Dog Registrations

Registration requirements

Under section 42 of the Dog Control Act 1996:

  • All dogs over the age of three months must be registered.
  • It is an offence to keep a dog older than three months which is unregistered.
  • You could be liable to an infringement fine of $300 or on conviction a court may impose a fine of up to $3,000 for failure to register your dog(s).
  • If any dog over the age of three months is found not wearing a current registration tag on land or premises other than its owner’s land or premises, or in any public place, the dog may be seized and impounded.

The Dog Registration form has more details about:

  • Registration requirements and the obligations of dog owners
  • Control of dogs
  • Change of ownership
  • Microchipping
  • Payment, rebates and refunds
  • Select dog owners

Registration fees

  Fees 2021/22 
Urban Dog - Non Select Owner   $160
Urban Dog - Select Owner (with entire dog) $130
Urban Dog - Select Owner (with neutered/spayed dog) $104
Urban Dog - Select Owner (pensioner/neutered/spayed dog) 
Select Dog Application Fee

Penalty/late fees apply (after 1 August 2021), please see 'Penalty for late registrations' heading below for more details. 

An urban dog is any dog on a property that has a rating code of one or two.

A pensioner is aged 65 and over. Evidence of age to be produced for the first application only.

Penalty for late registrations

Penalty of 25% applicable after 1 August 2021 until 30 November 2021 Penalty of 50% applicable after 1 December 2021 until 30 June 2022. Failure to register your dog may result in an infringement fine of $300 and /or seizure of the dog.

Moved? Transferring dog registration

Owner registration is transferable for free anywhere in New Zealand. Just fill in the form (above) and bring in the dog’s current tag/disc or registration form. We'll then give you an NPDC tag/disc at no charge. Remember to let your previous council know that you have moved.

Please bring in evidence of your previous select ownership if you have this available, e.g. past registration accounts.

What is a select dog owner?

A select dog owner is a person who has demonstrated their obligations as a dog owner by:

  • Registering their dog on or before 1 July each year.
  • Microchipping their dog.
  • Being offence-free (for both owner and dog). An offence is when there has been substantiated complaints, a dog impoundment, an infringement notice issued or a prosecution for a dog-related offence. After any offences occur, the select owner fee will be reinstated only after two offence-free registration years and the owner has reapplied for the status.
  • Having their property inspected to approve fencing, sleeping quarters and exercise space.
  • Keeping their address current to allow for an inspection of new property.

How do I apply to be a select dog owner?

New dog registrations, or owners that do not receive the responsible dog owner rebate, can apply to be assessed to receive select dog owner status. 

When registering a new dog, tick the ‘select dog owner’ box on the registration form and pay the application fee, and we will arrange a time for an Animal Control Officer to visit your home address to assess the property and establish that you are aware of your obligations. 

If you have previously owned a dog and have recently obtained a new one, please contact NPDC on 06-759 6060 or to confirm you are eligible to become a select owner. This confirmation can also be done at the time of registration at the Civic Centre or any of the service centres in Waitara, Inglewood or Bell Block.

Can I get a refund if my dog dies?

Yes. Complete a deceased dog advice form (above) and take or send it, along with either a vet’s certificate or the dog’s tag/disc, to us. Refunds are only available during the current financial year (1 July to 30 June) and are calculated from the remaining complete months of that year from the date we receive your signed refund form. Registration fees are not refundable if your dog has been sold or given away.

What is a One Tag?

This is a lifelong registration tag – you won't have to update the tag every 12 months anymore. We'll send out your One Tag when we receive your registration payment.
From next year onwards, you’ll receive your re-registration invoice as usual but will keep using the same tag. 
One Tag is made from lightweight, durable metal and comes in two sizes: 25mm for small dogs and 35mm for larger dogs. The back is blank so you can get it engraved with your dog’s name or your contact details if you wish.
If you move out of New Plymouth District, you’ll need to swap this tag for a new tag at the council you move to.
An added benefit is that by replacing our usual tags with a One Tag, we’ll cut the amount of plastic waste going to the landfill! (Nearly 12,000 tags every year.)

Can I get a replacement disc?

Yes, we can replace tags at the Civic Centre or any of the service centres for a small fee.

Can I keep more than two dogs in the city?

To be able to keep more than two dogs on an urban property (less than 1 ha) you must apply for consent (form above). This application will require a property inspection (at no charge).

What do I do if I have lost my dog?

Call us on 06-759 6060 and we will do our best to reunite you with your dog! If your dog is picked up by us, it will be taken to the Dog Pound on Rifle Range Road.

Menacing or dangerous dogs

If your dog is classified as menacing or dangerous, you will lose your select dog ownership status.

We have powers to declare a dog menacing or dangerous in certain circumstances, including if the dog is considered a threat to any person, animal or protected wildlife. We must also classify a dog as menacing if there are reasonable grounds to believe it belongs wholly or predominantly to one or more of the four restricted breeds/ types: American pit bull terrier, dogo Argentino, Brazilian fila and Japanese tosa. It is illegal to import any of these restricted breeds/types.

Stricter requirements apply to menacing or dangerous dogs including being muzzled and leashed in public, being neutered and being kept securely fenced on the owner’s property (without blocking access to the house for visitors).

A dog that is required to be muzzled, must wear a muzzle at all times in any public place or private way, unless it is confined completely within a vehicle or cage. The muzzle must prevent the dog from biting but allow it to breathe and drink without obstruction.

If you receive a dangerous or menacing dog notice please contact us for more information.

Using a dog to guard property

It’s great to have a guard dog, but any person with a legitimate reason for visiting must have unrestricted access to at least one door of the house. A good guard dog will alert you that someone is on or near your property - but it should never harm or  intimidate someone who is lawfully there.

If your dog is unfriendly to visitors, you may need to fence the path to your front door securely. If someone is bitten by your dog, you may be fined and your pet could be euthanised.

Do not leave your dog to run freely on your property – they are more likely to attack if the owner is absent from the property.


We issue fines (infringement notices) to encourage responsible ownership and control of dogs. The use of fines is used in addition to, or in place of, court action alternatives.

Infringement fees are set out in Schedule 2 of the Dog Control Act 1996.

Paying by instalment

Instalment payments can be made at any Council office or service centre, or by internet banking.  If you are paying via internet banking, please use the owner ID number as your transaction reference.

Can I pay part-year fees?

If you get your dog part way through the year you may pay part year fees. These are charged for the number of complete months left in the registration year and must be paid in one sum. We can also back-date fees if needed.

Rural dog fees

Rural fees apply to any dog kept on a property that has a rating code of three or four*, or other approved rural property. 

  • Full fee $59 per dog for the first two dogs kept by the same owner.
  • Reduced fee $29 per dog for the third and subsequent dogs kept by the same owner.

*Rating code three: small holdings (1ha to 4ha). Rating code four: farmland (greater than 4ha).

What does my registration fee get used for?

Your fee contributes to the following activities:

  • Animal Control Officers patrolling throughout the district, including 24 hour a day call out for emergencies.
  • Supply of dog trap cages and the control of dogs worrying stock throughout the district.
  • Rehoming of unwanted or stray animals and the follow-up and return of registered dogs which have been impounded, found straying or handed in by members of the public.
  • Investigation of complaints which can include barking dogs, dogs attacking people or animals, roaming dogs in prohibited or leashed areas, non-removal of dog faeces, etc.
  • Education of community groups, including schools.
  • Maintenance and operation of the dog pound, including euthanasia where necessary.
  • NPDC's share of administration costs of the National Dog Database.
  • Administering infringements.

National Dog Database

The National Dog Database, run by the Department of Internal Affairs, holds information on all registered dogs including registration details, microchip number (if applicable), breed and year of birth. Contact details of the owners are also recorded. Local councils supply and maintain information held on the database. The information is not available to the public.

Dog obedience training providers

Please contact us on 06-759 6060 or and we’ll put you in touch with a relevant provider.