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Dangerous Dogs

- Dangerous dogs are the responsibility of the Police

-Stray Dogs are the responsibility of North Hertfordshire District Council.

The following points define what a dangerous dog is and if you feel you need to report a dangerous dog, please contact the Police:

  • a dog attacking another dog
  • a dog attacking another animal
  • a dog attacking a member of the public
  • a dog is a breed that is deemed to be dangerous and is behaving as outlined in the points above

There is a clear difference between a dog behaving dangerously and a stray dog that is in a public space without an owner.

The following provides more in depth information on dangerous dogs under the legislation.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 focuses on:

  1. Prohibiting possession of named breeds except under strictly controlled condition.
  2. Authorising the imposition of restrictions on other dogs believed to be a serious danger to the public.
  3. Imposing sanction's on the owners of dogs and those in-charge of them which are dangerously out of control in a public place.
  4. Imposing sanctions on the owners of dogs and those in charge of them who allow them to injure persons on private property.

The law affects all dog owners. It is an offence to allow any dog to be out of control in a public place. A dog is regarded as being dangerously out of control under the Act if there are good grounds for suspecting that it will injure a person, whether or not it does not actually injure anyone. If an injury is not caused by the dog, the owner can still face a maximum fine of £2000 and or 6 months in prison. However, if the dog does injure a person the owner may face a maximum prison sentence of 2 years and/or an unlimited fine.

Should your dog be found to be dangerously out of control in a public place magistrates may place a control order on the dog. This may include:

  • muzzling
  • keeping the dog on a lead
  • exclusion from certain areas
  • the neutering of male dogs.

They also have the power to disqualify owners from having custody of a dog. A control or destruction order may be placed on any dog even if the owner was unaware that his dog was dangerous.

The need for control of your dog is not restricted to public areas. It also includes the dogs own property. As a responsible dog owner it is important that you take the necessary steps to avoid having a dog which you can not control and maybe classed as dangerous.

Owning a dog is very rewarding but it also involves responsibility. Train your dog to be under control at all times. Your dogs behaviour should be acceptable to other animals, dog owners and non dog owners alike.

Controlling your dog in public

Contact Details

Details of how to contact the team can be found on the Housing & Public Protection contact page.