ForPaws Blog

The Law and the Dog...

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I am still trying to write the last part of the article on my first year and more articles in my Dominance series, but as its been a bit of a hectic start to the year, I thought I'd update my blog with a little excerpt from my latest newsletter on a course I recently attended...

Do you know where you stand with the Law and your Dog?

This weekend just gone I attended a half day seminar on Dog Law, it was rather a scary and eye opening course.  Some of the key points were:

  • All dogs must legally wear a collar (or harness) in public with a tag attached.  The tag must have the owners name and address, including house number, street name, town and postcode on it.  The dog’s name is optional!  It is a good idea to ensure that the collar and tag is on your dog at all times just in case your dog escapes and goes off for a little solo jaunt! 
  • Third party liability insurance is a MUST.  One recent example the instructor gave us of a civil proceeding against a dog for damage (car accident I believe) settled out of court for £7,000.  This isn’t too bad you may think, until you realise that the owner also had to pay an additional £44,000 in legal fees!!!  Even if you don’t want to pay out for full pet insurance to cover your dog for vets fees, third party liability is a must.  It needn’t be expensive, Dogs Trust offer some as part of their membership package for £25 a year.
  • The current law regarding Dangerous Dogs is being tightened.  Dog owners being prosecuted for incidents in which their dog has been deemed dangerous (causing injury to another person – or even making that person fearful of injury) will be much more likely to face a long community sentence, or jail time, instead of a fine.  Currently this is only for incidents taking place outside the home or private land, but in England this will be extended to include these areas, provided the person was there lawfully.  In Wales this is being extended to include those areas without the unlawful entry exception, meaning burglars could actually prosecute you if your dog attacks them – we were encouraged to tell as many people about this as possible, as this change is still in consultation.  So if you know any dog owners living in Wales please let them know about this so they can add their points of view to the consultation.
  • It is illegal for your dog to be ‘at large’ in a field with sheep!  At large would essentially mean out of control (and a farmer would be within his rights to shoot it) so if you are walking your dogs and stumble across sheep, make sure you pop your dog on lead for safety.

There was so much interesting information that I found on this seminar, I would thoroughly recommend it for all dog owners, there is one coming up in Bagshot if you are interested at all, details can be found here:   It is small wonder that cat ownership is on the rise though, dog owners have a lot to contend with!

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