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Leashing and muzzling requirements for pet greyhounds

Muzzles

In Victoria, greyhounds are currently required by law to wear a muzzle when in public. The only exception to this requirement is for pet greyhounds that have been adopted through GAP and are wearing a special GAP Green Collar that is unique to the program. Further information about legal requirements for owners of pet greyhounds Victoria can be found here: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/pets/dogs/greyhounds

From 1 January 2019, the legal requirement in Victoria for pet greyhounds to wear a muzzle in public will be removed. Further information about the removal of muzzling requirements for pet greyhounds can be found here: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/pets/dogs/greyhounds/faqs-removal-muzzling-requirements-pet-greyhounds

While there will be no legal requirement, there may be times when a muzzle is appropriate and necessary.  For example, GAP recommends that greyhounds are fitted with a muzzle when being introduced to other pets and to small children for the first time. The greyhound should also be leashed during these introductions. In addition, some greyhounds may display a level of predatory behaviour (also known as prey-drive) towards small animals.  If you have adopted your greyhound from GAP, your greyhound will have been assessed for predatory behaviour. As this assessment is conducted at a point in time however, it is possible that predatory behaviour may present at a later date. As such, it is important that greyhound owners understand the signs of predatory behaviour and contact GAP for assistance if any of these signs are observed. Further information about recognising and managing predatory behaviour can be found here: http://gap.grv.org.au/understanding-managing-prey-drive/.

Leash requirements

It is a legal requirement that all greyhounds (including greyhounds with a GAP Green Collar) are kept on leash and under effective control at all times when away from their home property. This applies to any public area, including off-leash dog parks. GAP does not recommend taking greyhounds to off-leash dog parks (even if kept on leash as required by law), as dog on dog-related incidents are more likely to occur due to lack of control by other owners. This is a risk in relation to all breeds of dogs, not just greyhounds.

Greyhounds are sighthounds and run at speeds in excess of 60km/h. Many have poor recall skills and often won’t come when called if they see something that takes their attention. Even a greyhound with great recall could see something in the distance and run off to try and reach it. A sighthound in this mode can easily run into a busy road or fence without realising the danger. Therefore, for their safety, all greyhounds must be leashed in public at all times.

Should your greyhound be off-leash and become involved in an incident with another dog, not only could you be fined by your council, but you may also be liable for any injuries or veterinary bills incurred by the other party. In addition, Victorian laws regarding dangerous dogs, may result in you being taken to court and your greyhound being declared dangerous. For more information on dangerous and menacing dogs please visit http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/pets/dogs/dog-attacks-dangerous-and-menacing-dogs