Keeping your dog under control is your responsibility.
What are dangerous dogs?
There are certain dogs, bred for fighting, that the law
specifies as dangerous. These are Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino,
Fila Braziliero and Pit Bull Terriers, which includes the American
Pit Bull, American Staffordshire, Irish Staffordshire and Irish
Blue Staffordshire. Both their strength and their temperament makes
them unsuitable for keeping as pets. It is illegal to keep one of
these banned breeds.
Virtually all dogs have the potential to be dangerous,
especially around very small children, and dogs should always be
Advice and support
If you have one of the banned breeds it may still be possible to
for you to keep the dog subject to certain restrictions;
- The police have a team of experts who can assess and identify
the dangerous breeds. If you're not sure whether your dog
is one of the listed breed, contact either us or an
organisation such as the Kennel Club or the Dogs' Trust for
- While it is an offence to own a dangerous dog, if the dog
attacks someone the offence becomes much more serious and
carries far greater penalties.
- All dogs should be in the charge of people capable of
handling them. For large, powerful dogs, whether or not they are
listed as dangerous, this should always be an adult. It is
illegal to allow any dog to be out of control in a public
place. We put the safety of the public first, and have the
right to seize any dog that we believe is a threat to the
owner, their family or anyone else.
- All organised dog fighting is both cruel and illegal. If
you suspect that dog fighting is taking place, contact
either the police or an animal welfare organisation such as
How to report a dangerous, out of control or stray
If you see a dog out of control, whether or not it is one of the
dangerous dog breeds, dial 999. For advice on whether your dog is
one of the listed breeds, or to report a suspicious dog belonging
to someone else, call us on 101 or ring Crimestoppers to make the
report anonymously. Stray dogs should be reported to your local dog
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Frequently Asked Questions