Dangerous Dogs

Information on making complaints about dangerous dogs and about commercial dog walkers

  • Dangerous Dogs

    The word "dangerous dog" can be interpreted in many different ways but, for the purposes of deciding who will deal with a complaint, these incidents can be put into 5 categories;

    1. A bite to a person that has broken the skin. Although the council may work with the Police in these cases, this should be reported to Hampshire Police on 101. It is also recommended that the person bitten seeks medical attention.
    2. A bite to a person that has not broken the skin. This should be reported to Winchester City Council.
    3. A bite to another animal, including other dogs or cats. This should be reported to Winchester City Council.
    4. An attack on livestock. There is specific legislation to deal with this - the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 This should be reported to Hampshire Police on 101
    5. A dog that acted aggressively but did not bite or inflict any damage. I'm afraid this is not something that either the Police or the council would normally be able to help with but in some circumstances we can. You are welcome to contact Winchester City Council to discuss it.

    The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 makes it an offence for a dog to be "dangerously out of control". This means there has to be good reason to believe that a dog would bite or directly injure a person. However, this law is only likely to be used in the most severe cases that are dealt with in category 1 above.

    Where a complaint is made to the council, our aim will be to visit the dog owner and to prevent any such incidents happening again.

  • Banned Breeds

    It is against the law to own the following breeds under section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991;

    • Any dog known as a pitbull type (eg American Pitbulls, Blue Nose Pitbulls, Red Nose Pitbulls)
    • Japanese Tosa
    • Fila Brasileiro
    • 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

    There is more information about banned breeds on the Government website here

    Should you wish to report someone for an offence under this section, you should report this to Hampshire Police on 101

  • Commercial Dog Walkers

    There are no national laws requiring dog walking businesses to be licensed or that restrict the number of dogs they can walk at one time. However, they are subject to the same rules as anyone else who walks their dog in our District, including the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996.

    You can make a complaint about a dog walker if it falls into categories 1 to 4 in the Dangerous Dogs section above.

    We ask commercial dog walkers to respect  walkers, horse riders, other animals and the environment and to read and adhere to the Professional Dog Walkers' Guidelines, which can be found here

  • Contact Details

    For Hampshire Police, ring 101 or make a report via their webpage here

    To contact the Council's Animal Welfare Team, contact us on 01962 848097 or EHealth@winchester.gov.uk