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 

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, Sect 1). 

You can find more information about banned dogs from GOV.UK.