Working dogs urged to clock on

WORKING dogs are sometimes described as a primary producer’s right hand and can be worth their weight in gold controlling livestock in the paddock.

Southern Downs Regional Council is now actively asking owners of working dogs in the region to let council know about their four-legged farm hands.

“While working dogs do not need to be registered under new State Government legislation, it is important to remember that dogs can stray and having your working dogs listed with council will help our local laws officers reunite you and your dog or dogs should they become lost,” said Ken Harris, Director of Planning and Environment.

“That’s important because if we can’t find the owner, the pound can only keep a dog for three days.

“Unless it can be re-homed, or is micro-chipped, after three days the dog will sadly have to be euthanised.”

Mr Harris said that apart from working dogs, all other dogs must be registered under new regulations in the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008.

“There has been some confusion over what defines a working dog and the simple answer is that it’s basically a dog employed by a primary producer, as defined under the act,” Mr Harris said.

“So, a business guard dog, a pig dog, or a dog that is living on a farm and used for ratting, for example, do not meet the definition of a working dog under the Act.”

The act defines a working dog as:

Usually kept or proposed to be kept on rural land; by an owner who is a primary producer or a person engaged or employed as a primary producer; and where the dog is kept primarily for the purpose of droving, protecting, tending or working stock; or is being trained to do so.

Any other dog, whether in town, or rural, including retired working dogs, must be registered with council.

For details on listing your working dog, or registering your non-working or retired working dog, contact council on 4661 0300 or 4681 5500, or visit

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