Photo: Arthur Orchard – up to twelve such dogs guarded the ‘Neck’.


The Dog Line is one of the most terrifying parts of Eaglehawk Neck’s complex history. 

A life-size bronze replica of this infamous scene can be found along a winding path near the local Community Hall.

The 30 meter wide neck that leads to the Tasman Peninsula was once guarded by a line of up to nine ferocious dogs. Three more were later positioned on watery platforms extending toward Norfolk Bay.  

Any sound or disturbance would  trigger a terrifying response and alert soldiers.


The dogs were housed in old barrels and stationed within touching distance of one another but not close enough to fight. Along the ‘dog line’, oil lamps were fixed on posts at chest height and cockle shells were scattered on the ground to reflect the light.

Rumours were spread that the local waters were shark infested so ‘The Neck’ was the only exit from the peninsula. 

One can only imagine how frightening the dog line would’ve seemed to a convict if they made it that far from the settlement.

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