Dog ownership

Owning a dog is a pleasure and a privilege. It also takes care and commitment and comes with many responsibilities such as the training, housing, feeding and exercising of your pooch. There are also legal responsibilities. If you own a dog, it is your legal obligation to:

  • keep your dog under control (fines of up to $3,000 apply if you fail to comply)
  • ensure your dog receives proper care and attention and is supplied with proper and sufficient food, water and shelter (fines of up to $5,000 apply if you fail to comply)
  • ensure your dog receives adequate exercise (fines of up to $5,000 apply if you fail to comply). 

Registering your dog
How do I register my dog?

How much does it cost to register my dog?

What are registration fees used for?

Application for dog registration late fee waiver

Unregistered dog fines

Approved owners

Registration fee refund on death of dog

Keeping multiple dogs

Working and disability assist dogs
Change of address

Change of ownership


Reporting a stray, escaped or missing dog

Dog access zones
Roaming dogs and dog safety
Annual report on dog control policy and practices 2016/17

Registering your dog

It is a legal requirement in New Zealand to register your dog annually for which there is a fee.

If you are new to the Kāpiti Coast District or have a new and/or unregistered dog, you will need to register the dog with the Council immediately.

  • The annual registration period runs from 1 July to 30 June with payment due by the end of July
  • All dogs must be registered by three months of age.

If you do not register your dog, you will be liable to fines of up to $3,000.

How do I register my dog?

Complete your dog registration application form from this page and bring it into any Council service centre. Or you can do this by:

  • posting your completed registration form with fee to Kāpiti Coast District Council, Private Bag 60601, Paraparaumu 5254
  • by internet banking (see back of registration form).

How much does it cost to register my dog?

You are eligible for a discounted fee if you:

  • pay on time
  • qualify and apply for Approved Ownership (you must meet the criteria and apply before 1 May)
  • have your dog neutered or speyed - the dog owners must provide either a Neuter/Spey certificate from their vet. 
  • are a member of the New Zealand Kennel Club.

What are registration fees used for?

Your registration fee contributes to the cost of the Animal Management Service and meeting the requirements of the Dog Control Amendment Act (2003).

The services your registration fee provides include:

  • promoting better care and control of dogs
  • responding to complaints
  • impounding of dogs
  • providing and maintaining the Kāpiti Coast District Pound
  • taking legal action against owners of unregistered and uncontrolled dogs
  • implementing national dog control policies
  • monitoring and enforcing dog control bylaws; and
  • advising owners about training and dog control.

Application for dog registration late fee waiver

Unregistered dog fines

Any dog not displaying a current registration tag on its collar may be deemed as unregistered and the dog owner may have to pay fines as set by the Dog Control Act 1996. Replacement registration tags may be obtained from the Council for the appropriate fee. 

Approved owners

You may be eligible for Approved Owner status, which entitles you to discounted registration fees. To qualify, you must have:

  • adequate fencing
  • a 24 month 'clean' history with Kāpiti Coast District Council Animal Management (see application form below for details).

Applications must be received by 1 May.

There is a one-off application fee.  If your application to be an approved owner gets the green light, this status lasts for the life of your dog (unless he/she breaches any condition set out on the application form below).

The fee must be paid with your application form either in person at a Council service centre or by cheque if posting your form. Payment can also be made by internet banking here – you must use your dog owner number as reference. Ring Council on 0800 486 486 if you don’t know your number!

Council reserves the right to exercise discretion in the final grant of Approved Owner status.

Registration fee refund on death of dog

If your dog dies, you are entitled to a proportionate refund of your registration fee. You must return the tag and/or provide proof of death from your vet, or sign a Deceased Dog Declaration Form. The refund is for the number of months left in the registration year following notification.

Keeping multiple dogs

Keeping three or more dogs aged three months or more on an urban property requires a permit.

Working and disability assist dogs

Change of address

Your dog's registration is valid throughout the country. If you move away from the Kāpiti Coast District you must notify the Council in your new area.  You will be required to exchange Kāpiti Coast District Council dog tags for dog tags from the Council in your new area. There is no charge for this service.

If you move to the Kāpiti Coast District, you need to notify the Kāpiti Coast District Council within 14 days. Animal Management will record the details of you and your dog and exchange your old dog tags for free.

Change of ownership

If you sell or re-home your dog the registration remains valid, but both you and the new owner must inform your respective Councils within 14 days. Dog tags will be exchanged free of charge.


Reporting a stray, escaped or missing dog

If you need to report a stray, barking or escaped dog OR if your dog has gone missing, please phone us on 0800 486 486.

Dog access zones

There are a number of Dog Access Zones identified throughout the District.

Roaming dogs and dog safety

Our Animal Management team has broad experience working with dogs of all dispositions, sizes, and behaviours. Team members are trained and skilled in responding to the varied types of situations that they are called upon to handle.

After working in community for many years with the focus of keeping both people and dogs safe, the Animal Management team has some advice around general dog safety that could serve to help even the most seasoned canine whisperer.

Safe ways to enter properties

  1. Before entering a property, peek over a fence or gate and check for signs that a dog might live there. Signs that might mean a dog live at the property include: dog poop on the ground, dog dishes, leads or chains, chew toys, bones.
  2. If you suspect that a dog is there, try calling out to alert both the dog’s and the property resident’s attention.
  3. If you see a dog and you are unsure about its behaviour, don’t go onto the property.

How to approach a dog

  1. Always ask for the owner’s permission to greet or pat their dog. Not all dogs are friendly or like to be touched by strangers.
  2. Avoid direct eye contact with the dog. The dog could misinterpret direct contact as a threat, provoking aggressive behaviour in return.
  3. Once the owner has given the go-ahead to greet the dog, don’t reach for it; let the dog finish the contact.
  4. Allow the dog to sniff you before you touch it, offering an outstretched fist, not outstretched fingers.
  5. Remain calm and quiet – too much energy and loud talking can create anxiety and fear in the dog.
  6. Don’t get close up to the dog’s face, or give the dog a hug. Respect its personal space.
  7. Pat the dog on the chest, back, or sides, rather than on its head because the dog might perceive a hand on its head from a stranger as a threat.

Why dogs attack or bite

  1. Dogs bite as a reaction to something.
  2. Dogs can bite when they are scared or have been startled.
  3. Dogs can bite when they feel threatened.
  4. Dogs can bite to protect something that is valuable to them.
  5. Dogs can bite when they aren’t feeling well, and just want to be left alone.
  6. Dogs can bite if their prey drive is triggered, as in the case of a moving bike or person (joggers, runners).

How to recognise dogs that are going to attack or bite

  1. Direct eye contact – Direct eye contact from a dog is a direct threat.
  2. Tail up, may be wagging stiffly - Just because a dog is wagging its tail doesn’t mean that it is happy or likes you. A wagging tail indicates high energy.
  3. Legs apart and chest thrown out – The dog is trying to look big and threatening.
  4. Ears up or perked.
  5. Low rumbling growl.
  6. Showing front teeth – When a dog shows its front teeth (a short mouth) it is pre-empting a bite.

If the dog shows any of these behaviours, assume that it will bite, and back away slowly.

Annual report on dog control policy and practices 2016/17

On 17 August 2017, Kāpiti Coast District Council adopted the Annual Report on Dog Control as required under Section 10 of the Dog Control Act 1996.

Hard copies of this report are also available at Council's Civic Building and Service Centres at Waikanae and Ōtaki libraries.

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