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Dog Law Changes May 2014

May 14th 2014 sees changes in The Dog Law in England and Wales.
The changes are as follows: whether your dog is big or small.
  • The law now states that owners of dogs who attack visitors on private property will be prosecuted. The prison sentence will be increased from 2 years to 14 years as is with dog attacks in public places.
  • The law specifically states also that attacks on guide Dogs and other service dogs be included as an offence.
  • Police and local authorities have powers to seize dogs from private places if they are deemed to be dangerous.
  • Also a dog does not have to bite to be deemed as dangerous. Intimidating acts or what the visitor feel is a threatening behaviour.
There are grey areas here as different people have different ideas of what they feel is threatening behaviour. A dog getting too close for some will be too much.

How should you keep you, visitors and your dog safe and above any court action?

  • Never leave your dog unattended in the front or back garden.
  • When you answer the door, always put your dog in another room.
  • Ask your neighbours not to lean over your fence or send children in after lost toys.
  • If you feel your dog is unsettled in a large gathering at home than is usual, give them space to settle away from the buzz of the party.
  • Have a safe place that is a no go area for visitors. Crates are great if you do not have a separate spaces. Ensure the dog feels comfortable and the crate has a blanket over the top.
If you have concerns with your dogs behaviour get advise from a professional who can help you.

It has always been an offence for your dog to be aggressive to people out in public places, unfortunately the new additions to the Dog Law have not stretched this to dog on dog attacks bar the exception to service dogs. The RSPCA pushed for this rightly so as more and more dog on dog attacks are occurring. This is becoming a massive problem and even if the dog may not be directing its aggression towards the human, accidents happen and on it's own is a very intimidating and frightening experience for the owner. Who may well have a child with them, who also may get bitten.

Dogs don't think when they are in a panic, they react and if you're in the way then you become the target.

Owning a dog is a huge responsibility and hopefully this may make people think more when they say "Oh my dog is fine" Fine for them may not be fine for the visitor.

MAY 22ND, 2014 @ 9:45:59 BST


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