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 Dog Warden
  • Report a dog biting incident to your local police immediately

For advice please contact North Yorkshire Police or the Dog Warden and Animal Welfare Officer on 01653 600666 ext. 208.


Attachments (downloads)
FileNo of pagesFile sizeCreated
Download this file (2012_Dog_Warden_Service_Charter.pdf)Dog and animal welfare services charter3141 kB11-2013
Download this file (Dog_Fouling_Booklet.pdf)Dog fouling booklet570 kB11-2013
Download this file (Dog_Warden_Enforcement_policy_2002.pdf)Dog warden enforcement policy544 kB11-2013
Download this file (Responsible_Dog_Ownership_ july09.pdf)Responsible dog ownership333 kB11-2013

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