Renfrewshire Council

Dangerous and illegal dogs

Banned types and breeds of dogs, out of control dogs.

Banned types and breeds of dogs

The Government has laws in place to stop the breeding and trading of dangerous dogs.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 bans the ownership, breeding, advertising, sale and exchange of the following types of fighting dogs:

  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro

The Act deliberately uses the word 'type' as the law does not only apply to 'pure' breeds. Types are defined by the physical and behavioural characteristics of the prohibited dog.

An assessment of the physical characteristics of a dog is made by a court on a case-by-case basis. 

You can find more information about banned dogs on the GOV.UK website including what dog types are banned, if you have a banned dog, going to court and exemptions.

Out of control dogs

If a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place or injures any person while out of control, then its owner is guilty of an aggravated offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

A person found guilty of an offence may face imprisonment or a fine, and the courts may disqualify the offender from having custody of a dog for any period.

See the information about controlling your dog in public and penalties for out of control dogs on the GOV.UK website.