I think someone I know has a 'dangerous dog', what should I do about it?

There are two separate issues that are often referred to as 'Dangerous Dogs'.

The first is the breeds of dogs that are prohibited under UK law, they are dogs that the government has decided that the public should not be allowed to keep and is defined under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. These are currently;

The identification of these types of dogs can be difficult and often certain breeds of Staffordshire Bull Terrier are often confused with the banned breed. If you suspect that someone you know has a dog that may fall under this legislation please contact us by telephone on 101.

The second common use of the term 'Dangerous Dog' refers to any dog that is deemed to be 'dangerously out of control', this can be any type of dog and it is against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, public or private. There are also specific offences for dos that attack 'assistance dogs' such as those for the blind.

Generally if a dog bites a person, it will be presumed to have been dangerously out of control, however even if the dog does not bite, but gives the person grounds to feel that the dog may injure them, the law still applies.

If you have been involved in an incident involving a dog that you believe was dangerously out of control you should contact the police on 101, if the incident is still ongoing and someone is at risk of immediate harm you should contact the police using 999.

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