Menacing dogs won't automatically be neutered under proposed changes to a Rangitikei District Council bylaw.

Currently all dogs classed as menacing either by breed or behaviour have to be neutered but the proposed bylaw change would give animal control officers discretion.

Council environmental and regulatory services team leader Johan Cullis said in some cases there were behaviour controls that were effective, meaning automatic neutering could be inappropriate.

"Some breeds respond better to other measures," he said.

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"(A dog) might show a bit of aggression and if that dog can be controlled in a different way, it may not be effective to neuter the dog.

"From time to time when a dog owner might have some reason for asking for a dispensation, the power isn't there."

Other changes to the bylaw include a more concrete property inspection regime meaning all properties with registered dogs will be inspected at least once every five years.

The council also wants to crack down on late payment of dog registrations with a move away from the bylaw saying a penalty "may" apply.

"It will be more explicit."

The updated bylaw would also clarify the definition of a "good dog owner".

"We're just waiting for feedback from the community now to see if they are happy with those changes," Mr Cullis said.

Submissions to the draft Dog Control and Responsibility Policy and Control of Dogs bylaw close on May 6 with oral submission scheduled for May 16.

-For a copy of the proposed bylaw or submission form, visit www.rangitikei.govt.nz, visit a council office or call 0800 422 522.