Statistical Questions:

How many dogs are there in New Zealand?
There are 475,072 dogs registered on the National Dog Database.

How many dogs have been micro-chipped?
There are 158,646 dogs with microchips registered on the National Dog Database.

What are the most popular breeds of dog?
The top five dog breeds registered are:
Labrador Retriever – 73,239
Huntaway – 45,331
Border Collie – 36,986
Fox Terrier (Smooth) – 31,820
Jack Russell Terrier – 27,227

Which area has the most registered dogs?
The top five areas for dogs are:
Christchurch City – 25,497 dogs
Auckland City – 19,822 dogs
Manakau City – 18,161 dogs
Dunedin City – 14,374 dogs
North Shore City – 14,028 dogs
The place with the smallest number of registered dogs is the Chatham Islands with 454 dogs.

Questions from Dog Owners
How often should I take my dog to the vet?

The SPCA recommends an annual check up with a vet. The vet will check the general health of your dog, examine their eyes, ears, teeth and skin and administer any necessary vaccinations. Your vet will provide you with the best possible advice for your dog. If your dog suddenly changes its behaviour or seems sick you should take it to the vet immediately.

I’m pregnant with our first child. Is it safe for us to keep our dog?
If you are a responsible dog owner it should be safe for you to keep your dog once your baby arrives. Start today, by getting your dog ready for the new arrival. Try to socialise your dog with other children and babies so it gets used to the smell and sound of babies. Teach your dog that the baby’s room is out of bounds.


Questions from Children:

I’m scared of dogs. How can I get over it?
The best way to shake off your fears about dogs is to learn more about dogs, and about dog safety rules.  Contact your Local Animal Control Unit who can advise you of ways to keep yourself safe around dogs. You can also check some fun stuff at the Kidzone on this website to learn more.

Is it only some types of dog that bite?
Any breed of dog can bite if it is hurt or frightened or teased – even the friendliest dog.

Why do people get dogs if they can hurt people?
Dogs are well known for being loyal companions to humans. People get dogs for many reasons: as farm dogs or for protection, but mainly to enjoy as a fun addition to the family. Dogs provide a lot of joy for many people. Dogs love exercise such as swimming, chasing after a ball, walks and running. They are also happy to sit with their family to watch TV. Many dogs respond well to advanced agility training, or being in dog shows and these can be activities for all to enjoy.

Questions from the General Public:

I don’t think the next door neighbour’s dog is being looked after properly. What should I do?
Voice your concerns to your neighbour if you feel comfortable doing so, otherwise contact your local SPCA, or Animal Control Unit.

I often meet a man in my neighbourhood who walks his dog without keeping it on a leash. I’m nervous of dogs and it ruins my walk. Is he allowed to have the dog off the leash?
Dogs must be under the control of their owners at all times. Most councils have defined areas where dogs can be exercised off a leash. You may wish to avoid those areas. In other areas, dogs may be prohibited or required to be on a leash at all times. Your local Animal Control Unit can advise you where these areas are. If a dog runs up to you, ask its owner to put in on a leash. If the owner is not in sight, simply stand still with your arms by your sides and look at your feet. Dogs will get bored if you do not respond to them and they will eventually wander off. If you are concerned about the situation you should contact your local Animal Control Unit.

I have two young children and we love visiting my mother in-law and her big, friendly dog. But with the recent stories of dog attacks I wonder if I should ask that the dog be kept away while we’re there?
Even the friendliest of dogs has the potential to attack if it is teased, hurt or frightened. Make sure the dog is restrained while you visit. Make sure your children know how to behave safely around dogs and always supervise children when they are with a dog.