One Sydney Council Looks Set To Charge Dog Walkers $552 Annually For Strolling People’s Pooches

one city council in sydney is set to enforce permits for pro dog walkers

The Inner West Council in Sydney (a district formed from a merger of the Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville councils) looks set to start charging professional dog walkers a fee for using council land. The world’s gone bonkers!

In a move that feels very revenue-raisey (akin to ticket inspectors going extra hard to bust people a few minutes over their allocated time), the council will (if the amendment is passed) require walkers to carry a permit on council-owned park or off-leash areas. This will include sports fields according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The policy is still in draft form at this time, however it will be presented to council on Tuesday before the community is allowed to have their say over the ensuing four weeks.

“The proposed licence and permit fee is not considered unreasonable noting that commercial dog walkers in the Sydney metropolitan area currently charge dog owners an average of $35 per hour per dog for walking and socialisation activities,” the draft policy read.

Wanna hear the worst part though?

The Lane Cove Council, which covers the Lower North Shore of Sydney also charges for a professional dog walking permit which costs a flat rate of $2,200 per year.


This blows my mind for many reasons.

The first and most obvious relates to policing.

Like, imagine going up to a dog walking and asking to see their permit.

It’d give “really suburban version of an old Wild West film where the sheriff asks to see the cowboy’s ID”.

I guess you could argue that businesses that run activities in council-owned parks have to pay a hire fee, such as personal trainers and music festivals.

However, these are stagnant events taking up a ‘yuge amount of space.

Dog walkers, on the other hand, are constantly on the move. And, you could argue, are far less annoying than most personal trainers (personality-wise).

Header image credit: Glenn Pettersen via iStock.