1. Overview

It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control:

  • in a public place
  • in a private place where the dog isn’t allowed to be (eg a neighbour’s house or garden without permission)

The law applies to all dogs.

Some types of dogs are banned.

Out of control

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

  • injures someone
  • makes someone worried that it might injure them

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

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

A farmer is allowed to kill your dog if it’s worrying their livestock.

Penalties

You can be fined up to £5,000 and/or sent to prison for up to 6 months if your dog is out of control. You may also not be allowed to own a dog in the future.

If you let your dog injure someone, you can be sent to prison for up to 2 years and/or fined.

If you deliberately use your dog to injure someone you could be charged with ‘malicious wounding’. The maximum penalty is 5 years in prison.

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