Canberra dog owners could be fined if their pet is not on a lead while on a street or footpath, under new changes proposed by the ACT government.
Owners would be set back $250 if their dog isn't on a lead outdoors including all footpaths, verges, streets, playgrounds and sportsgrounds during sporting events, and would only be allowed off-lead in designated areas.
The number of off-lead areas would also be reduced, following an earlier trial.
The proposed changes were outlined in the government's Canberra dog strategy, unveiled on Friday.
Among the other changes were annual registration for dogs, new dog bag dispensers and bins installed in prominent dog-walking areas and a discounted desexing program run in conjunction with the RSPCA.
City Services Minister Chris Steel said the new rules would make it safer for dogs and their owners.
"We know there are many dog owners that are doing the right thing, but there are others that are putting the community, and other dogs, at risk through their lack of care," Mr Steel said.
"We're changing the rules to make it clear: if your dog is on a street or a footpath area it must be on a lead or you will be fined."
As part of the strategy, a program using yellow vests to identify dogs that need space due to illness, behavioural issues or anxiety, would also be rolled out
The Yellow Dog campaign has been used in several cities around the world, with the vests being made available to pet owners.
Mr Steel said dangerous dogs or irresponsible owners would be targeted under the new laws by an expanded animal compliance team.
"The Canberra model is supported by the strongest laws on dangerous dogs and animal welfare in the country," he said.
There are others that are putting the community, and other dogs, at risk through their lack of care.Chris Steel
"These laws will be enforced with the addition of a new six-person compliance team that will be highly visible in the community issuing infringements for dog owners doing the wrong thing."
While dog owners will have to register their pet every year under the changes, they would not have to pay an annual fee.
Mr Steel said the new registration would provide a more accurate representation of dog numbers in the ACT. "An annual registration scheme is also an important foundation for reducing dog attacks and improving community safety, that has proven successful in other jurisdictions," he said.
Education programs would also be rolled out as part of the new strategy, aimed at bit prevention and responsible dog ownership.
Mr Steel said it was expected the programs would be rolled out in coming weeks.