Ryedale District Council

Dangerous dogs enforcement

Information on the legislation used to control dangerous dogs.

The Dogs Act 1871

The Act makes it an offence to have a dog which is dangerous and not under proper control:

  • in a public place; and
  • where the dog is on the owner's private property where other people have a right of access.

The Act may be used to place a Control Order on a dog, ie meaning that it should be muzzled or kept on a lead.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

The Act covers ownership of pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero. It puts restrictions on other dogs believed to be a danger to the public.

It makes it an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control:

  • in a public place; or
  • injuring any person while it is on private property; or
  • if there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will do so.

A dog does not have to bite someone to be classed as dangerous. If you are convicted you can face a fine up to £5,000 and/or up to 6 months in prison, in addition to the court ordering that the dog is destroyed or controlled in some way, eg muzzled and on a lead at all times in public.

How to avoid having a dangerous dog

  • Ensure that your dog is well socialised with people and other animals, from a young age
  • Do not encourage him to bite, even in play, or to guard you or your property aggressively
  • Make sure his bark is worse than his bite
  • Ensure that he is well trained so that you can keep him under control at all times
  • Use a muzzle and a lead if you have any doubts about your dog's temperament. A dog may be good with people but not other dogs
  • You should always be careful, as a large percentage of dog bites occur when owners are trying to separate dogs that are fighting
  • Report any dogs that you feel may be dangerous to the local Police
  • Report a dog biting incident to your local Police immediately

For advice please contact North Yorkshire Police.


Attachments (downloads)
FileNo of pagesFile sizeCreated
Download this file (Dog_Fouling_Booklet.pdf)Dog fouling booklet570 kB11-2013
Download this file (Responsible_Dog_Ownership_ july09.pdf)Responsible dog ownership333 kB11-2013

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Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House, Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

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