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Dangerous Dogs

The Police are responsible for taking action where dogs are dangerously out of control and for the keeping of illegal breeds of dog.

It’s against the law to let a dog 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

The law applies to all dogs

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

  • injures someone

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

Report directly to Staffordshire Police (dangerous and banned dogs), telephone 101.


You can get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months (or both) if your dog is dangerously out of control. You may not be allowed to own a dog in the future and your dog may be destroyed.

If you let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for up to five years or fined (or both). If you deliberately use your dog to injure someone you could be charged with ‘malicious wounding’.

If you allow your dog to kill someone you can be sent to prison for up to 14 years or get an unlimited fine (or both).

If you allow your dog to injure a guide dog you can be sent to prison for up to three years or fined (or both).

Banned Dogs

The law refers to four kinds 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).

Last updated 7 February 2019

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