Dog exercise areas

Council's off leash areas are for everyone to enjoy. Where dog of all breeds, sizes and ages can play in a safe environment under the supervision of their owners. Please follow the rules in these areas to keep everyone safe.

A permit is required for other animals to use a park, reserve, foreshore or beach. This might apply to animals like horses.

Animal Control Area Register

Council's Local Law No. 12 (Animal Management) 2013 enables Council by resolution to designate the whole or any part of a park, reserve, foreshore or bathing reserve under the control of Council as an animal control area.

As a result of the above local law, dog off leash areas, animal prohibited areas and animal restricted areas are now known as animal control areas and are listed in the Animal Control Area Register.

Know where you can take your dog

All dogs must be kept on a leash at all times in a public place, unless in a designated off leash area.

A designated dog off leash area is the signed part of a park, reserve, foreshore or beach where dogs may be exercised off leash but under effective control. It's important to check designated signs once you arrive at an off leash area to make sure you are within the boundaries.

A designated dog prohibited area is a signed part of a park, reserve, foreshore or beach where dogs are not permitted.

  • within all children's playground areas
  • within 200 metres of all flagged bathing areas
  • within all swimming enclosures
  • within food preparation areas including barbecues.

To ensure the natural wildlife remains protected, dogs are not allowed in conservation areas and hiking trails.

Penalties apply for breaches and you can find out more on the laws, breaches & fines page.

Find the best place to exercise your dog

Whilst you can walk your dog on leash across the city, some areas are designated off leash or time restricted while others are prohibited to dogs.

For a list of PDF maps of off leash exercise and dog prohibited areas by suburb see our Dog off leash exercise & prohibited areas page.

The dogs on beaches and foreshores(PDF, 1MB) brochure provides a list of animal control areas along Gold Coast beaches and foreshores.

The off leash dog areas(PDF, 254KB) brochure provides more information about leash free areas.

Off leash area rules

When using an off leash area, there are still rules which apply to keep it safe for everyone.

  • The person responsible for the dog must be physically able to control.
  • Your dog must return to you when called and remain in your immediate vicinity.
  • Dogs showing signs of aggression or anti-social behaviour must immediately be leashed and removed.
  • Your dog must wear a collar with its registration tag attached at all times.
  • Ensure your dog does not chase or harm wildlife.
  • Dog waste must be disposed appropriately.
  • Supervise children at all times.

Council investigates all reported dog attacks, whether in an off leash are or not, and penalties apply for non-compliance with State and local laws.

Pick up after your pet

Remember to always carry a supply of dog waste bags and pick up and dispose of your dog's waste in appropriate manner.

An on-the-spot fine may apply if you fail to carry a bag, implement or container or fail to remove your dog's waste in a public place.

The off leash dog areas(PDF, 254KB) brochure provides more information on off leash areas and rules to follow.

Visit our Report a problem – animals page to report nuisance pets or animals who aren't abiding by our off leash area conditions.