Report concerns about a dangerous dog

It is every dog owner’s legal responsibility to keep their dog under proper control. Regardless of whether it is on public or private property, it is a criminal offence for a person to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control. This applies to the dog owner, or the person in control of the dog at that time.

By legal definition, a dog is considered dangerously out of control if their behaviour causes a person to fear being harmed by the dog, regardless of whether injury or harm actually occurs. In cases where injury does occur it is automatically considered an aggravated offence and upon conviction is open to a higher sentence by the court.

By law, all dogs must now be micro chipped and owner details updated correctly.

When to contact the police:

• If a dog has bitten a person or animal, is dangerously out of control, or is likely to bite.

• If the dog is suspected to be one of four banned breeds – Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Fila Braziliero or Dogo Argentino.

• If a person is selling, breeding, advertising for sale or giving away a banned breed of dog.

• If a dog has been worrying livestock.

When to contact your local council:

Local authority Dog Wardens are responsible for stray dogs and are also best placed to work with dog owners with regards to:

• Dog on dog attacks.

• Dogs regularly straying and escaping; for example, because of a broken fence or insecure premises.

• Dog fouling.

• Noise issues from persistent barking.

• Dogs with children.

Numerous incidents occur every year involving children being bitten by a dog in the family home or at an address they are visiting (i.e. a friend). The best advice is to never leave a dog alone with children without adult supervision.

Children don’t always appreciate the impact their behaviour can have on a dog and the response it may cause. Child safety issues are usually managed by a joint agency approach including police and local authorities etc. However, where there are real concerns over the presence of a dog in a home where children are present then advice can be obtained initially from the police.

Home from Home are an award-winning dog boarding agency covering London and the Home Counties. For further information on the services we can offer please call 01932 568 584 or email us on

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