How the changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act affect you and your dog

On Tuesday, 13 May, the changes to the  Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 came into effect.

While we don’t believe these changes will be effective in doing what they set about to do, which is reducing dog bites and anti-social behaviour with dogs. We do support the notion that all dog owners should be responsible for their dog’s behaviour with other people and animals.

There is however a concern that even the most well behaved and well trained dogs could fall foul of this legislation accidentally. For example, if a dog becomes overexcited, jumps up and knocks someone down.

Here are some things every dog owner needs to know…

The Dangerous Dogs Act applies to you and your dog!

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Whether you own a large breed dog or a tiny one and however placid and friendly your dog is, the Dangerous Dogs Act applies to you. It also applies to me (I own a tiny chihuahua cross) and all other dog owners in England and Wales. Under the Act, it’s illegal for a dog to be ‘out of control’ or to bite or attack someone. The legislation also makes it an offence if a person is worried or afraid (the term is ‘reasonable apprehension’) that a dog may bite them. So  ensure that your dog is kept under control at all times and in all places.

What has changed since May 13th?

Since 1991 it’s been illegal for dogs to be ‘out of control in a public place’. However until recently dog bites and attacks on private property were excluded from the legislation. The main change in the law is an extension to cover incidents which take place on private property. This means in your home, including your front and back garden.

The law also makes it an offence if your dog attacks an assistance dog, and it can carry a penalty of up to three years in prison.

What if my dog is protecting me from an intruder?

The law provides a defence if  your dog attacks an intruder  in your own home so this may be a comfort to many dog owners. However, rather confusingly, if your dog attacks an intruder in your garden this will be an offence which could land you in court.

What if my dog is attacked by another dog? Is that now an offence?

Unfortunately not, we campaigned for attacks on other animals to be included in the legislation but the recommendation was not taken up. If your dog is attacked by another dog, the incident should still be reported to the police immediately.

What steps should I take to ensure I am complying with the new law?

  • Take precautions…

Postal workers, utility providers and other authorised visitors to your property should be able to carry out their work without feeling afraid, being threatened, bitten or coming into contact with your dog.

You know your dog better than anyone else. If your dog reacts to the doorbell or new people at the door, it is sensible to introduce a routine for managing them when the doorbell rings. For example, shutting your dog in another room temporarily with an interactive toy. Or training your dog using reward based methods to go to their bed when they hear the doorbell.

You should also ensure that your garden is secure.  This can be done by making sure your back gate can be closed or locked. This is not only to reduce the likelihood of your dog escaping, but to prevent trespassers who could inadvertently cause an incident in which you would be liable.

  • Visitors to your home…

Dog lying in dig bed (c) RSPCAEnsure that all visitors are interacting safely with your dog. You could provide your dog with their own personal space. Then make sure that visitors understand not to approach them when they are there.

If you do allow visitors to interact with your dog, make sure your dog is comfortable and can go to their personal space if they want to. This is particularly important in the case of visiting children as children’s’ body language can be confusing to dogs. Children tend to want to make very close facial contact with dogs which many dogs find threatening.

The majority of dog bites treated in hospitals involve children. There are some excellent resources by dog behaviourist Sophie Yin, on child safety around dogs.

  • Training…

Ensure your dog responds to basic commands so that you can keep them under reasonable control when in public places and in your home. Take a look at our advice on finding a suitable dog trainer. Taking part in classes will not only help you keep your dog under control but will strengthen your relationship.

  • Seeking advice…

If you are concerned about your dog’s behaviour, take a look at our guide to finding a behaviourist. The behaviourists listed only use techniques which protect your dog’s welfare; some techniques can compromise welfare and in many cases could make matters worse.

We all know that owning a dog is a huge responsibility but with that comes all the joys of dog ownership. How many times a day does your dog make you laugh?

If the correct precautions are taken, the changes in legislation should not stifle the fun you can have with your dog!

Happy walking and wagging.

- Violet, RSPCA campaigner

41 Responses to “How the changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act affect you and your dog”

  • Queenofwonderland

    About time they protected people on private land.

    Hopefully this will make a lot of poor owners think twice. Unfortunately bad owners always give a bad name to responsible ones. I was really scared by a dog as a child as a result of a stupid owner.

    I was running along a few meters from my mother on a pavement when I was about 3 years old, well within her eye shot and a very large black long coated Alsatian came running straight at me. I clearly remember thinking I should’t run but being terrified. The dog was harmless however it was completely irresponsible of the owner. It left my brother scared of dogs ever since. Two strangers had a real go at the owner as they had seen what happened and the effect it had.

    This sort of behavior gives a bad reputation to all dog owners and should be stopped. The owner honestly did not see what was the problem despite leaving two small children petrified one who will never like dogs again. I know it could have been worse if I had been bitten etc.

    All I can hope is the new law is not enforced to the detriment of the dogs. The Alsatian should either have been on a lead or trained to stay by its owner. The sort of thing where a fine would be appropriate. Taking what was essentially a happy healthy dog from its owner would not be an appropriate response.

  • john hurren

    There are so many ways this act can be abused. A belligerent neighbour can report that your dog frightened him/her and you cannot prove otherwise. YOU ARE IN TROUBLE. This law must be repealed and Dog licenses re-introduced with a short course + exam on dog care and control.

  • Jeff Thomas

    What was the problem with simply having certain breeds of dogs, who have bad history of attacks on humans and other dogs, muzzled when in public ? It would have solved all future problems.

    • Henry

      I’ve seen a collie tear a man’s arm to shreds. The act specifies any breed because any breed has the potential to be dangerous.

    • Getta Jones

      Seriously, if I had a pet Mountain lion, no matter how nice he was to me I would have to do something to protect the public whenever I took thim out. Strange analogy, you think? The only thing that can damage a human as much as a pitbull or the bully breeds/fighting dogs are mountain lions, bears, and sharks. The very idea that children to be expected to coexist with an animal that’s capable of killing them on a whim makes about as much sense is inviting your friends to come swimming your pool with your new pet shark that your sure is very nice & you’ve never seen them bite anybody before. Here in the states they are ripping off children’s faces every day arms and legs are sometimes also sacrificed and of course their tiny little lives. I read the story about Daxton, The 14-month-old who was being carried by an adult when two pits grabbed each one of that adult’s legs and pulled the adult to the ground to get the child out of her arms. The story is on Daxton’s friends website. The website, his adorable pictures, his parents memories, and their mission are all that are left are poor little Daxton..To this day we have wildly variant laws all throughout our country and very few protections in place for people and none for animals. In Bakersfield California a pit bull came and bit into a horse causing the horse to panic and throw a 62 yr. old retired police officer into the air just before they were about to enter a parade. If you were to look it up and see the gash on that horse is just you would think “Mountain lion”.

  • Chris

    Loose dogs on a bridleway running round my horse worry me for fear of the horse spooking, kicking out and possibly a fall.

    Is this covered by this change?

    How does one bring a complaint and to whom?

    • RSPCA Official

      Not unless the dog is ‘dangerously out of control’, however if you feel threatened by any dog while riding or otherwise, you can report to the police and your local authority as they have new powers under the law to intervene… Hope this helps.

      • Nia Evans

        I agree with the above comment about a neighbour could report ur dog 4 being threatening, but what if ur not at home to see it? My dog (jack russell cross) is kept in my back garden. The garden is secure & she has free run of it. If i go out, whats not to stop my neighbour for example, saying my dog is threatening them & i get reported for it???? Thats not fair

    • Geoff

      Horses riding around make my dogs scared. Not only that but their poop lies around causing disease and making a horrible mess. They scare me when I’m in my car and I have to try to overtake them on narrow roads because they look scared and jumpy and I think they’re going to jump onto my car, and they hold up the traffic wasting thousands of people’s time every day.

      You don’t need to be riding your horse. You do it because you like to, to the known detriment of other people, about whom you couldn’t give two hoots. If you don’t like that my dog barks at this great big stonking smelly scary beast walking through her woods, stop riding it.

      One more thought: if you’re scared that your horse might misbehave, perhaps you should have it under better control?

      • Sarah warwick

        Horses don’t need to be ridden!!!!!! As dogs need their daily walks, horses also need to be exercised, and most bridle ways require a little bit of road work to access them, so I’m sorry if you cannot wait 30 seconds behind a horse whilst we pull in at the next lay-bys!!!! Also most horse manure that you see is mainly grass and hay, it will also turn to compost which is what we grow most of our vegetables in!!!! If you don’t like horses stop walking your dogs on our bridle paths!!!!!!!! These are the only places horses have to go!!! So I suggest you walk your dog over the park instead

  • Claire Matseklk

    I’m not sure this legislation will be effective and its wide open to abuse and misinterpretation. I really don’t think it will make irresponsible dog owners more responsible. ‘Reasonable apprehension’ is to subjective – this needs to be measurable. If no physical harm is done, it should be dealt with very carefully to prevent innocent dog owners/dogs from malicious claims otherwise anyone who got yapped at by a neighbours yorkshire terrier will be making claims for nervous shock.

    Education is the way forward and a compulsory registration scheme microchipping all dogs. I agree dogs should be under control, however, should my house be burgled I would want the reassurance that any intruder could not subsequently prosecute me or have my dog destroyed if the dog attacked them in my defence.

    This legislation appears to be a knee jerk reaction and badly thought out. Perhaps those drafting the statute books should stop reading the Sun and the Daily Mail and start using their brains a little more.

  • Lauren

    I’m not sure how this will affect me and my dog. We’ve had my dog for about 5 years now and throughout having him, he’s never been aggressive to anyone but he does ‘intimidate’ people because of his looks. He’s a German Shepard/Rottweiler cross and more than anything he wants to meet new people so he can get a fuss. On the downside of his breed (a guard dog), he barks when the doorbell goes and if someone walks past our house but if they enter then he will wag his tail and want to be fussed. My worry is that some people who come to the door, or who walk past the house may think that he is a ‘dangerous dog’ and because of this new law, they may be able to act on it. Likewise if on a walk and he barks or gets excited but is firmly under control, is the new law against that?

  • James

    This change is nonsense. Dogs jump up in excitement and greeting. To an unfamiliar visitor this could be seen as aggression and reported. As someone else has mentioned the ability to abuse this law is vast and will be exploited. This will also be used by people who are naturally wary of dogs, unfamiliar with their behaviors and mannerisms. How will this effect industrial guard dogs? I may not be on the land but if they follow me along a fence am I in my right to complain about being intimidated? I own a GSD/Husky rescue and he hates other dogs. He is always on a lead and wears a muzzle but that doesn’t stop him growling and barking at them. Does that mean I will be reported by some over-sensitive fairy claiming intimidation? Dog licencing and testing should be bought into play to prevent abnormal aggression. Personally this looks like a ploy to milk a few more pounds out of the public as I cannot see our already overcrowded prisons being filled with dog owners who have a dog that once barked at the postman.

  • Jackie

    With regard to private property I understood the changes to mean that anyone invited in or visiting a dog owner’s property on legitimate business ie friends, the mail man or utility readers, are now protected, but anyone who could be classed as a trespasser where they have gained entry by forcing locks or scaling fences, not just walking in through an open or unlocked gate, were not protected by this law. Am I wrong?

  • mandy

    It is a great shame that common sense is no longer common .Unfortunately to many people keep dogs who don’t understand their needs or behaviour. Too many people are so worried about their rights &blaming others. ..as always it’s the minority few on either side who cause this lack of social responsibility & humility

  • Amanda Jane

    This act is wrong. It was obviously created in order to close the loophole whereby the owners in horrendous dog attacks escaped prosecution because it happened in the home. However, it goes too far. The wording should not include the “reasonable apprehension” of injury on private property. As a previous commentator said it just gives anyone the excuse to claim that they had felt threatened.

    I wrote to my MP about it as the Bill was passing through parliament, who passed it to Lord de Mauley. His response was particularly unhelpful.

    It will take some test cases before we know how the courts will deal with minor incidents, and in the meantime a great deal of concern and worry for some innocent dog owners.

  • Christine Hay

    A Question has arisen from dog agility sites regarding dogs in cars. Many agility people have wire dog guards so that they can leave car boots open in warm weather. People have been observed poking fingers through these dog guards. What is the position if they get bitten through their own foolishness? The dogs are behind a dog guard for their own and public safety but is this law so anti dog that the owner is liable for the lack of common sense in some people?

  • Terry Judge

    Has a security dog handler I work with a dog which is trained to protect Property, Premisses, and myself, While I am fully conversant with present legislation, under theses new rules if my dog barks to alert me that some one is hiding in my course of work, what’s to stop them claiming they were frightened of my dog, and make a report to the police.
    This action of barking by the dog is designed to make the intruder compliant and stop them from taking any violent action towards the handler, it’s 75% of the dogs work, and trained to protect us should it escalate. It is a very grey area for security dog handlers, we do not get the protection from legislation as do Police Officers, Prison Officers, Armed Services.
    Regards
    Terry

  • Shaun

    No law is perfect but the article rightly points out that visitors to your property should be afforded protection. How would you feel if you were at someone’s house and your child was attacked by a dog, only for the Police to say that they couldn’t do anything?
    Before people start panicking about malicious complaints, every case has to be thoroughly investigated and has to pass a ‘public interest’ test as well as an evidential one before people end up facing a court appearance. In addition the prosecutor then has to convince a magistrate you are guilty beyond reasonable doubt. This is all highly unlikely if it’s a malicious neighbour trying to get you in trouble.
    Dog on dog attacks should also be reported. The Police do have powers to deal with owners by agreeing muzzling conditions and other restrictions to prevent recurrences. Where these restrictions are then breached the ‘repeat offender’ is more likely to be considered to be dangerously out of control and prosecutions become a real possibility. Be proportionate though, a genuine attack by an aggressive animal is very different to 2 dogs off lead having a minor ‘argument’. If you can honestly say that your own dog was under control and you were in no way at fault for the incident then report it.

  • Emma

    I have as a staffy and a toddler and I always walk my dog on a lead it annoys me when I’m on walks with my child and dog and people have there dogs of the lead and let them run wild round my child and dog and cos I say something they get all snotty, I don’t want to risk a dog fight while I’m with my child surely it’s comment sense, plus cos I own a so called dangerous dog he would be the guilty one according to society, yet my dog is the softest pussy dog ever just keep on the dog lead please

  • hillary

    why should people who shouldnt be on my property have so many rights,there is access to my front door, why should others be allowed to wander on your property with no consequences. My dog is a very well behaved and socialised gsd and i class myself as a very consciousness owner. Would the same law apply if others wandered into a private field of horses, cows or goats. Rather than doing these stupid laws there should be one to say when buying a puppy a course of classes should be included in the price, genuine people would not mind this

  • Nat

    I was walking with my dog on the Peddars Way in Norfolk and as I went past one property 2 dogs came and were really aggressive behind the fence What should have been a peaceful walk on an ancient public right of way was spoilt for me and my dog who cowered away
    I could see the woman in her house at the top of the hill looking down at what was happening and she did nothing to stop things
    As I walked past the gated driveway her brat of a son came out of the front door and pretended to fire an imaginary shotgun at me
    Clearly this hideous family hated people walking at the foot of their house. But I am glad for the changes in the law as why should people like this use dogs to terrorise us not to walk on public rights of way
    In the future if I walk there again and the same thing happens am I then entitled to call the police?

  • Mr Tom

    Having two young children and also owning a young dog, I can see both sides of this debate. But the primary consideration has to be for people, and especially children. My own children have had frightening experiences with large excited dogs approaching them. My daughter has been knocked over, scratched, and even had a soft toy stolen out of her hand by dogs. These are very frightening experiences for both children and parent. I’ve always challenged the owners on these occasions and the responses have ranged from sincere apology to aggresive dismissal. This law should make it clear to all dog owners that they can’t take chances and must be extra vigilant in public places, especially, in my view, where there are children. I only let my dog off the lead after school children have cleared the local park. And I always carry dog treats to encourage instant recall. My dog is very excitable around kids and wants to play, but I know from personal experience that this can be frightening to children and parents. Saying “She’s only playing” isn’t really going to hack it with the child, or a parent whose perfectly reasonably response is to protect their child. Better to keep the dog close on a lead until it’s safe. Responsible owners will understand this. Those that don’t consider that some people may not be comfortable around dogs can have no complaints if they fall foul of the law.

  • shilpa

    I am sorry whilst I agree dogs should not be allowed to get away with attacks but this law appears to be a knee jerk reaction!! There are far too many loopholes. I have a 1.5 acre garden which is fenced and my gsd has tendency to bark at someone who comes at the gate. He is obviously doing what comes naturally to him. So now apart from that, if someone provokes my dog and he goes to bark at them then he is dangerous!!he has the temperament to die for. very friendly with humans and children when out and when people are invited into the property but obviously does the role of a guard dog when someone is at the gateS.This will only lead to stress for owners and more abandoning of dogs. Furthermore, it is becoming more and more stressful to own a dog. I have stopped going for walks with my gsd as people just get scared by looking at him!!so now he is not free to roam.his own property? dogs are being stolen and pet owners are being attacked in the process, there is no law for the safety of dog owners? This is becoming like a witch hunt on people owning dogs just because of some irresponsible dog owners. Why not make the breeders more responsible for temperament testing in dogs and selling yo responsible homes and making dog classes compulsory. This law is not positive for anyone in fact it is open to.abuse by ignorant people, people who unlike dogs and neighbours with a grudge!! Disappointed!!!

  • Peter West

    I have a beauticul rescue german shepherd from rspca. He was a victim of cruelty. He was kicked and beaten in the past. Now, he is magnificently well behaved and obedient. He is totally friendly with anyone he knows. He has never shown any aggression. The only thing-He is wary of strangers who stick their hand in his face until he has been introduced. He occasionally growls and has a couple of times nipped at the offending hand. Today we were in a buzy carpark full of noisy motorbikes and we were chatting to some people. They asked if they could touch him. I told them not to and explained. They were understanding and agreed that he may be nervous. Then one of the men stuck his hand straight into his face and in a split second he got nipped. Lightly broken skin in 2 or 3 places and slight bleeding. The dog was then placid again as he was before. As he always is. He has no interest in anyone . Some of the people, including the victim mentioned that he had been warned. I asked if he was ok and appologised. Then one of the men got all puffed up and taking down my car registration, said he wants the dog put down as a dangerous dog. And then got aggresive and said he wanted to punch my dog. Generally unpleasant. We vacated the area immediately. Im now scared to death that someone will come and take my lovely dog away. Is this likely? Was it an offence? He was well restrained and couldnt jump at anyone. It really was the victims mistake. This other man could lie about it and make out the dog viciously attacked them. I cant prove anything else. Goes without saying that I wont let him near strangers again without professional behaviourist help.
    Any words of advise or help? Im completely shaken up and shocked.

    • RSPCA Official

      Hi Peter,

      I’m sorry to hear about this terrible ordeal for you and everyone involved. Thank you for adopting the German shepherd from us – we understand it can be a challenge taking on an animal, especially when it needs extra attention like your rescue dog.

      Unfortunately, despite the warning you gave to the man, an offense has been committed under section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 – it’s an aggravated offense as the dog actually bit someone. If the victim reports it, depending on where you live, the police may seize it – we recommend that you seek legal advice on this.

      It’s important not to panic in this situation. Take steps now by recording everything that you recall happening at the event in a document. Also, it’s very important that you seek behavioral advice now from a professional to help your dog deal with these situations well. We have the facility to do this on our website: http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/general/findabehaviourist

      Here’s some advice on Dog behaviour should you like to read up about it more: http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/behaviour

      Good luck to you and your dog!

  • Eve

    Quick hypothetical question: If my dog is on a leash and under control but another person’s dog is not and my dog bites the uncontrolled dog, is that still my fault or does the blame fall on the other owner not controlling their dog?

    I’m in the process of adopting a very nervous Lab x Great Dane from the Dogs Trust, he’s never responded aggressively when afraid, but today I had an experience that worried me. A man was walking four small dogs (two Shih Tzus and two small Spaniels) off leash in our local park while I was heading for the enclosed dog runs at the far end. They all ran from 20 metres away to surround my dog and try to greet him, which caused him to completely freak out and I can’t help thinking what could have happened if his first reaction had been fight instead of flight. I was trying to get him out of the situation but these dogs were completely mobbing around him and following me while their owner was completely failing to recall them. He was apologetic, but I’ve also experienced people completely ignore their dogs’ behaviour and fail to realise that the dog they’re greeting is terrified, even if I ask them to call their dogs back. I’m really worried that if a dog was too boisterous with him and he couldn’t escape, he could turn on them. He’s normally a big softy, but it’s always a possibility with fearful dogs.

    • RSPCA Official

      Hi Eve,

      This sounds like a very tricky situation for you. From what you’ve described, you’re doing all the right things. Every dog owner needs to take responsibility for their dogs while out on walks, and it sounds this wasn’t necessarily the case for the other owner described here. Thankfully, it sounds like your dog handled the situation very well and didn’t show aggression in this instance. However, if you’re worried about his behaviour, we’d recommend seeking advice from your vet – they may refer you to a dog behaviourist to work on his fearfulness.

      If you’d like to read more on dog behaviour, we have a whole section that could be helpful to you: http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/behaviour

      Thanks for getting in touch and best wishes to you and your lovely dog!

      • Ros Liddle

        This is a similar question.We regularly walk our toy dog in a nature reserve and on several occasions meet a woman with two dobermanns,off the lead and running around.We always pick up our dog as the two dogs are very aggressive and the dogs jump up growling and trying to snap at my dog.This woman,having been told to get control of her dogs,then proceeds with profanities and leaves her dogs to carry on.This all takes place in a public place.Yesterday I was witness to these two dogs setting on a Russian Black Terrier,the dog is muzzled and on a lead.The RBT was totally unable to escape the attack or defend itself,and suffered some bad injuries.again the owner of the two dobermanns threatened the owner of the RBT,screamed abuse at him,and then walked away leaving her dogs to continue the ferocious attack on the dog.Police don’t want to know,the council don’t want to know,nobody wants to know.One question….if a dog cannot be “out of control in a public place” how can it be UNDER control if it can get to attack another dog?There are signs saying “please keep dogs on a lead” but that is not the same as having to keep your dog on a lead,is it?Suggestions?

  • Dog bite

    My son got bite by a staff cross and has puncture wounds on his lower leg he’s been the hospital and police been informed plus social services I’m really asking does the dog in question have to be put down ???? My son was playing football on a field the owner of the dog let it run off and attacked my son

    • RSPCA Official

      Hello, so sorry to hear that your son was bitten by a dog – I hope that his leg is all better now. You did the right thing to inform the police of the attack. It’s now a matter for the police as to the best course of action should they find the owner of the dog.

      • Jacqui peachey

        Hi. Just a question regarding a situation. My dog is a well trained big teddy bear. But I just had someone get aggressive with me whilst I was walking him. He is always on the lead but he became very protective. He didn’t bite but the person backed off.I said to police that if they’d have realy attacked me I think my dog would’ve bit their bum. The police then informed me that if he’d have bitten the man my dog would’ve been put down. Is this true. Even if he’s normaly passive and he was protecting me and on a lead.

  • Prudence

    I have a neighbour who walks an aggressive Jack Russell along the footpaths by my house. My dog is always calm and non aggressive but if she strayed too close my neighbours dog and it bit her who would be to blame? And if my neighbour knows her dog is aggressive towards other dogs should she muzzle it?

  • stephen

    My dog recently bit a young child. Although I think it may have been a scratch which punctured the skin & drew blood. The only witness was the childs mother. It has been reported to the police.

  • James

    This new law is stupid. Dogs can sense human fear and so if a burglary is happening the dog will sense the owners fear and defend them. Likewise, if the burglary is taking place while the owner is away, the dog will be afraid of the newcommer as they don’t know them. This should not put the dog nor the owner in the wrong.

    I also think that if a dog is provoked at all, it is within its right to bark and lash out. Children should be aware of dogs and not always shove their hands in dogs faces, that’s going scare the dog.

    The perfect solution would be legally compulsory but very cheap dog training for every dog and an assessment on the dogs behaviour after each 6 months. Like an mot on a car but free.

  • Paula

    I have 2 running dogs (lurchers) who are very friendly, and run very fast, I regularly get told they are “too fast to be in the park” today they ran past a lady and a young dog, the dog chased them and then went back to the lady who started shouting at me, saying my dogs would rip her dog up, and I should be ashamed, I called both my dogs back and put them on their leads, she said she was going to report me, but all my dogs did was run. They have both done a year of dog training, and are well behaved…is running fast (as is the breed) a dog out of control, I would say no, but I am not sure if the law would see it the same.

  • ben

    one of our neigbours dog dragged her across the street on a lead and then attacked the post man biting him on the arm and bum.

    A builder working on our house had to help diffuse the situation.

    The police were called and got involved.

    Their next door neighbour has twins of 1 and i have twins of 3.

    What can i do about this?

    They still have the dog and i’m mad that this has happened and feel unsafe on the street. If the dog gets one of my little ones there could be some serious danger.

    They don’t walk the dog a lot its a collie they got of their friend as they didnt have time for it (likely story).

    I think the dog is fustrated and bored but i’m in two minds whether to report them to the dog warden, in my opinion this is a danger to the street.

    • RSPCA Official

      Hi Ben,

      Sorry I missed this – I’m sorry to hear about this :(

      The way to proceed depends on the situation – if you’re concerned about cruelty or neglect towards the dog please feel free to call our 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 – we may be able to give you advice on next steps and/or who to contact.

      Also, it may be worth contacting your local council to discuss the current situation with your local dog warden.

      I hope this advice has helped with what sounds like a tricky situation. Thank you for getting in touch.

  • Nicster

    My 3.5 year son was bitten by a neighbours dog today. He and two children were jumping around whilst petting him and think they scared the dog. He is quite old and has never bitten anyone before. Do I need to report it if I think the dog was trying to warn them to leave him alone? The dog ran straight back into his house.

    • RSPCA Official

      Hi Nicster,

      I’m sorry to hear this – I hope you’re son hasn’t sustained any injury from this accident. Dogds and children communicate very differently, and it sounds as if the dog may have been frightened of the children playing around him. Perhaps go and speak to your neighbour to make them aware about the incident and suggest what triggered the dog (i.e. noise and children jumping) – this may help prevent any further incident. We’ve also written some guidance on dogs and children with lots of tools to teach children how to interact safely with dogs: http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/company/children.

      Don’t worry, you don’t need to report the incident to anyone if you don’t wish to take it further.

      Thanks for getting in touch :)

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