A NSW Government website

Be a responsible dog owner

Dogs can attack, seriously harm and stress koalas. Never allow your dog to interact or 'play' with a koala, and always walk your dog on a leash unless you're in a designated off-leash area.

If you’re a dog owner, there are a number of ways you can help to reduce the impact your dog may have on koalas and their habitat.


Video by Byron Shire Council as part of its award-winning 'Bow wow, leash me now!' dog owner behaviour change campaign. Find out more by downloading 'Bow wow, leash me now!' dog owner behaviour change campaign fact sheet [PDF, 143 KB].

Manage your dog in koala areas

  • Keep dogs on leads in areas where there are koalas
  • Follow signs and warnings which designate wildlife areas and on leash rules
  • Check trees on our near your property before allowing your dog to roam
  • Notify your neighbours and other dog walkers of koala sightings in your area
  • Be aware that koalas spend more time moving between trees on the ground during mating season (generally September to February)

Keep your backyard safe for koalas

  • Install fencing which appropriately secures your dog
  • Check for koalas before leaving dogs unattended in your yard
  • If a koala enters your yard, put your dog inside your house or garage until the koala has left
  • Secure your dog at night, when koalas might enter your yard
  • Consider means of escape for koalas or other wildlife which might become trapped

Contact your local council

  • Speak to your local council if your see stray or roaming dogs
  • Report instances of inappropriate dog ownership to your local council – for example, dogs being walked off-leash in designated wildlife areas
  • Under the NSW Koala Strategy, the NSW Government is working with local councils to help them address the threat of dog attacks on koalas. Your council may have a program in place and might be able to provide further information or signage