Dangerous dogs

It is an offence for any dog to be dangerously out of control whether it is on public or private property, or the owner's home.

The owner or person in charge of the dog may be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000. Police could seize the dog and in severe cases, obtain a court order for the destruction of the dog.

Along with the police, we have a joint responsibility to investigate dangerous dog incidents. You should report any dog biting incident to both ourselves and the police. 

Contact our environmental health team

Report an incident to the police

If you have been bitten by a dog it is important to obtain medical help if the bite is serious, especially if your anti tetanus inoculation is out of date; a booster is normally required every 10 years.

Dangerous breeds

The following breeds are listed as Dangerous Dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasilero

These dogs must be kept on a lead by someone aged 16 and over and muzzled in a public place. It is illegal to own a banned breed without a certificate of exemption, which is granted once the dog is neutered, insured and has a microchip implanted.

Prepare for the ban on XL Bully dogs

The government has announced that the sale, abandonment, gifting, breeding and re-homing of XL Bully type dogs will be banned from 31 December 2023. It will also be illegal to have an XL Bully type dog in a public place after this date unless it is muzzled and on a lead.

From 1 February 2024, ownership of a XL Bully type dogs will be illegal unless they are exempt under the law.

Read the government's preparation guidance for the ban on XL Bull dogs

Read the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home useful advice on training and muzzles

More information

Read the government’s guidance about controlling dogs in public places

Read the RSPCA’s guidance about being a responsible dog owner