Owners of more than two dogs over the age of three months must obtain a licence to keep the dogs on any property that is under one hectare (10,000m² / 2.5 acres).

Download and complete a more than two dog licence application form [PDF 2MB]

The purpose of the licence is to minimise the potential for issues associated with having too many dogs on small properties and where neighbours are in close proximity. Multiple dog ownership does not present the same issues in a rural environment where there is a greater distance between properties and dwellings, so the requirement only applies to smaller properties.

A licence to own more than more than two dogs may be granted, have conditions imposed or be refused at the discretion of the attending Dog Control Officer. The licencing process is set out in the Christchurch City Council Dog Control Bylaw. The licence fee is set through the Annual Plan process, together with dog registration fees.

When a licence to own more than two dogs is applied for, a Dog Control Officer will visit the property to check that it is appropriate for the number and type of dogs that the applicant wishes to keep. They will check a number things, including:

  • that there is enough room for the number and type of dogs
  • that the fencing is appropriate for the number and type of dogs
  • that the dogs are housed appropriately
  • that there is dog-free access to the house.

They may also offer advice on how to minimise the potential for the dogs to bark, howl or otherwise cause a nuisance.

More information is contained in the Council’s Dog Control Policy.