Dogs on Beaches

Download the 2021 Barwon Coast Dog Control Orders


Dog Control Orders

Barwon Coast works with the City of Greater Geelong on our Dog Control Zones to ensure enjoyment by all at the beach and for wildlife protection. There are Dog Control Orders in place for the Barwon Coast. These orders control where you can and cannot take your dog for a walk and whether it can be on a lead or off. This ensures that all users can enjoy the beaches on the Barwon Coast.

Please see the Barwon Coast 2021 Dog Controls Brochure on this page or the City of Greater Geelong's website for a map and detailed information on the dog control orders for the Barwon Coast. 

In order to develop the orders a three step process was undertaken involving extensive community consultation.

Step 1: As a first step in engaging the community on the need for all users to have equitable access to the Barwon Coast, we launched the Share Our Shores Program in partnership with a number of other organisations.

Step 2: To assist in determining what the community required for equitable beach access, we contracted Federation University in 2018 to conduct an independent study into a number of coastal management issues, including dogs on beaches. Over 1700 community members contributed to this report through an online survey and workshops. The findings from this report, plus management learnings over the past ten years informed roposed dog control orders which were utlisied in Step 3. Click here for more information on this report.

Step 3: In 2018 and 2019 we worked with the City of Greater Geelong to undertake community consultation on proposed dog control orders. The feedback from this consultation was utlised to finalise dog control orders for the Barwon Coast.

When on the beach please remember that not all beach users share the same passion for dogs as the owner. Beach users have the right to enjoy the beach without fear or harassment from uncontrolled roaming dogs in dog off-leash zones.

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

Our coastal zone is home to a variety of native animals. It is not uncommon to have a seal resting on our shores, or beach-nesting birds trying to quietly get on with their day. Disturbing these animals compromises their health further, preventing them to rest, feed and successfully raise their young. Dogs can also transfer disease to some wildlife and may react aggressively towards animals they have never seen before; therefore especially during summer we may ask people to keep their dog on a lead at all time, or refrain from walking a certain section of coast to ensure the wildlife on the beach are given the best chance to survive. Please ensure you always carry a poop bag and dog lead with you at all times. Remember the beaches are for the enjoyment and use by all, including our precious wildlife.


Dogs on the Coast

As populations increase so to does the number of dogs using our beaches. A social friendly dog is most welcome in areas designated for dogs, but we encourage all dog owners to be responsible. It is recognised that dogs have a significant impact on our wildlife and that many people are uncomfortable in public areas with unrestrained dogs.

Our dog control orders are made in partnership with the City of Greater Geelong who have legal responsibilities under the Domestic Animal Management Plan.

The beaches are for the creatures:

  • Scoop the poop and dispose of it in a bin or take it home
  • Keep your dog close to you even in a supervised off-leash area
  • Dogs rushing up to another dog or person is not acceptable, remember not everyone likes dogs and we all have a right to be here
  • Our beaches are for the creatures, so please do not let your dog go near any wildlife; dogs can transfer disease and pathogens to wildlife
  • A dog must not be within 50 metres of a seal
  • Hooded Plovers nest on our beaches, so please walk your dog the other way if a nest is in the area. These birds need rest to successfully raise chicks, not disturbance
  • Marine birds resting on the beach see dogs as predators even though these animals do not display signs of distress when approached, they are indeed compromised further by the action of your dog

For all dog compliance issues please call the City of Greater Geelong Animal Control Unit on T: 03 5272 5272. 

For serious dog offences please call 000.

Together we can make a difference.