Owning more than two dogs

​​​​​​​​​​Can I own more than two dogs?

In Hamilton, no more than two dogs over the age of three months may be housed on individual premises. If you want to keep more t​han two dogs, you'll need a permit. 

Applications to keep more than two dogs are available from the Animal Education and Control Centre. There is a permit fee for your first application; however after the first year, this fee is reduced to an annual renewal fee (you must renew your permit every twelve months). The fee for your permit is over and above the general registration fee for each dog on your property; however one permit will cover all dogs on your property as a group.

Note that you are required to obtain your neighbours' signatures as part of the initial application process and again each year when you renew your permit.

As well as reading the summary of permit conditions below, check out information on dog registration and your responsibilities as a dog owner​.

Permit conditions

All requirements of the Dog Control Act 1996 and Hamilton City Council's Policies and Bylaws MUST be met at all times.

  1. Dog owner complaint history shall be looked into, and if any substantiated complaints have been received, the permit may be declined.
  2. Any permit issued shall not be transferable in respect to location or breed of dogs.
  3. A person to whom a permit is issued, shall produce the permit for inspection at the request of any authorised Council officer at any time.
  4. The fences must be able to contain and retain all dogs on the property. In addition to this, there must be unrestricted access to at least one door at the dwelling, so that no person is likely to be endangered, threatened or inconvenienced by the keeping of more than two dogs.
  5. The applicant must have written consent from all surrounding boundary neighbours. This is to be renewed annually.
  6. Every bitch in season on the premises must be confined within a dog-proof enclosure on the premises for the duration of her oestrus cycle.  The bitch shall be regularly exercised under control during this period of confinement.
  7. All dogs on the property of a greater age than three months MUST be registered for the current year.  (Should dogs not be registered, or any new unregistered dogs found on the property – your application will be declined or your permit may be revoked.)
  8. The permit must comply with all relevant legislation.
  9. Sufficient and proper housing shall exist for all of the dogs on the property and the conditions the dogs are kept in must comply with the minimum codes of welfare for dogs.
  10. All dogs droppings are to be removed on a regular basis and disposed of in a lawful manner.
  11. All owners should ensure that the dogs receive proper care and attention and are supplied with proper and sufficient food, water and shelter.
  12. All deaths, sales or transfers of dogs (including pups born on the property) are to be notified in writing to the Council within 14 days. (Failure to do so may result in an infringement notice being issued and the permit being revoked.)
  13. The number of dogs MUST not exceed the number permitted as indicated on the permit.
  14. The permit MUST be renewed annually, on or before the expiry date.  Failure to do so will result in the dog owner having to re-apply in full and pay the full application fee.
  15. The permit can be revoked at any time that there has been non-compliance with any part of the permit application.  Any person, who has had the permit revoked, must remove a sufficient of dogs​ to reduce the number on the property to two or less.

Dog registration

To find out more about dog registration, see:

There are requirements for dogs to be microchipped as well as registered. Find out more about microchipping​.

Dog owner responsibilities

Find out more about your responsibilities as a dog owner, including: caring for your dogdog education and safety around dogs. Check out 'related links' (top right) for other useful dog-related online resources and support.

Exercising your dog

Find out where you can safely exercise your dog - check out our maps online:
Page reviewed: 09 Jun 2021 8:10am