Australian ‘Victorian’ Government legislation

on Protection Training 


Things You Should Know About Dog Training Establishments -2007


The Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act ensures that domestic animal businesses throughout Victoria continue to meet community expectations. The Act does this by establishing a registration scheme for domestic animal businesses such as dog training establishments and adopting enforceable Codes of Practice for their business operations.

It is an offence to attack train a dog unless that training is done through a registered dog training establishment, and in accordance with the Code of Practice.

Dog training establishments classified as domestic animal businesses are required by the
Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act
to comply with the Code of Practice for the Operation of Dog Training Establishments.

The purpose of the Code of Practice for the Operation of Dog Training Establishments is to define the minimum standards of accommodation, management and care which are appropriate to the physical and behavioural needs of dogs being trained in dog training establishments. The Code is to be observed by owners of, and workers in, dog training establishments, including those that conduct training at the residence of a client. The Code imposes specified procedures on the manager and staff of the establishment, as well as minimum husbandry requirements including nutrition, vaccination and health care, security, housing and minimum pen sizes where training is conducted on the premises and dogs are required to be housed. In the best interests of you and your dog, only those businesses that meet, as a minimum, the requirements of the Code are permitted to operate.

Before you engage your dog in a professional training programme, you should be aware of some important provisions contained in the Code of Practice.


Protection Training

Protection training is defined as training a dog to attack people or animals and includes the training of a dog to attack a human wearing padded protective clothing for any purpose including sport. All dogs entering dog training establishments must be identified and dogs that are undergoing protection training must be permanently identified by means of a microchip issued by the municipality in which the dog normally resides. The Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act requires an owner to notify the appropriate municipality immediately attack training has commenced.

Licensed Security Guards

  • Licensed security guards registered under the Private Agents Act 1966 are the only persons eligible to have their dogs trained as Protection Dogs, or to be trained in Protection Training.
  • Proof of Security Licence must be shown to the training establishment prior to commencement of Protection Training.
  • No member of the public may be trained in protection training unless the above pre-requisites are complied with.


Eligible Dogs
The minimum age of a dog before protection training is allowed is 12 months.
Only recognised guarding breeds of the large variety and cross breeds of these, are allowed to be trained in protection training. These breeds are:

  • German Shepherd

  • Rottweiler
  • Doberman
  • Other breeds recognised by the VCA as large guarding breeds.

Council Notification
An owner must notify the appropriate municipality immediately when attack training has commenced.

Dangerous Dogs
Dogs that have been trained to attack are dangerous dogs, and owners will be required to adhere to prescribed conditions (contact your council for details). This includes clear identification of the dog and the methods of restraint that will protect the community.

The Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act 1994 is State legislation which is managed by Municipal Councils. For further information about dog training establishments operating in your municipality contact your Council.



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