Legal Advice for Dangerous Dog Offences

A dog must always be under control; it’s against the law to let a dog be dangerous out in public, whether in private space e.g. a neighbour’s house or garden, or in the owners home. The law applies to all dogs, and includes bans on certain types of dogs. A farmer is allowed to kill your dog if it’s stressing their livestock.

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, if any dog is dangerous or out of control in any place including private property, the owner in charge of the dog is guilty of an offence.

A dog is deemed dangerous if:

  • Dog Injures someone
  • Dog attempts to injure someone by being aggressive, making someone worried it might injure them
  • Dog attacks another animal
  • The owner of an animal worried that they would be injured if they intervened with your dog attacking their animal
  • Dog out of control causing the death of a person
  • Dog out of control where an assistance dog is injured

Possession of a prohibited dog, breeding, selling, exchanging or advertising a prohibited dog is an offence unless they have been exempted by a Contingent Destruction Order.

Prohibited dogs include the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and the Fila Braziliero.

Penalties can range; you can receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison up to 6 months if your dog is deemed dangerous or out of control. A case can result in you not being allowed to keep a dog in the future, and your current dog being destroyed.

If you let your dog injure someone, you can be sent to prison for up to 5 years, or fined (or both). You could also be charged with malicious wounding if you let your dog injure someone purposely.  If you allow your dog to kill someone, you can be sentenced to 14 years in prison, and receive an unlimited fine (or both).

If your dog injures an assistance dog for example a guide dog, you can be sentenced for 3 years in prison or fine (or both.) It can be considered a hate crime in cases of dog attacks on assistance dogs.

If you are facing charges or have been charged with a dangerous dog offence,  call  0113 284 5042 or alternatively email