Council & City

Preferred owner scheme

The preferred owner scheme offers a reduced dog registration fee to people who qualify as responsible dog owners.

See the criteria you need to meet to qualify.

How to apply to be a preferred owner

Complete the application form below to register your interest. If you qualify, our animal control team will send you a formal application form. This will include a written test of your dog knowledge, and a one-off application fee of $60.

Apply now

Please complete and submit this form to register your interest in applying. Questions marked with * are mandatory.

Answer the questions below to see if you are eligible to apply to be a preferred dog owner


i.e. no later than 1 August. All new dogs must be registered before they turn three months old.






Sorry, you do not currently qualify to be a preferred owner

If you'd like to talk to someone about how you can qualify, please contact our animal control team on 06 356 8199

Qualifying as a responsible dog owner

You need to meet the criteria below.

  • You must have had a dog registered for the last 12 months and any dogs you have are registered with Palmerston North City Council. If you’ve just moved to Palmerston North the 12 months registration can apply to a different council.
  • The place where your dog lives has been inspected by one of our animal control officers and you have been interviewed about your understanding of dog laws.
  • The animal control officer has approved your dog’s fencing, sleeping quarters and exercise space.
  • You haven’t had more than one dog impounded or found roaming in the last 12 months.
  • If we've received no more than one substantiated complaint about your dog or dogs in the last 12 months.
  • You’ve paid dog registration fees on time.

As a preferred owner you will need to tell us if you move house within 14 days of moving so we can inspect your new property.

Testing your dog knowledge

To become a preferred owner you'll need to take a test that shows you understand your responsibilities as a dog owner. One of our animal control officers will also inspect your property to ensure your dog has adequate shelter, access to fresh clean drinking water and so on.