That said, there are some breeds that you are currently not allowed to own in the UK.
If you’re thinking of getting a pooch, make sure you don’t buy one that could get you in trouble.
Here’s what you need to know:
What breeds of dogs are banned in the UK?
The Dangerous Dog Act 1991 prohibits the ownership, breeding or sale of a number of dog species.
It was introduced after a series of attacks in 1991.
The following four breeds have been banned:
Pit Bull Terriers and Japanese Tosa breeds are specifically mentioned in the law, while the Secretary of State added the latter two in 1991.
Whether your dog is a forbidden type depends on what he looks like, not his breed or name.
If your dog exhibits many of the traits of a pit bull terrier, they may be a forbidden type.
These are 9 laws that every dog owner MUST know
Is it just illegal to own a banned dog?
It is also against the law:
– Breeding from a forbidden dog
What happens if you have a banned dog?
If you have a banned dog, the police or local handler can take it away and keep it, even if:
it does not act dangerously
there was no complaint
The police may need court approval to do this.
However, if your dog is in:
– in a public place, the police do not need a search warrant
– a private place, the police must obtain an arrest warrant
– a private place and the police have a warrant for something else (e.g. a drug investigation), they can confiscate your dog
A police or council canine expert will assess what type of dog you have and whether it is (or could be) a danger to the public. Your dog will then either:
– being held in kennels while the police (or council) calls a court
You are not allowed to visit your dog while waiting for the court decision.
Are there circumstances where you can keep a prohibited dog?
If your dog is banned but the court doesn’t think it poses a danger to the public, they can put it on the IED and let you keep it.
You will receive an exemption certificate. This applies to a dog’s life.
– always be on a leash and wear a muzzle in public
– kept in a safe place to prevent it from escaping
– Get insurance to keep your dog from hurting other people
– Show the exemption certificate when requested by a police officer or council dog guard, either immediately or within 5 days
– Inform the IED if you change address or your dog dies