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Dog Registration

Registering your dog makes it easier for Animal Services to locate, identify and return dogs to their owners. Microchipping also helps with locating and identifying owners in the case of wandering, lost or stolen dogs. 

All dogs must be registered by 1 July of each year or before the dog is three months old. The registration year is the same across all Councils and runs from 1 July to 30 June every year. This is a legal requirement under Section 36 of the Dog Control Act 1996. All dogs registered for the first time (except working farm dogs) must be microchipped within 2 months of registration.

Please Note: If your owner circumstances have changed since you last registered your dog(s), please complete the relevant form online or by downloading the paper copy from the related resources sidebar to let us know. This may be a change of address, a new dog, a deceased dog, a change of owner or transfer in or out of the district.

Paying Your Dog Registration

Dog registration is an annual fee and each year you get a new tag. It’s important to make sure your dog wears the tag. 

Ways you can pay your dog registration:

  • Here online with a debit or credit card
  • In person at our customer service desk
  • Via Online banking to the account 03-0687-0271682-000.  The information you need to enter which will appear on our bank statement is:


Particulars Code Reference
Dog Registration Your Owner Number Your Surname


Dog Registration Timeline

3 Months Old: All dogs must be registered at 3 months old.
31 March: Responsible Dog Owner applications close.
Early June: First registration invoices are sent.
30 June: Registration due.
31 July: Registration must be paid in full to avoid additional 50% penalty.
1 August: 50% penalty added to all unpaid fees. 
1 October: $300 infringement notices issued for Failing to Register (registration must still also be paid)
December: Unpaid infringements referred to court. 

You can spread the cost of registration by paying smaller weekly amounts. Talk to us about how to set up installments to pay your registration each year.

You can also apply to become a responsible dog owner which gives you an annual discount. You can call the Animal Services team any time on 370 6300 to talk about your options.

Fees and Charges

All dog owners must register their dog(s) with the Council in the district where the dog is kept, and all dogs must be registered by 1 July every year. If you are new to the Masterton area, have a new dog or have an unregistered dog, you need to register your dog with the Council immediately or before the dog is three months old. If your dog is registered at another district and you move to Masterton, you can have your dog registration transferred at no cost.


Class Cost – in full Description
Urban Entire $169.00 Urban entire
Urban Neutered $100.00 Urban neutered dog
Rural dog $100.00 First rural dog
2nd and sub rural $27.00 Second and subsequent rural dogs
Dangerous dog* $150.00 *Classified as dangerous
Permit application $60.00 Permit to keep more than 2 dogs in urban Masterton
Responsible Dog Owner (RDO) Application Fee $20.00
RDO Registration Fee $75.00 Urban neutered dog
Microchip $20.00 Microchip for a Masterton registered dog
Surrender for Euthanasia Actual cost plus 15%


Download the full list of dog registration and impounding fees for 2022.

* A dog may be declared menacing or dangerous if Council believes it’s a threat to any person, animal or protected wildlife.
Council must classify a dog as menacing if there are reasonable grounds to believe it belongs predominantly to one of the 5 restricted breeds:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Brazilian Fila
  • Perro de Presa Canairo
  • Japanese Tosa

It’s illegal to import any of these restricted breeds or types. Menacing dogs must be muzzled when in public and councils may require them to be neutered. Dangerous dogs must also be muzzled in public, neutered and kept securely fenced on the owner’s property without blocking access to any dwelling.


Why do I pay dog registration fees?

Registration fees are used to fund dog-related services, such as dealing with dog attacks, barking, straying and other complaints.

Registration fees provide funds for:

  • Promoting better care and control of animals
  • Responding to reports of uncontrolled dogs
  • Receiving and caring for abandoned and impounded dogs
  • Monitoring and enforcing the dog control bylaws and policy
  • Implementing the Dog Control Act 1996
  • Taking action against owners of unregistered and uncontrolled dogs
  • Providing information and education to local schools and communities

To find out more about what our Animal Services team has been working on you can check our Section 10A Report 21-22 (PDF, 158KB), this provides details of how many callouts we get and lots of other information about our activity.

What happens if I don't register my dog?

You will be issued with a $300 infringement fee upon being found with an unregistered dog. The information will be lodged in court, and you could be fined up to $3000. If your dog remains unregistered, you may be issued with more $300 fines, or your dog could be uplifted and impounded. If it remains unregistered, it will be disposed of by Council staff and the costs charged to you.

Why is it compulsory to supply my birth date when I'm registering my dog?

Your date of birth is required to enable us to distinguish your records from those of other people with the same name. Certainty of identification is required in the enforcement of the provisions of the Dog Control Act 1996.

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