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Commercial dog walking licence

We want to ensure professional dog walkers understand their responsibilities to public safety, native wildlife, and the environment. Find out how to apply for a commercial dog walking licence in Wellington.

Apply now  How to get your licence

With over 15,000 dogs in Wellington, we sure are a city of dog lovers. Sometimes busy owners need a little help from local professional dog walkers to make sure their pooches get all of their exercise.

If you're a commercial dog walker that walks or trains dogs as a business, you'll need a licence to walk them in shared public spaces.

The licence and approval process ensures:

  • dog walkers are familiar with legislation and by-laws
  • our furry friends don't damage our precious wildlife
  • the thoroughfares in our shared spaces are safe and clear for pedestrians
  • commercial dog walkers are professional and responsible.

How to get your licence

To get your commercial dog walking license, you will need to:

  • submit the application form and pay the fee using a debit/credit card
  • attend and pass an animal services course
  • be assessed by an animal control officer.

Apply for a licence

Animal services course

After you have submitted your application and paid your fee, we'll contact you to book you on the animal services course.

The course includes:

  • how to be a responsible dog walker or trainer
  • dog control legislation and bylaws
  • a quiz to complete your training.

Lastly, our Animal Control Team will observe you walking your dogs before issuing the licence.

Renewing your license

Each year you'll need to:

  • renew your licence and pay your renewal fee
  • provide reference checks from two clients
  • submit a copy of your dog walkers' certificate
  • have no incidents of mishandling reported to Wellington City Council.

We will send you an invoice by email for renewing your license before it is due to expire. You can pay the fee online using a debit or credit card.

Upon receiving your payment, we will contact you to confirm your two reference checks.


  • Application fee: $199 including GST
  • Annual renewal fee: $64 including GST

Your application fee includes course costs and assessment fees. It is non-refundable should your application be declined.

Dog walking locations

Although you need approval for commercial activity in the Town Belt, there are still plenty of dog walking and exercising areas around Wellington to explore.

As parks, reserves and beaches are places where people enjoy the outdoors and attend events, there may be times when you need to change where you walk your dogs. Please be respectful and follow requests from staff.

Wellington Town Belt

The jewel of the capital, the Wellington Town Belt circles most of the city. As it is held in a trust by Wellington City Council, no commercial activity, such as professional dog walking, can take place in the Town Belt without approval.

When you apply for your licence, you can select the option to walk dogs on the Town Belt, but you may need to wait for this approval. You can walk your dogs in other areas of Wellington while waiting for your approval. Keep in mind that many of our parks and reserves sit alongside the Town Belt.

Visit Wellington Town Belt for maps and information, including the various parks and reserves.

The Wellington Town Belt is managed under the Wellington Town Belt Act 2016 and the Wellington Town Belt Management Plan 2018.

Botanic Garden/Bolton Street

Although you can walk your dogs in the Botanic Gardens, try not to walk them during peak hours of 7am–9.30am and 4pm–6pm.

If you plan to regularly use this area, advise The Treehouse of your schedule.

Ōtari-Wilton's Bush

The best access to Ōtari-Wilton's Bush is from the north car park off Churchill Drive/Wilton Bush Road. Please avoid walking your dogs in the school pick-up area by the school between 8.30am–9.30am or 2.30pm–3.30pm.

When walking your dogs in any of these spaces, avoid any narrow bush tracks, as having many dogs in these areas may cause hazards should groups come walking from the opposite direction.


Contact us

If you have any questions about professional dog walking, contact our team.

Public Health Operations and Innovation Team
Wellington City Council

Phone: 04 499 4444

Email: professionaldogwalkers@wcc.govt.nz