Working Dogs

working dog


A working dog is defined under section 5 of the Companion Animals Act as a dog used primarily for droving, tending, working or protecting stock. It includes a dog being trained as a working dog. 

The Companion Animals Amendment Act 2006 removed the exemption from the identification and registration requirements which previously applied to all working dogs.

However, the Regulation (clauses 16(l) and (m)) exempts the following categories of working dogs from the registration requirements under Part 2 of the Act: 

  • Working dog that is ordinarily kept in a part of the Western Division of the State that is not within a local government area (unincorporated area).
  • A working dog that is ordinarily kept on land categorised as farmland for the purposes of Part 3 of Chapter 15 of the Local Government Act.

Owners of exempt working dogs should still be encouraged to microchip and register their valuable animals in accordance with Part 2 of the Act. However, no registration fee applies.

All other working dogs that are not exempted under clause 16 of the Regulation must be micro-chipped and registered in accordance with Part 2 of the Act. However, no registration fee applies (clause 17(2)(b) of the Regulation).

Loss of Registration Exemption

Animals that are entitled to exemptions from registration may lose that entitlement under certain circumstances.

Any animal that is seized and taken into the custody of a council pound or animal shelter must be micro chipped and lifetime registered before being returned to its original owner. This requirement overrides any exemptions from registration that would ordinarily apply under clause 16 of the Regulation.