Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership and companion animals in the world. It is widely recognised that owning a pet or having involvement with animals can boost your wellbeing through opportunities for social interaction and increased health and fitness. A dog as a companion provides the perfect opportunity to get out and about and enjoy the many beautiful places the Sutherland Shire has to offer. The following guidelines are provided for your benefit and enjoyment of these areas.
Dogs on Leash
Ensuring your dog gets adequate exercise is essential to their health and wellbeing. It keeps them happy, prevents boredom and can prolong their life.
Dogs must always be on a leash and under effective control by their owner when in public places including parks, sports fields and bushland areas (unless signage indicates it is a dog off leash area). This means you must be able to hold the dog without it pulling away from you, prevent it from rushing at people or other animals, and the dog must obey simple commands.
To ensure the Shire remains clean and tidy for other users, please place your pup’s poop in the bins provided or take it home and dispose of it.
Many parks and reserves will indicate that dogs area allowed but must be on a leash, with this sign:
On the spot penalties may apply if you do you not have your dog on a leash in a public place.
Dog Off Leash Areas
Sutherland Shire Council is proud to offer six off-leash dog-friendly areas, including beaches, that are designed to meet the needs of both dogs and their owners. Dogs may be off leash only in designated off leash areas. A dog off leash area is indicated by the following sign:
Check signs at each site for specific dog off leash times and other regulations.
When taking your dog to an off-leash area, please keep in mind the following:
- Please respect the environment and the enjoyment of others using our outdoor areas and immediately 'scoop the poop' and put it in a bin or take it home.
- If you choose to exercise your dog off leash in the approved areas, you must have effective control of your dog, meaning you must be close by and you must carry the leash to use if required.
- You must not be in control of more than 4 dogs at the same time.
- These areas are also used by members of the general public and their families. Your dog should not cause a nuisance to other users within the area.
- For the wellbeing of other dogs, please do not take dogs suffering from a contagious disease, skin irritation or parasitic infection to off leash areas.
- Dog off leash areas may consist of naturally occurring risks and hazards. Please consider the conditions before using any dog off-leash area.
Dog Prohibited Areas
Dogs are prohibited in the following areas, even if they are leashed:
- Within 10 metres of playgrounds and play equipment.
- Within 10 metres of food outlets, except if the place is in a public thoroughfare (such as a road, footpath or pathway).
- Child care centres
- Public bathing areas, including rock pools and beaches (unless designated a dog off leash area). Dogs are currently prohibited on Council's beaches other than declared off leash areas at Silver Beach, Kurnell and Greenhills Beach, Cronulla.
- Shopping arcades or shopping complexes, including parking areas or access to shops.
- Any area set apart for the protection of wildlife.
The above prohibitions are legislated under the Companion Animals Act 1998. This is NSW state legislation which aims to ensure the effective and responsible management of companion animals.
Help us to Protect our Environment
There are some areas of the Shire that contain sensitive environmental areas or endangered or protected wildlife. Dogs are completely prohibited from these areas, regardless of whether they are leashed or not. Please help us protect these areas and preserve our environment by respecting this regulation.
This applies to the following areas:
If you see this sign it means that dogs are completely prohibited from the area, regardless of whether they are leashed or not.
Dog Owners Can Help Protect Endangered Shorebirds
Shorebirds and their habitat are under threat from increased human activity. Some migratory shorebirds travel between the northern Arctic region and Sutherland Shire each year in search of food on our beaches, sandflats and estuaries. If shorebirds are disturbed while feeding or resting they may not put on the layers of fat needed to make the long migration and can fail to breed. Birds see dogs as natural predators and will take flight if a dog is observed. Even on a leash or if it just wants to play, your dog can impact on these amazing creatures. Share our natural areas with native animals by not taking your dog to the few areas in the Shire have been declared as wildlife protection areas.
Sooty and Pied Oystercatchers are endangered shorebirds that nest on some of our quieter beaches. The eggs and chicks are vulnerable and can be unknowingly harmed. For more information, download our brochure, Shorebirds Need Your Protection.
Dogs are prohibited from bathing areas (including beaches) unless the beach is designated as a dog off leash area.
Outdoor Dining Areas
The Companion Animals Act allows cafe and restaurant operators to decide whether to allow dogs in outdoor dining areas. Strict conditions apply:
- The outdoor dining area must not be enclosed and must be able to be entered by the public without passing through an enclosed area.
- Dog must be on a leash and on the ground at all times.
- Dogs can be provided with a drink but not food.
- Dangerous, menacing and restricted dogs are prohibited.
- Dogs are not allowed in or near food preparation areas.
Report an aggressive or attacking dog
Enquiries can be directed to Customer Service on 9710 0333 or email@example.com