The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

Dangerous Dogs Act

The Dangerous Dogs Act is a piece of legislation that prohibits people from owning or looking after dogs belonging to types bred for fighting.  It imposes restrictions on dogs bred for fighting, and enables restrictions to be imposed on dogs which present a serious danger to the public, and to make sure that such dogs are kept under control. 

Dogs bred for fighting include: 

  • The Pit Bull Terrier
  • The Japanese Tosa
  • The Dogo Argentino
  • The Fila Braziliero
  • Any other dog that looks like a type bred for typing, or which has characteristics of a type bred for fighting.

Pit bull type dogs can also be called: 

  • American Staffordshire Terriers (Am Staffs)
  • Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier (ISBT)
  • Irish Blue or Red Nose.
  • In addition, some kinds of American Bulldogs have been found to be Pit Bulls.

It is illegal to breed from one of these types of dogs, or to sell, exchange, advertise or give away such a dog. 

The types of dogs listed must be kept on a lead and held securely by someone aged 16 or over and be muzzled to prevent it biting anyone, and it is an offence to allow such a dog to stray. 

The Act created the offence of being an owner of a dog of any type or breed which is dangerously out of control in a public place or a non-public place in which it is not permitted to be. A public place could be a street, road or other place to which the public have, or are permitted to have access.  This is a wide definition of a public place and one which specifically includes the common parts of a building containing two or more dwellings, for example, those parts of a block of flats where, although there may be a secure front entry door, the common parts are, in all other respects, a public place. 

Review of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was launched in March 2010.  The review is expected to consider, among other things powers for postal workers to bring charges against the owners of dogs who attack them, and changing the list of species deemed illegal by the Act, and extending the Act so that it is illegal for any dog to be out of control in any place, not just in a public or private place where it is not allowed to be. 

If you have been attacked by a dog, dangerous or otherwise then contact me, Mike Massen, to see how I can help you claim the compensation you deserve. 

We can deal with your claim on a ‘no win-no fee’ basis; this means that if you win your case you don’t pay us a penny and, if for any reason, we are unable to claim compensation for you then you don’t pay us a penny. There is no risk in bringing your claim with Gartons Solicitors. 

Call us now on 0113 237 9617 0r email Mike at