There are only a handful of dog breeds that have been added to the Dangerous Dog Act in the UK since it was first implemented in 1991.

It was introduced after an outbreak of serious and in some cases fatal dog attacks – some which involved children.

But what exactly is the Dangerous Dog Act 1991? Find out what it means and which five dog breeds have been added to the list.

What is the Dangerous Dog Act in UK?

@uktoday_ What is an XL Bully and why are they being banned? #uknews #uknewsheadlines #xlbullies #xlbullybanuk ♬ original sound - UKToday 🇬🇧 Newsquest

The introduction of this Act made it illegal to have a dog that’s “dangerously out of control” in a public place which was later updated, as reported by Compare the Market.

The insurance experts added: “The law was updated in 2014 to include private properties – including the owner’s home.

“In the eyes of the law, a dog can be considered ‘dangerously out of control’ if it injures someone or a person is worried that it could injure them.”

What dogs are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act?

South Wales Guardian: Do you own an XL Bully?Do you own an XL Bully? (Image: Jacob King/PA)

The Dangerous Dog Act 1991 applies to all dogs but there are some breeds that are “forbidden” by law.

The five breeds banned by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 are:

  • XL Bully
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro

It’s illegal to own, sell, breed, give away or abandon any of the above dogs (the law also applies to crossbreeds).

XL Bullies were the latest dog breed to be added to the list in December 2023.

From the end of last year it became illegal to breed, sell, advertise, give away, rehome, abandon or allow an XL Bully dog to stray, or have an XL Bully in public without a lead and muzzle.

Then from February 1, 2024, it became be illegal to own an XL Bully in England and Wales unless the dog has a Certificate of Exemption.


Which dog breeds are banned in the UK?


Recommended reading:

In Scotland, from February 23, 2024, owners must keep the dogs muzzled and on a lead in public places.

From this date, breeding, selling, abandonment and exchange of the dogs were also banned.

XL Bully owners in Scotland must also apply for an exemption certificate to keep their dogs from July 31.