Dogs on Beaches

It is important to ensure that all types of beach users can access the coast. Dog walking is a popular use of beaches along the Barwon Coast coastal reserve (Collendina, Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads and 13th Beach).

The Barwon Coast Dog Control Orders are regulations that control where you can and cannot take your dog for a walk on the beach and whether it can be off-leash or on-leash.

Dog walking is an important pastime for many local community members and visitors to the coast. These regulations help balance the use of beaches by dog walkers with access for other users, including those who wish to access the beach without dogs. They also enable the better protection of the natural environment and wildlife along the coast.

The Barwon Coast 2021/2022 Dog Controls Brochure provides detailed information on the Dog Control Orders for the Barwon Coast coastal reserve. 

The Barwon Coast Dog Control Orders were brought into effect in January 2021 following extensive community engagement in partnership with the City of Greater Geelong (the City). The controls are law under the Domestic Animal Act 1994 and are enforced by the City.



  1. How were the dog control orders developed?
  2. Dog Control Order Areas & Rationale
  3. Ocean Grove Main Beach Dog Control Trial
  4. What is Effective Control?
  5. What are Your Responsibilities?


What is Effective Control?

The use of off-leash areas is subject to your dog being under “effective control” and any breach of the below requirements is a fineable offense.

  • You must carry a leash with you at all times
  • Your dog must be in hearing range
  • Your dog  must come when it is called
  • You should be able to see your dog at all times
  • Your dog does not have a history of aggressive, overexcitable or antisocial behaviour towards other dogs or people
  • Your dog does not chase wildlife or enter habitat areas


What are Your Responsibilities?

We ask all beach users to Share Our Shores. The Barwon Coast coastal reserve is an extremely popular section of the Victorian coastline. To help balance the huge visitor numbers with coastal protection, all dog owners must follow the Dog Control Orders.

Do the right thing:
  • Carry bags with you to collect and dispose of dropping
  • Follow all local signage
  • If you are unsure, keep your dog on-leash
  • Keep your dog under “Effective Control” in designated off-leash areas
  • Observe seasonal time restrictions
  • Ensure your dog doesn’t disturb other people or animals.
Protection of our wildlife and sensitive environments:
  • Only exercise dogs on  the sandy intertidal beach zone
  • Dogs must never enter the dunes and coastal vegetation areas
  • Dogs should never go near or disturb wildlife such as nesting hooded plovers, resting seals, beach birds or injured wildlife
  • A dog must never be within 50 metres of a Seal
  • Dogs must always be kept away from Hooded Plovers exclusion zones.
Respect others:

Our coastal reserves should be enjoyed by all and we ask dog owners to be mindful that not all people on the beach enjoy dogs near them. Respecting others will ensure your dog’s safety and minimise potential mishaps and conflicts.

  • Keep your dog close to you even in a designated off-leash area
  • Dogs must be on leash in all car parks
  • Dogs must be on leash on all shared trails
  • Dogs must be on leash on all access paths
  • Dogs must be on leash on all jetties
  • Dogs must be on leash on all caravan park transit zones
  • Dogs must be on leash within 10 metres of playgrounds, picnic and BBQ areas
  • Dogs are not permitted in caravan parks or the Barwon Heads Caravan Park oval


For all dog compliance issues please call the City of Greater Geelong

Animal Control Unit
phone: 03 5272 5272

For serious dog offenses please call

emergency: 000