Dangerous dogs

Reporting a dangerous dog

Dog owners, or those responsible for them, can be prosecuted if their dog is dangerously out of control anywhere, including a public place, private place (such as a neighbour's garden) or their own home. They can also be prosecuted if their dog attacks an assistance dog.

To report a dangerous dog, please call Hertfordshire Police on its non-emergency number, 101.

Penalties

The maximum prison sentences for allowing a dog to attack someone are:

  • Up to 14 years for a fatal dog attack
  • Up to five years for injury
  • Up to three years if an assistance dog is attacked
  • Up to six months if your dog is dangerously out of control.

Banned dogs

Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 prohibits four types of dog:

  1. Pit Bull Terrier
  2. Japanese Tosa
  3. Dogo Argentino
  4. Fila Brasileiro

It is an offence to own or keep any of these dogs, unless it is on the Index of Exempted Dogs and it meets the requirements.

You must not breed from, sell or exchange (even as a gift) a dangerous dog, even if it has been placed on the Index of Exempted Dogs.

The Police are responsible for dealing with dangerous dogs (including strays that are formally classified as dangerous because of their breed, such as Pit Bull Terriers). Please telephone them on 101.

More information

For further information on dangerous dogs, and controlling your dog, please visit the Government website.