Dog care and control

Dangerous dogs

It is a criminal offence to allow any breed of dog to be dangerously out of control. This is any type of behaviour involving a dog which could injure or threaten to injure a person.

A court could also decide that your dog is out of control if:

  • It attacks someone's animal
  • The owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog from attacking their animal.

We will always investigate:

  • Banned, dangerous or aggressive dogs in council housing or communal areas
  • Dogs that are being allowed to attack other dogs
  • Dogs that are being allowed to cause damage to public property (including park benches and trees)
  • Dogs being allowed to stray.

We can take legal action against the owner or refer cases to the police.

Penalties for owners

If you allow a dog to be dangerously out of control and are prosecuted, you could face an unlimited fine, a prison sentence, be banned from owning or looking after a dog and your dog could be euthanized.

Find out more about penalties on the Government's website.

In Newham, we also use dog control orders to deal with irresponsible dog owners.


In an emergency, where there is an immediate risk to public safety, call the police on 999. If you have any concerns about a dangerous dog you can also call the police non-emergency number, 101, or get advice from the Metropolitan Police’s website.