Can I Have Guard Dogs On My Property?
Guard dogs have the job of surveilling an area and protecting a property from unwanted visitors, including intruders and other animals. For centuries, dogs have been bred to protect their owners and houses by barking or attacking those who try to steal or trespass. Guard dogs are trained to respond to their owners and attack in a non-fatal manner, for example, attacking arms and legs to incapacitate the intruder.
In 1975, it became clear there needed to be regulations put in place to protect guard dog owners, victims of attacks and the dogs themselves. The Guard Dogs Act of 1975 banned certain breeds of dogs from being bred and kept as guard dogs, including:
>> Pit Bull Terrier
>> Japanese Tosa
>> Dogo Argentino
>> Fila Brasileiro
A breach of the 1975 Act will result in being prosecuted and fined up to £5,000. However, there are some breeds that are recommended for guarding and are legal in the United Kingdom, such as:
>> Rhodesian Ridgeback
>> Staffordshire Terrier
>> German Shepherd
What is the law regarding guard dogs in the UK?
A guard dog is defined in the 1975 Act as “a dog who is being used to protect premises; or property kept on the premises; or a person guarding the premises or such property”. It is legal to own a guard dog, as long as you follow these rules:
>> There must be a clear notice of warning that there is a guard dog on the premises. This notice must be clearly displayed at all entrances and fences, just to ensure you’re completely covered in the event of an incident.
>> There must be a handler who has complete control over the dog present at all times.
>> Unless the dog is restrained, any damage caused by the guard dog means the owner and keeper will be liable. This is unless there were warnings around the property the dog was guarding (meaning a person has knowingly entered the property at their own risk).
Can I have guard dogs in my home?
Yes, it is perfectly legal to have a guard dog in your home. It is easy to see why many people opt to have a dog as a pet, as they are naturally protective of their owners and over 35% of convicted burglars say a dog inside the home would change their mind before breaking and entering. However, if you have trained a dog specifically to attack unwanted intruders, you must have warning signs situated at every entrance.
Can I have guard dogs in my business?
Guard dogs are a popular choice for many business owners, and you can even deduct the cost as a business expense. However, the guard dog must be certified and be a member of a legal, traditional guard dog breed.
Can I take guard dogs out in public?
A guard dog is allowed in a public area, but the owner has to accompany the dog and it must be on a leash the entire time. It is not safe to let a guard dog off the leash in case there is an incident and the owner cannot respond quickly enough.
Can Muslims keep a guard dog?
Although it is not seen Haraam to own a dog in the Islam religion, it is okay to have a guard dog as they are not seen as a pet. The owner must take exceptional care of the dog as animal rights are highly valued in the religion.
Although the guard dog is not allowed in the house, Muslims who choose to have guard dogs on properties often have an outside shelter built specially for the guard dog, so it can live comfortably in all weather.
We understand that the safety of your property is of utmost concern and you will explore every option available to you. Guard dogs may be a viable option to you, but if you’re looking for something more sustainable and cost-effective, our garage doors might be perfect for your business. For more information on our products and services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today!