Issues with dogs

It is an offence to allow a dog to be out without a responsible dog owner present or not to keep a dog under proper control.

A dog could be considered as out of control, dangerous or anti-social if it:

  • injures someone
  • makes someone worried that it might injure them
  • unsocialised
  • escaping from premises
  • displaying aggression off the lead
  • baring teeth
  • raised hackles
  • no recall training and unable to bring the dog under control
  • worrying livestock

A dog is not considered ‘dangerous’ within law if it has attacked another animal, for example a dog on dog attack. If you think the dog may be a banned breed you can find out more on our webpage.

Before you make a report

If is an emergency ring 999 immediately. If it is not an emergency, please let us know.

You'll need to tell us :

  • what happened
  • where it happened
  • the owner's detail's if you know them
  • any evidence you might have, for example photos
  • if you would be happy to provide a witness statement to support our investigation


What happens next

Reports are reviewed and assessed within three working days and are dealt with on a priority basis.

If you have agreed to provide a witness statement to support enforcement action, an officer will discuss this when they contact you. We aim to respond to all reports within 10 working days.

If you have agreed to allow the contents of your report to be shared with partner agencies, they may contact you directly.

We can look at restricting what dogs can do in a public space, for example banning dogs from the area or requiring them to be on leads. This is known as a Public Spaces Protection Order.

Livestock worrying

‘Worrying’ is where a dog attacks or chases livestock causing injury or suffering. It is a criminal offence and comes under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953.

A farmer is allowed to kill the dog if it’s worrying their livestock and it is not possible to bring it under control safely or in any other manner. All dog owners must make sure they keep their dogs under close control around livestock.

Cases of livestock worrying are investigated by the police, however you can also make the report to us.