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.

If there is an immediate risk posed by the dog, please call Hertfordshire Police on 101. Alternatively, if the risk isn't immediate, please email animalwelfare@dacorum.gov.uk.


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

In the UK, it’s against the law to own certain types of dog. These are the:
  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. Please telephone them on 101.

From 1 February 2024 it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully in England and Wales unless you have a Certificate of Exemption for your dog. Find out more about preparing for the ban on XL Bully dogs on the Government website.

More information

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

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