With numerous parks where dogs can be exercised off-leash, North Sydney is a dog-friendly area. However, the Companion Animals Act 1998 imposes some restrictions in relation to dogs and playgrounds.
All Council parks and public reserves are off-leash areas, with the exception of:
- all bushland areas
- all playing fields while organised sporting events are in progress
- St Leonards Oval (No. 1 and 2)
- Cremorne Reserve, Clark Park, Ancrum Street Park and the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability.
Under the Companion Animals Act 1998 - Section 14, dogs are also prohibited in the following public places:
- Within 10m of any children's playing apparatus;
- food preparation and/or consumption areas (unless it is a public thoroughfare such as a road, footpath or pathway);
- recreation areas where dogs are declared prohibited;
- public bathing areas where dogs are declared prohibited;
- school grounds (unless with the permission of the person controlling the grounds);
- child care centres (unless with the permission of the person controlling the centre);
- shopping areas where dogs are prohibited (unless secured in a vehicle, with the permission of the person controlling the place or going to or from a vet or pet shop); and
- wildlife protection areas.
All dogs in public places must be under the control of a competent person. Council is required by the State Government to enforce the laws concerning dogs, and Rangers may issue on-the-spot fines for infringements of the regulations listed above.