do vary in temperament anyway through genetics, but whatever yours is, you need to be firm but fair. Remember the word NILIF and use it when the dog gets a bit pushy and above its station. NILIF is very very good for rotties.

Socialise your dog very well and that doesn't mean necessarily going to meet dogs, it means being around many without reacting at all.

rottweiler photo

Do not overexercise. We see massive joint problems because of it. 5 mins per day per month of life for lead walk and then allow free play which is different.

Always feed a good diet preferably raw if you have the time to research that.

Always bring your dog up to let it know that YOU protect HIM / HER and not the other way round. This is very important in your relationship with your dog, and affects everything else in the dogs mind regarding its behavior.

Ask anything else you wish… you can get me on email if you wish.

Add on – sorry but I have to disagree with the "highly strung" and "viscous" label given to them here by little miss hatter.
Rotties do vary and some are quite high drive but a lot are horizontal they are so laid back. Try and do your research before buying.

(Photo Credit: El Coleccionista de Instantes/Flickr )

Answer by Laura

I don't no much about the rottie breed just like to say it not the dogs fault for having that reputation its the person on the end of the lead thats made them like it all dogs are loving its how train and bring them up.

What do you think? Answer below!




  1. Rottie Niko says

    Another thing to consider is the rottweiler needs YEARS of training. They are very smart, but will try to get away with things if you get lax on what you expect from them. I agree with Loraine (sorry about your Nico) on the NILF. It is a very effective method of training and I highly recommend implementing it.

    Rottweilers are fantastic dogs, IF you are willing to commit to daily training, plenty of exercise... and be prepared for possible vet bills. They can be expensive to maintain, but are well worth the effort that you put in. They need a job of sorts in which to direct their energy. Something along the lines of agility, carting, rally, tracking, etc.

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