The Law and Dog Ownership
You could be breaking the law if
you allow your dog to be 'dangerously out of control'. A dog is
deemed to be 'dangerously out of control' if it injures a person or
behaves erratically, making a person believe it may injure
'Dangerously out of control'
- The maximum penalty for allowing
your dog to be deemed dangerously out of control is two years'
imprisonment, or a fine - or both.
- You can be charged with malicious
wounding if you allow your dog to injure someone. The maximum
penalty for this is five years' imprisonment.
- Your dog could be destroyed and
you could be banned from keeping a dog if you do not keep it under
control. Alternatively, you could be made to keep your dog muzzled
when taking it for a walk.
- If your dog is dangerously out of
control in its home or garden, the police - or anyone else worried
about the dog being a risk - can seek a control order.
If your dog injures another person's animal, or an owner of an
animal reasonably feels that your dog could injure them if they
tried to protect their animal, an offence may have been
Some dogs are 'banned' and this is
dependent upon what your dog looks like rather than its breed, name
or its parents' breed. The law states that four kinds of dog are
- Japanese Tosa.
- Dogo Argentino.
- Fila Braziliero.
- Pit Bull Terrier (can also be referred to as an American
Staffordshire Terrier, Am Staffs, Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier,
Irish Blue or Red Nose, and some kinds of American Bulldogs).
The police have the power to seize
your dog if they believe it is a banned type. The maximum penalty
for possessing a banned dog is £5,000 or six months' imprisonment -
You must not own,
breed from, sell, give away or abandon any banned dog.