The UK is a nation of dog lovers with nearly 10 million four-legged friends delighting their owners. However, not all dogs playing fetch in the park are the same.
The RSPCA says there is no hard evidence that one breed is more aggressive than another. However, some types have the potential to cause fatal injuries if they are not trained and must act on what they have been taught.
The Dangerous Dogs Act came into force in 1991, banning four breeds and sentencing thousands of people to death at birth. More than 30 years after the ban, evidence suggests it hasn’t worked, with attacks at an all-time high.
Read more: Dog Attack Rules: What To Do If Your Pet Is Attacked By Another
Becky Thwaites, public affairs manager for animal welfare charity Blue Cross, said: “Many dogs seized as illegal breeds are actually well-bred dogs with responsible owners, who have just the misfortune of having bad measurements.”
“Almost as many dogs – not of prohibited breeds – were seized under Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act as under Section 1 last year for being dangerously out of control, highlighting how point it is important for the government to change the legislative direction of what a dog looks like likes dealing with irresponsible owners of any breed of dog to keep our communities safe.”
New data has revealed an increase in the number of children under the age of 15 requiring hospitalization for dog-related injuries between April 2021 and March 2022. Up 7.5% to 1,516, this is the second highest figure since records began in 2007.
It is against the law to sell, give up, give away or breed a prohibited dog. Government guidelines state that whether your dog is a prohibited type depends on its appearance, rather than its breed or name.
In the UK it is illegal to own certain types of dogs. According to the law, these are:
- pit bull terrier
- japanese tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brazil
If your dog matches many of the characteristics of a Pit Bull Terrier, it may be a prohibited type. This means that a dog can simply be put down if it looks a certain way.
However, there is a little-known exception. A dog that looks like a prohibited breed is allowed to live, if it passes a behavioral evaluation from the court and proves that it can live happily and peacefully in the community.