Pet owners are being warned to look out for a distinctive striped collar worn by dogs, which is a clear indication they've been declared a "dangerous or menacing" animal.
Knowing what to look for could help keep other dogs out of harm's way, yet it's something many Aussies aren't familiar with.
The reflective collars are mandatory under the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 and are required for all dogs that have been declared dangerous by local authorities.
The red and yellow stripes are designed to alert others when that animal is in public, say they know to keep a safe distance.
Other states across Australia have similar laws about wearing the red and yellow collar, including Queensland which introduced the rule in January this year.
"From 1 January 2022 all regulated dogs in Queensland must wear a collar that has red and yellow angled reflective stripes," Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said in a press release in December.
In Queensland, regulated dogs include restricted breeds, declared dangerous dogs and declared menacing dogs — and it's much the same in other states too.
In some states, those deemed dangerous are also required to wear a muzzle while in public and heavy fines apply for non compliance.
The Sutherland Shire Council, in Sydney's south, shared an update on Facebook last week warning residents to keep an eye out for red and yellow striped collars.
"If you see someone walking a dog wearing the collar pictured, we recommend giving them some space," the post read.
"If the dog is off leash or not with an owner, contact Council straight away."
Sydney vet calls on dog owners amid 'frequent' attacks
But some admitted they had no idea such a thing existed and that more awareness should be raised.
Dr Varan Rajan, an emergency vet at the Small Animal Specialist Hosipital (SASH) in Sydney, agreed saying"most people probably aren’t aware of it".
He also said more dogs could be wearing the collars, but that comes down to the owner.
"If the owner is aware that their dog has this potential [to be aggressive], then there’s a lot of personal responsibility in that in terms of trying to keep other dogs safe," Dr Rajan told yahoo News Australia.
Aside from dogs that have been declared dangerous by local councils as a result of being reported, owners can elect for their animals to wear the collar in public.
Dr Rajan said dog attacks are "fairly frequent" and vets at SASH can see up to two dogs a day that have been involved in incidents with other dogs.
"They can vary in severity from mild altercations that might not have even been aggression based, up to dogs that have been overtly attacked and have sustained quite severe injuries," he said.
"If you know your dog isn’t good with other dogs, make sure you have a secure yard so they can’t get out, or walk your dog at times of day when there are less other dogs are around so you’re reducing your risk," he said.
"I think ]the collars] certainly are helpful and increased awareness about them would help other people know how to keep their own dog safe."
Yahoo News understand the collars can be purchased at various pet stores across Australia.
They also come in various sizes based on the dog's weight as required by state regulations.
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