The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

Control of Dogs


Today, I complained that a Guide Dog was not recalled by the owner’s seeing carer. I am disappointed that when I said the Furlong dog was an animal cruelty dog, fearful of other dogs and prone to FIGHT, she proclaimed “That’s YOUR problem”. But had she recalled her dog, the problem would not exist. The problem is not the loose, bouncy, frightening Alsatian running up to you, the problem is that it’s frightening to other people, and the owner is without any consideration to anyone else.

The dog might be a pussy cat – but  who knows that? It is scary to children, old people and other dogs.

I disapprove of all dogs in public places who are not on leads. But a government petition for it – there have been several – gets only about eighty votes! BIG DEAL!


After yesterday’s incident, the next group of people on the canal path had about five dogs all loose around them. One bounded over to us and a small squabble ensued – our dog’s fault. We cannot walk there stresslessly any more. We will have to keep away – not because of other loose dogs, but because of the one guide dog we might encounter.

We cannot walk there stresslessly any more. Because this raises the problem.

If a dog runs over to me and frightens me, the law is on my side.


If my dog attacks a guide dog the law is severely against me.


So the question is, how does the law protect ME when YOUR guide dog is “out of control”?

Here is the law (in the UK)

Control of Dogs

It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, such as:

  • in a public place
  • in a private place, eg a neighbour’s house or garden
  • in the owner’s home

The law applies to all dogs.

Out of control

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

  • injures someone
  • makes someone worried that it might injure them

AND more frighteningly –  If you allow your dog to injure an assistance dog (eg a guide dog) you can be sent to prison for up to 3 years or fined (or both). Last updated: 25 October 2016

What does the new law mean?

It means that if a dog attacks an assistance dog then its owner will have committed an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act. If the dog injures the assistance dog then its owner will be liable for prosecution and face a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

What do I do if my guide dog is attacked from now on?

Report it to the police and to your local guide dogs mobility team. Your mobility team will be able to help you through the whole process from reporting it to the police, seeking veterinary treatment if necessary and pressing charges.

What is or isn’t an attack?

The law does not use the work ‘attack’ but says that an offence has been committed by the dog owner or the person in charge of a dog, if the dog is “dangerously out of control”.

The definition of “dangerously out of control” is that “there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person or assistance dog, whether or not it actually does so”. So the law has been broken even if there is no physical injury to the person or assistance dog, and this should still be reported to the police.

If a person or an assistance dog does get injured by the dog while it is out of control, then an aggravated offence has been committed. This is the more serious form of the offence and it carries stricter penalties.

So, unfairly as it seems “It’s OUR problem” indeed.


Author: Elizabeth

I'm someone also pounding the Path, just like you.. I'm retired, going into Old Age and loving my life. I'm hoping to remain happy and well for as long as possible. Old Age is not SO bad - yet!

3 thoughts on “Control of Dogs

  1. I would argue there is cause for complaint in both directions. The assistance dog meets the criteria of dangerously of of control in that you fear it could injure you.
    Your dog, even though on a lead, may be considered dangerously out of control if it is able to injure the other dog if a fight ensues. However if your dog is muzzled then there can be no “grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person or assistance dog, whether or not it actually does so” because it is tethered and muzzled – i.e. it does not meet the criteria of being dangerously out of control any more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And what if my dog is never near another dog? Is kept away. And loose dogs are requested to be recalled? (warned)? My dog is only exhibiting flight or fight when frightened – when frightened (illegal for another dog to do). My dog is always under control, except when another dog is acting illegally! What do you say?


  2. Pingback: Laws concerning dog walking and me (and you) UK | The Last Furlong

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