6 Common Dog Laws In The UK

6 Common Dog Laws In The UK

There are a number of dog laws in effect in the UK that can impact your day to day ownership: from microchips to fouling and excessive barking; here’s the most common laws you need to abide by:



All dogs must be microchipped and registered with the owners details. This law has been in force since April 2016 and applies to dogs over the age of eight weeks.  A number of vets offer microchipping for free or as part of their initial puppy care packages.

Ensure you keep your details up to date, particularly if you move or the ownership changes.  If not, you may face a fine up to £500!


Collars & Tags

All dogs must wear a collar and tag with the owner’s name and address on it when in a public place; even if they’re already microchipped.  This has been in effect since 1992.

Many people choose to add their phone number to the tag too, so that they can easily be contacted should the dog go missing.


Aversive Training Devices – Shockers

In Wales dog collars that produce an electric shock are banned.  Owners who use these can face a prison sentence and fines up to £20,000.  These types of collars are often used when training, but can be harmful to the dogs – Blue Cross are currently campaigning for them to be banned in the rest of the UK.


Tail Docking

It’s against the law to partially or fully dock the tail of your dog.  There are a couple of exceptions however – working dogs under the age of five days old (however this only applies to certain breeds), and the docking of the tail for medical reasons.


Excessive Barking

This is one of the most common problems, particularly if your dog suffers from separation anxiety.

If your dog barks for a prolonged period of time, leading to a complaint, the local authority can ask you to stop your dog for barking, or even remove your dog from the property.

There are a number of herbal medications, sprays and plugins you can get to help calm your dog if they do suffer from separation anxiety – for Milo the tablets worked the best by far.  Other suggestions include leaving the radio on for background noise, or leaving an item of your clothing with your pup. Read our Separation Anxiety blog for more guidance.



Probably the most known law, failing to collect your dog’s poop can lead to a fixed penalty notice of £100 in areas where Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO)’s are in place.  We suggest always stocking up on poo bags, as there’s nothing worse than being caught without… that’s why we include handy accessories in our monthly dog subscription boxes.

If you’re walking in heathland, woodland and land used for animal grazing it isn’t a legal requirement to pick up your dog poop (unless they have a specific order in place).  Those registered legally blind are also exempt from the laws.

Even without an order, it’s common courtesy to pick up the mess your dog makes – it contains parasites and nasties which can cause illness… not nice.

Want to know more?  The Kennel Club has a fantastic downloadable guide on dog laws you should know and abide by.


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