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Greyhounds as pets

As of 1 July 2019 the legal requirement for pet greyhounds to be muzzled in public no longer applies to pet greyhounds registered on the NSW Pet Registry.

Just like all breeds of dogs in NSW, greyhounds are still required to be on a leash while in public at all times, unless they are in a council designated off-leash area.

In addition, a greyhound is still required to be muzzled in an off-leash area if it has not undergone an approved retraining program. As was the case before, greyhounds that have completed this program will continue to wear identifying green collars, or, now as an alternative, the person in charge of the animal must carry a ‘proof of completion’ card.

The same penalty that applied previously for an un-muzzled greyhound in an off- leash area still applies if the animal has not completed an approved retraining program.

Removal of the muzzling requirement is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to improving living standards and rehoming rates for the breed and to help improve whole-of-life tracking of racing greyhounds.

These changes are being implemented in a way that promotes the welfare of greyhounds and other animals, as well as community safety. The changes also deliver on a recommendation by the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel and follow extensive consultation with the industry and the community.

The requirement for muzzling in off-leash areas will be transitional until the socialisation of ex-racing greyhounds is improved as part of the ongoing work of Greyhound Racing NSW and the Greyhound Integrity & Welfare Commission. This includes development of a new Animal Welfare Code of Practice to set out socialisation requirements for each stage of a greyhound’s life to ensure their suitability to be rehomed.

The Office of Local Government recommends that owners muzzle their pet greyhound in public for at least eight weeks after adopting their animal. This cautious approach allows the greyhound to settle into its new environment and the owner to monitor and assess the dog’s behaviour.

As with all dog breeds in NSW, greyhound owners still have the discretion to muzzle their dogs based on their assessment of their dog’s behaviour, and are still required to use a muzzle if the dog has been declared to be menacing or dangerous.

For more information, visit www.olg.nsw.gov.au


This page was last updated on: 12 April 2021