Dangerous and banned dogs

It is against the law to allow a dog to be ‘dangerously out of control’ anywhere, for example:

  • in a public place
  • in a private place, such as a neighbour’s house or garden
  • in the owner’s home

A dog is considered ‘dangerously out of control’ if:

  • it injures someone, or a person believes they may be hurt
  • it injures an assistance dog

A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if:

  • it attacks someone’s animal
  • the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

A farmer is allowed to shoot a dog if it's worrying their livestock. (The Animals Act 1971 / Dogs Protection of Livestock Act 1963)

Banned dog breeds

The law lists four breeds of banned dogs:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Braziliero
  • XL Bully

You may not own, breed from, sell, give away or abandon any banned dog. The police may seize your dog if they think it is a banned type (Dangerous Dogs Act, 1991, Section 1).

You can find more information about banned dogs on the Gov.UK web site.