Dog Registration Changes

The Gore District Council is changing the way dogs are classified for registration for the coming financial year 2020-2021.


The changes will see dogs no longer classified as urban or rural – they will be classified as working or non-working. 

We are also providing an increased discount for owners who desex their dogs.


Registration renewal letters are going out to owners on Friday 19 June. Owners have until Friday 14 August to pay their dogs' fees. Any unpaid fees will be charged a 40% penalty.


Why are we changing?

The change is to make our dog registration structure compliant with the Dog Control Act 1996, which does not allow councils to classify dogs by location for registration purposes.


We are providing a greater incentive for owners of non-working dogs to desex them. The discount for desexed dogs has increased from $10 to $40 a year.

This means the fee for non-working dogs who are not desexed will increase. We believe desexing is important to effectively reduce many of our dog-related issue, such as aggressive behaviour and the motivation for dogs to escape and wander. 


New registration fees 

Non-Working Dogs

Base fee: $120
Desexed: -$40
No complaint or impoundment in the last two years - $20
Total fee: $60


Working Dogs

Fee: $25

Complaint or impoundment in the last two years: + $20


What is a working dog?

The main definition of a working dog (as set out in the Act) that would apply to most Gore District dog owners is:     

  • A dog kept mainly for herding or working with stock

Click here for the full definition of working dogs and stock.

We know there could be cases where a breed of dog usually considered a non-working dog may be used as a working dog. If you believe this applies to your dog, please contact us. You will need to demonstrate your dog meets the definition of a working dog as stated in the Act.


Who will be affected?

There will be fee increases of varying amounts for:

  • Approximately 670 non-working dogs living in the rural area
  • Approximately 530 non-working dogs in the urban area who are not desexed 

There will be a fee reduction for: 

  • 35 working dogs living in the urban area

The Eastern Southland Hunt Club's hounds are deemed to be working dogs.

Dog Registration Changes Info Sheet [PDF, 1 MB]


To make sure your dog is correctly classified please fill out this Dog Registration Form - Updated Details.


Frequently Asked Questions 

Who decides what is a working dog and what is a non-working dog?

The Dog Control Act 1996 has definitions of a working dog. The definitions that would apply to most dogs in the Gore District are:

  • A dog kept mainly for herding or working with stock

Click here to read full definitions of a working dog and stock in the Act.


What breeds are typically considered working dogs?

Breeds the Council has identified as usually being thought of as working dogs include: 

  • Collie (Bearded, Border, Rough or Smooth) 
  • Heading
  • Huntaway
  • Australian Kelpie
  • Australian Cattle Dog 

There may be other breeds that are used as a working dog (as defined by the Act). Owners of these breeds will need to demonstrate their dog meets the definition of a working dog.


If I want to breed puppies from my dog is there any discount?

No – non-working dogs that are not desexed do not qualify for the $40 discount on registration, irrespective of why the owner chooses to keep them as dogs or bitches.


What if I am a registered breeder or my dog is a registered show dog, is there a discount?

No – dogs kept for breeding, showing or hunting do not fit the definition of a working dog


What if my dog is in their twilight years?

The fees for old dogs and young dogs are the same.


What if my dog cannot be desexed for medical reasons?

The non-working desexed dog discount only applies to a dog that has been desexed. However, consideration will be given to special cases, for example a letter from the vet to state a dog cannot be safely desexed


Do I get a rebate for the years I have been paying urban registration fees for my working dog?

There will be no retrospective rebates for working dogs living in town.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: