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It’s important for owners to ensure their dog positively socialises with people and other animals, as well as being trained and kept safe.

Any breed of dog can be considered dangerous if not kept under control and any signs of aggressive behaviour could make someone feel unsafe.

It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, including;

  • public places
  • private places e.g. a neighbour’s house or garden
  • owners homes.

A dog will be considered as dangerously out of control if it injures someone or another animal or makes a person feel worried that it may injure them.

To find out what the penalties are for owning a dangerous dog, visit GOV.UK.

Banned dogs

Some dog breeds are banned in the UK. If you own a banned dog, the police or local council dog warden can take it away and keep it, even if it isn’t acting dangerously and there hasn’t been a complaint.

A dog expert will then judge what type of dog you have and whether it could be a danger to the public. After this, your dog will either be given back to you or kept in kennels whilst the police or council apply to a court to make a decision.

More information about dangerous or banned dogs is available on GOV.UK or you may wish to visit section three of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Preventing dog theft

  • Ensure that your dog wears a collar and ID tag when in a public place. On the tag, include your surname, address, telephone number and full postcode. If your dog is microchipped, and you have room to write that on the tag, then try and do so.
  • Microchip your dog so that if the ID tag is removed, it is still permanently identifiable.
  • Do not leave your dog unattended in the car or tied up outside a shop.


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