Be a responsible dog owner
On this page ...
Controlling your dog in public
It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, such as:
- in a public place
- in a private place, for example a neighbour’s house or garden
- in the owner’s home
- injures someone
- makes someone worried that it might injure them
A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if either of the following apply:
- it attacks someone’s animal
- the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal
You can get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months (or both) if your dog is dangerously out of control. You may not be allowed to own a dog in the future and your dog may be destroyed, if you:
- let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for up to five years or fined (or both)
- deliberately use your dog to injure someone you could be charged with ‘malicious wounding’
- allow your dog to kill someone you can be sent to prison for up to 14 years or get an unlimited fine (or both)
- allow your dog to injure an assistance dog (for example a guidedog) you can be sent to prison for up to three years or fined (or both)
If a dog is dangerously out of control, call Bedfordshire Police on 101.If it is an emergency, call 999
In the UK, it’s against the law to own certain types of dog. These are the:
- Fila Brasileiro
- Japanese Tosa
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Dogo Argentino
It’s also against the law to:
- sell a banned dog
- abandon a banned dog
- give away a banned dog
- breed from a banned dog
Whether your dog is a banned type depends on what it looks like, rather than its breed or name.
Example: If your dog matches many of the characteristics of a Pit Bull Terrier, it may be a banned type. The government website provides further information on banned dogs.
New legal restrictions on the XL Bully is now in force
The government has now made the legislation clear on XL Bully dogs.
It is now illegal to:
- abandon these dogs or let them stray
For more information please click the button below to check if a dog matches the characteristics of an XL Bully.
From 6 April 2016 the owners of any dog(s) found by the police or local authority that is not microchipped will have the benefits explained to them and be given a short period to comply with the microchipping law. If they do not, they could face a fine of up to £500.
This is a small chip, about the size of a grain of rice. It is inserted just under the skin between shoulder blades. It's a very simple and painless process. Our dog wardens are all qualified to microchip dogs.
Your dog’s microchip is given a number, which will show up whenever your dog is scanned. The professional who microchips your dog will also take your contact details. These details are kept alongside the microchip number on a database, so that your dog can be returned to you if it’s lost or stolen.
These details must be kept up to date. For example, if you move house you must ensure that your address is changed.
Identifying deceased pets
Also, in the unfortunate event of a deceased pet being found it can easily identified if it is microchipped. This goes for cats as well as dogs. All deceased cats and dogs that are found by the councils Street Cleansing team are then brought to the central depot for scanning of microchips. Non microchipped pets have their details recorded and we preserve the animals in a freezer for one month prior to disposal. If you have lost a pet you can check with the Dog Wardens if it has been brought to the depot by calling 01582 510330.
If you would like to have your dog fitted with a microchip, there is a fee of £10. Please call 01582 510330 to book an appointment.
If your dog is lost, you should contact the dog warden service, local police and/or Appledown Kennels on 01525 220383 as soon as you realise your dog is missing.
All reasonable steps will be taken to contact the owner should they not be at home when called. If the owner is not found, the dog will be taken to a holding kennel where it will be kept for a period of 7 days. The owner will be able to claim their dog back within the 7 day period having paid a statutory fee of £25 plus any other costs incurred in providing kennelling facilities.
Contact the dog warden service on 01582 510 30 to make an appointment. You will need to bring your dog to the dog warden office.
Payment for microchipping is made at the time by cash only.
Buying a dog
You should ask for proof a microchip has been fitted before buying a dog. You can ask to see any of the following as proof:
- microchip certificate
- vet records
- pet passport
You may also be able to see microchip information in the dog’s pet insurance papers. You must also make sure the microchip details are updated once you have bought the dog.