Leash Up Your Pup

Keep your dog on a leash while in public unless you are in an official dogs off-leash area. The leash should be no more than two metres long and be securely attached to a collar or harness. Leashing your dog to a pole or bike rack is not allowed. Owners of dogs who are off-leash can be fined $365.

Stoop and Scoop

Bag and dispose of dog waste in green bins or garbage bins. You must immediately pick up dog waste in parks and public spaces. Dog owners have up to 24 hours to remove dog waste from their own property.

License Your Dog

All dogs owned in Toronto need to be licensed and wear a tag. Pet licences can be purchased and renewed online, by phone and by mail.

Be Mindful of Neighbours

Excessive barking can disturb and upset your neighbours. Use training or control techniques to prevent your dog from barking too much.

If you have a problem with a noisy animal in your neighbourhood, consider speaking with the owner first. If this approach does not work, connect with 311.

Leashing Your Dog Outside at Home

You are allowed to leash your dog outdoors for up to one hour unsupervised. The tether used to tie your dog must be more than three metres long, and in a manner that prevents them from leaving your property. You cannot use a choke collar, choke chain or pronged collar for your dog at any time. Martingale collars, which are considered humane choke collars, are allowed. The tether must not cause injury to the animal.

Keeping Control of Your Dog

As a dog owner you are responsible for your dogs’ actions and should take precautions to prevent your dog from biting, attacking or engaging in threatening behaviour.

Safe Interactions with Children

Many dogs are not used to socializing with young children and other dogs and it’s important to respect their space. Learn how to safely greet dogs and give them the space they need. Children should be supervised closely around dogs and be taught how to interact with them in a gentle, respectful way. Parents and caregivers should also be mindful of their child’s safety when visiting designated dog off leash areas.

Socializing your dog

Socializing is important for puppies as they can learn to meet and enjoy a variety of people, animals, places and things. Done properly, socializing helps puppies feel comfortable and friendly in various situations. The main rule for effective socializing is to let your dog progress at their own pace and never force them to be around someone or in a situation when they’re clearly fearful or uncomfortable. Don’t wait for a serious accident to happen. The first time your dog shows aggressive behavior toward anybody, even if no injury occurs, seek professional help. 

Rules and Regulations

Dog owners in Toronto must comply with the Animals Bylaw and the Province of Ontario’s Dog Owners’ Liability Act (DOLA).