Responsible dog owner discount

To encourage and recognise good dog owners, the Council offers a reduced dog registration fee for people who achieve Responsible Dog Owner (RDO) status.

Responsible Dog Owner (RDO) applications and courses

Applications open
You can apply for RDO status from 1 September 2022 to 30 April 2023. Find out how to qualify.

Upcoming courses
We have two RDO courses available for Wellington City Council registered dog owners. See the details and how to book.

Reduced dog registration fee

For the current discount on dog registration fees for Responsible Dog Owners, see: Registration - Fees

How to qualify

You can become an RDO if you meet the following conditions and requirements:

  • You have attended and passed an approved Responsible Dog Owner Education or Obedience course.
    Note: Puppy Training certificates are not accepted for RDO applications. The list of approved training courses can be found on the link above.
  • Your annual dog registration fees have been paid on time.
  • Your dog has free access to a fully-enclosed containment area on your property (this doesn't have to be a fully-fenced garden or yard).
  • In the last year, your dog has not been impounded, or been the subject of a substantiated public complaint, or received an infringement notice.
  • You have not received any convictions under the Wellington Consolidated Bylaw: Part 2 - Animals; the Dog Control Act 1996; or the Animal Welfare Act 1999. 

Home inspection

An Animal Control Officer will inspect your property to check that it is fully fenced and gated. Your dog must have a suitable kennel or be kept indoors (in hygienic and humane conditions).

How to apply

New applications open in September each year, and must be lodged and approved by 30 April to qualify for a reduced fee in the next registration year.

To apply, you will need your Owner ID number, found on your dog registration invoice. If you can't find this number, please email for assistance.

Apply for RDO status

Or download the PDF form below and post or drop it in to our Service Centre.

Application for Responsible Dog Owner (RDO) status (60KB PDF)

RDO application cost

To apply for RDO status costs $62.50. This fee is on top of the annual re-registration fee for your dog(s), which is reduced for owners with RDO status.

Note: Before you apply, make sure you meet the Responsible Dog Owner (RDO) criteria set out above, as there is no refund if we decline your RDO application.

Application results

The Council will notify you of your application results. If you are granted RDO status, the special discount is automatically applied to your next annual registration fee - unless you receive a conviction, infringement or impoundment, or you fail to pay your re-registration fees by the penalty date of 31 July.

Upcoming courses

We have two RDO courses available for Wellington City Council registered dog owners:

  • 6.30pm, Thursday 27 October 2022
  • 5.30pm, Thursday 24 November 2022

Courses will be held at Ākau Tangi Sports Centre (72 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie) | View on Google Maps

Spaces are limited. To book please email

The course is about 1 hour long, with a test at the end.

Please do not bring your dog.

Keeping your RDO status

You will lose your RDO status and have to reapply for it in the following circumstances:

Late payment of dog re-registration fees

Responsible dog owners must pay their annual re-registration fees by 31 July at the latest each year to maintain their RDO status.

Re-registration fees are due on 1 July, but an owner loses their RDO status if they fail to pay their re-registration fee by 31 July, when the late payment penalty applies.

Failure to maintain RDO requirements

To keep your RDO status you must continue to meet the care and welfare  criteria required by Responsible Dog Owners -  see the ‘Responsibilities of a dog owner’ section of our Capital Canines guide for dog owners  (794KB PDF).

Change of address

If you move, you will have to reapply for RDO status and have your new home inspected by an Animal Control Officer.