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Keeping a Dog in Cork City


Keeping a Dog In Cork City  

Cairn Terrier left

Cork City Council, as a Licensing Authority for dogs, wants you to be aware of your duties as a dog owner. Penalties are in place for those who do not comply with the Dog Control Regulations.


Dog Law    


With effect from 31st March 2016, all dogs must be microchipped and registered on an approved database.


The Control of Dogs Act 1986 requires owners to 

  • Be over the age of 16 years
  • Licence their dogs every year
  • Keep them under control in public places
  • Not let their dogs wander unaccompanied
  • Make good any damage they cause 
  • Prevent the nuisance of excessive barking  (neighbours can complain about excessive barking to the District Court).

 Penalties are in place for those who do not comply with Dog Control Regulations.


Dangerous Breeds:  

The Control of Dogs Regulations 1998 places extra duties on the owners of the following breeds

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • English Bull Terrier
  • German Shepherd (Alsatian)
  • Japanese Akita
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Rottweiler
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or a cross of any of these. 


These dogs may not appear in any public place unless:


  • Wearing a secure muzzle
  • On a strong leash no more than two meters long .
  • Led by a person over 16 years capable of controlling the dog. 


Contravention of the Regulations can result in fines, imprisonment, seizure and even destruction of the dog.  Section 6 of the 1998  Regulations requires every dog at all times to wear a collar and an identity tag giving the name and address of the owner.


Cork City Council, Parks, Open Spaces and Cemeteries Bye-Laws 2011require that a dog brought into a park, cemetery or open space in Cork City borough, and while on any property owned by Cork City Council, whether in the City or County, must



  • Be held on a leash at all times
  • Not cause any annoyance to any other user of that space
  • Not chase, injure or disturb any animal, bird or other creature, and
  • The dog owner must remove all dog faeces from that space and deposit it in a bin (an ordinary litter bin if there is not a specially designated bin).  



Dog Fouling



Dog faeces is dangerous.  Dogs are known to be carriers of campylobacter and other bacteria which can prove a health hazard to humans, but the main danger to health in dog faeces is the presence of the eggs of Toxocara Canis, or dog roundworm.  Once in the human body the larvae of these eggs can cause extreme fever and illness and severe damage to organs.   Contact with infected dog faeces can cause loss of sight, with children especially at risk.   Please make sure your pet does not become a source of tragedy for some other family.  Clean up after your dog.

Section 22 of the Litter Pollution Acts 1997 to 2009 requires that a person in charge of a dog shall immediately remove dog faeces from a public place or face an on-the-spot litter fine of € 150. The maximum court fine is € 3,000.   Cork City Council Parks, Open Spaces and Cemeteries Bye-Laws 2011 also provide for on the spot fines.

Complaints concerning the non removal of dog faeces from a public place should be made to Freephone 1800 222226 giving details of the caller and of the person committing the offence.

Bags for the collection of dog faeces are available free of charge at The Reception Desk, City Hall, Cork on production of a valid dog licence.



Dog Care


  • Get all the recommended vaccinations and booster shots when advised by your vet
  • Spay or neuter your dog at the appropriate age if you do not intend to breed from it
  • Make sure it  is wearing its identity tag at all times
  • Get your dog micro-chipped to assist identification should it be picked up by a dog warden.
  • Provide an escape proof garden or run.
  • Read up on dog care and training.
  • Teach your dog road sense.  Always keep it on a lead near traffic.
  • Give your dog plenty of company.  Don’t leave it  on its own for long periods.
  • Never let your dog wander alone, or in the company of just a child.


Stray Dogs

Any issues regarding stray dogs can be reported to the CSPCA at 021 4515534 or email

The CSPCA are an agent of the City Council and provide Dog Shelter and Dog Warden Service on behalf of the Council.


Special Dogs


Guide Dogs for the Blind are identifiable by their white harnesses.  The public is familiar with these.  Less well known are the Assistance Dogs who wear blue coats.  They help autistic children negotiate the world.  These dogs are trained for special, important functions and all dog owners must make sure their dogs do not impede this work.  Guide and Assistance dogs may become distracted or confused when approached by another dog, so cross the road when you see one coming.  If you cannot cross, pick up your dog or make it sit until the working dog is well past.



Dog Licences

You have a choice of licences:

  • Annual Licence: 20.00, available from any Post Office
  • Lifetime Licence: € 140.00, covering the whole of the dog’s lifetime (non- transferable) available from Cork City Council
  • Group Licence: for owners of packs of 20 or more dogs (and see the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010 re large groups of dogs).


Dog Pound and Dog Warden


Licence fees go towards the provision of a City Dog Pound and a Dog Warden.  The CSPCA operates a Dog Shelter and a Dog Warden Service for the City Council. It is a purpose built modern facility located at Link Road, Mahon. Contact no is 021-4515534 or


320 x 240 

Our Dog Warden Team