What dogs are dangerous and which breeds are banned in the UK? – The Sun

SOME breeds of dog are deemed as dangerous – and have even been banned in the UK.

The official Dangerous Dogs Act (1991) bans four breeds from being owned or bred, but what is the law surrounding dangerous dogs and which breeds are affected?

Dogs are not just playful, friendly, loyal but they are dangerous too.

Depending on the animal’s upbringing and temperament, any dog breed can be a threat to humans. Some dangerous dogs include…

Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bulls are one of the most dangerous dogs and have been banned by many countries in the world.

This medium-sized, intelligent, short-haired dog, is one of the most dangerous breeds of dogs in the world.

The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life.


Rottweilers are considered unsuitable family dogs, especially for families who have amateur owners.

They have one of the worst tempers and need to be continuously trained and attentive to, in order to avoid situations.


Bullmastiffs are smart, athletic, energetic dogs.

They have a naturally aggressive temperament, which if not properly cared for can turn out to be fatal.

Bullmastiff's are generally employed as guard dogs because of their temperamental behaviour.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds, also known as Alsations, are one of the most popular dog breed.

They are an important part of police squads across the world.

But when they do attack, they attack with a bite that has a force of over 1,060 newtons.

The act specifically made four breeds of dog illegal to own, breed from, abandon or sell: the Pit Bull terrier, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentino and the Fila Braziliero.

But according to the RSPCA over a third of the people killed by dogs since the act was brought in were attacked by legal breeds.

The Pit Bull terrier was originally bred in England for fighting in sports such as bear bating and dog fighting which took place in a "pit".

The Japanese Tosa was also bred for fighting in the Far East.

Owing to Japanese dog fighting rules the animals weren't allowed to make any noise in the pit so some of these dogs are said to have been able to fight in silence.

The Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero were both bred to hunt large animals in South America but became popular for dog fighting when they were brought to this country.

If a person owns a banned dog the police or council are allowed to take it away and keep it regardless of whether or not it is acting dangerously or a complaint has been made.

If the animal is in a public place they can simply be confiscated there and then – but in private, police must have a warrant to take the dog.

After it has been examined by an expert the dog will either be kept in kennels while the police apply to court or released.

Once in court the owner has to prove the dog is not a banned breed and if successful the dog will be returned.

But if the dog is deemed to be a dangerous type or the owner pleads guilty they could face an unlimited fine or up to six months in prison as well as the dog being destroyed.

In some instances, the court may decide that although the dog is banned it is not a danger to the public.

If you have bought a puppy you believe is a Pit Bull Terrier but the dog is friendly and "well socialised", you can speak to the Met police’s Status Dogs Unit.

If this happens the owner will be given a Certificate of Exemption and the dog will be put on the national Index of Exempted Dogs.

The certificate is valid for the life of the dog but it must be neutered, microchipped, kept on a leash and muzzled in public and kept in a secure place.

The owner must also insure the dog against injuring other people and be more than 16-years-old.

What dogs are banned in the UK?

The law which has banned certain types of dogs is called 'breed specific legislation' and makes it illegal to own, breed, sell or give away certain dogs.

These are a Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.

Often confused with the banned Pit Bull terrier breed, the Staffordshire Bull terrier is NOT banned in the UK, despite being labelled by some as 'dangerous'.

The official Gov UK website advises owners that it is against the law for any dog to be 'dangerously out of control anywhere'.

Dogs are considered dangerously out of control if they injure someone or make someone worry that they may be injured.

If your dog is dangerously out of control you may face an unlimited fine and/or be sent to prison for 6 months.

If a dog injures or kills someone, a lengthy prison sentence can be expected.


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