Dangerous Dogs


We at Levy and Co Solicitors, are experienced in dealing with people who are being prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act. We understand how traumatic it can be to have a dog who is part of your family seized by the police and for you to face criminal charges. Levy & Co has expert knowledge and vast experience in this complex area of law and are on hand to assist you at every stage of proceedings from police station attendances through to court appearances.

It is important to know that we strive for the best result for you and your beloved dog. We work closely with excellent dog behaviourists who can provide expert reports and give evidence if necessary. This can mean the difference between your dog being destroyed or not.


From the 6th April 2016, all dogs in England must be microchipped. If your dog is not then you will be committing an offence which is punishable by a fine of up to £500. Once microchipped you are also responsible for keeping the details up to date should your address change. Your dog should also wear a collar with the owners name and address engraved or written on it when it is in a public place unless your dog is exempt.

Dog Dangerously out of control

It is a criminal offence for the owner and/or the person in charge of a dog to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control. Dangerously out of control can be where a dog has injured a person or another dog or that a person has grounds for reasonable apprehension that it may do so. Your dog chasing, barking or jumping up at a person or child could lead to a complaint being made to police.

There are circumstances where the police can seize your dog. Should you be prosecuted for an offence under this section of the Dangerous Dogs Act, there is a presumption that your dog will be destroyed unless the court can be persuaded that it is not a danger to the public.  Levy and Co, regularly defend dog owners who have found themselves in such a situation and have a high success rate in persuading courts not to impose orders to destroy your dogs.

Prohibited Dogs

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, it is an offence to keep certain breeds of dog. Whether or not a dog is a prohibited type of dog is a question of type rather than breed. The most common dogs to be classed as prohibited dogs are Staffordshire bull terrier or American bulldog cross breeds who often measure up as pit bull type dogs. Once the police say your dog is a prohibited type the burden of proof is on you to prove that he is not and to do this requires expert evidence. We have access to the very best breed identification experts and canine behaviourists and do everything we possibly can to get your dog back home as soon as possible.

If you have any questions regarding an upcoming request for you to attend an interview with police or upcoming court appearance contact one of our dog law experts to day and see how we can help you and your beloved pet.

Dangerous dogs are a big problem in the UK. The law is very strict on owners of these dogs and it is important to know your responsibilities. This blog will provide you with information on the UK law on dangerous dogs, as well as some tips on how to keep your dog safe.

What is the UK law on dangerous dogs?

In the United Kingdom, there is no single law that covers all dangerous dogs. Instead, there are several different laws that each address a specific aspect of dog ownership.

The most important law for owners of dangerous dogs is the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. This act makes it illegal to own certain types of dogs, including pit bulls, without a special license from the government.

Other laws that apply to dangerous dogs include the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Control of Dogs Order 1992. These laws place certain requirements on owners of dangerous dogs, such as registering their dog with the government and keeping their dog on a leash in public places.

Failure to comply with any of these laws can result in serious penalties, including a fine or imprisonment.

What are the consequences of breaking the law?

If you own a dog that is identified as dangerous, you could face up to 6 months in prison and/or an unlimited fine if you:

– don’t microchip them
– don’t keep them on a lead in public
– don’t muzzle them in public
– don’t insure them against third party liability

Additionally, if your dog hurts someone or damages their property, you could be sued for compensation. If the case goes to court, the judge can order your dog to be destroyed if they consider it necessary.

What are the most common types of dangerous dogs in the UK?

There are four main types of dangerous dogs in the UK:

Pit bulls
Pit bulls are the most common type of dangerous dog in the UK. They were originally bred for fighting and can be very aggressive. They are often used by criminals as ‘status symbols’ and can be involved in illegal dog fighting.

Staffordshire bull terriers
Staffordshire bull terriers are similar to pit bulls and were also originally bred for fighting. They can be aggressive, but they are also often used as family pets.

Rottweilers are large, powerful dogs that were originally bred to herd cattle. They can be very protective of their families and territory and can be aggressive if they feel threatened.

Doberman pinschers
Doberman pinschers are large, muscular dogs that were originally bred as guard dogs. They are very loyal to their owners but can be aggressive if they feel threatened or if they think their family is in danger.

How can you tell if a dog is dangerous?

Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to tell if a dog is dangerous, as many seemingly harmless dogs have been known to attack people without warning. However, there are some signs that you can look out for which may indicate that a dog is potentially dangerous:

-The dog is growling or snarling aggressively
-The dog is showing its teeth
-The dog is lunging or charging at you
-The dog has a history of attacking people or other animals

If you see any of these signs, it is important to stay away from the dog and to alert the owner if possible. If the owner does not seem to be able to control the dog, then you should contact the police or animal control immediately.

What should you do if you see a dangerous dog?

If you see a dangerous dog on the loose, you should:
-not approach it
-try and contain it if possible, for example by putting a fence or wall between you and the dog
-if you can’t contain it, try and keep it in view while you call the police on 101
-if the police are already aware of the dog, they may ask you to help them locate it so they can seize it
If the police believe a dog poses an immediate threat to public safety, they can enter any premises – including someone’s home – to seize the dog.

How can you protect yourself from dangerous dogs?

There are a number of ways that you can protect yourself from dangerous dogs:

-Avoid walking alone in areas where there are known to be aggressive or uncontrolled dogs.

-If you see a dog while out walking, try to keep as much distance between you and the animal as possible. If the dog does approach you, do not run away – stand still with your hands by your sides until it goes away.

-If a dog does attack you, try to curl up into a ball with your hands over your head and neck – this will help to protect vital organs and arteries.

-If you have been attacked by a dog, seek immediate medical attention even if your injuries seem minor. Dog bites can lead to serious infection, particularly if the animal was not vaccinated.

What should you do if you are attacked by a dangerous dog?

If you are attacked by a dangerous dog, you should:

– Try to calm the dog down and make it feel safe
– Protect yourself from the dog’s teeth and claws
– Try to get away from the dog as quickly as possible
– Get medical help as soon as possible

How can you prevent your dog from becoming dangerous?

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is an offence to own a dog of any type that has killed or caused serious injury through aggressive behaviour.
It is also an offence to allow your dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place, or in a private place where they are not allowed to be. If convicted, you could face up to 6 months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

To help prevent your dog from becoming dangerous, you should:
– socialise your dog from an early age, so they are used to being around people and other animals
– never leave them alone for long periods of time, as this can make them anxious and stressed
– provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, as this can help prevent boredom and restlessness
– train them thoroughly and consistently, so they know what is expected of them
– never punish them harshly, as this could make them fearful and more likely to lash out

What should you do if you know someone with a dangerous dog?

If you know someone who owns a dog that is classified as dangerous, you should report them to the police. This is because it is illegal to own a dangerous dog in the UK without a licence, and the owner may be putting other people at risk by keeping the dog.

If you see a dangerous dog that is not under control, you should also call the police. This is because the dog could pose a danger to members of the public, and the owner may be breaking the law by not keeping the dog under control.

What are the implications of having a dangerous dog in the UK?

It is against the law to own certain types of dogs in the UK. These are classed as ‘dangerous dogs’.

If you own a dangerous dog, you could be fined up to £5000 and sent to prison for up to 6 months. You may also have to have your dog destroyed.

If your dog hurts someone, you could be fined up to £10000 and sent to prison for up to 14 years. You may also have to have your dog destroyed.

If your dog kills someone, you could be sent to prison for life. You may also have to have your dog destroyed.

Dangerous dogs are not allowed in public places unless they are on a lead and muzzled.

At Levy & Co Solicitors, we have a lot of experience in dealing with all manner of cases: Our areas of expertise are: Police Station Visits, Criminal Law, Football Offences, Dangerous Dogs, Motoring Offences, Coroners Inquests, Military Law, Family Law, and Mental Health cases. We can also assist you with getting Private and Public Funding. We have worked with clients all over the UK and abroad and have offices in Witham, Clacton-On-Sea, Braintree and South Benfleet. We always endeavour to act with compassion and no judgement ensuring you are treated with humility and understanding, no matter what charges you may face. 


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