What is a Greenhound

The NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 [section 15(1)] requires that all greyhounds must wear a muzzle when in a public place. In February 2011 the NSW Companion Animals Regulation 2008 [section 33B(1)] was amended to provide an exemption to pet and retired racing greyhounds that have successfully completed an approved greyhound re-training program and passed the required assessment. (View the act and regulations on www.legislation.nsw.gov.au.)

Such a dog will be referred to as a “Greenhound”. These dogs do not have to wear a muzzle when in public whilst under the control of a responsible person but must wear a special “Greenhound collar” to identify them as muzzle exempt. All greyhounds other than those that have successfully completed an approved re-training program and have been issued with a Greenhound collar must continue to be muzzled whilst in public. This applies to racing and pet greyhounds.


Important notes:

A Greenhound is not required by law to wear a muzzle when in a public place provided it is wearing the approved collar & tag and is secured by a leash being held by a competent person.

A Greenhound is not required by law to wear a muzzle when in a designated council off-leash area unless stipulated by the particular council. However, the Greenhound must be wearing its approved collar & tag and be under effective control by a competent person. If you do wish to pursue off-lead activities with your Greenhound, please do ensure that it is in a fully fenced area and to mitigate risk, with his/her muzzle on.

When in a designated council off-leash area the competent person is responsible for controlling the Greenhounds behaviour which includes ensuring the Greenhound is not in breach of any of the provisions of the Companion Animals Act 1998. For example, just because a dog is in a designated council off-leash area, does not mean that an offence is not committed if the dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal, whether or not any injury is caused. Please also note that the Greenhound muzzle exemption can be revoked  if deemed necessary.

Greenhounds strongly advises against letting your Greenhound off-lead in public and reminds you that it is your responsibility as a dog owner to assess the risks and give careful consideration in determining whether to allow your Greenhound to be off-leash in a designated council off-leash area.


The Greenhound collar shows that your greyhound has earned the right to be muzzle free, i.e.

a)  it has successfully passed an approved re-training program,

b)  is microchipped, lifetime registered with council and de-sexed.

The collar is easily identifiable by the public and council staff. To comply with the Companion Animals Act, a tag with the dog’s name and the owner’s phone number and/or address needs to be attached to the collar when in a public place. When your Greenhound collar is issued, it will include a tag engraved with the last six digits of the dog’s microchip number. For no additional cost the tag can also be engraved with the dog’s name and the owner’s phone number if requested.


A NSW greyhound with a muzzling exemption is only recognised within NSW. If travelling to another state you must contact the relevant green collar issuing body in that state to find out the requirements for your dog.

ACT www.greenhounds.com.au

QLD www.greyhoundpets.org.au 

VIC http://gap.grv.org.au 

SA  http://www.gapsa.org.au/

WA http://www.greyhoundsaspets.com.au/

TAS Muzzling exemptions currently not available.