As gun dog owners, we all strive to be responsible and law-abiding when it comes to our canine companions. However, it’s surprising how many dog owners are unaware they may unintentionally be breaking the law. In this comprehensive article, written by LWDG Group Expert Jemma Martin, we will delve into the intricacies of the Control of Dogs Order 1992. This often-overlooked legislation mandates that every dog in a public place or on a highway should wear a collar with the owner’s name and address inscribed on it or attached via a tag.

Join us as we explore the significance of complying with this order, discuss exemptions, debunk misconceptions, and shed light on the potential consequences of non-compliance. Understanding the Control of Dogs Order 1992 is crucial for maintaining responsible dog ownership, ensuring the safety of our pets, and promoting harmonious coexistence in our communities.

Ignorance of the Law: Uncovering Potential Breaches

We all like to think that we are responsible dog owners and keep our dogs within the law, right? However, not many people are aware that they might be potentially breaking the laws outlined in the  Control of Dogs Order 1992.

This order explicitly states that “every dog while on a highway or in a place of public resort shall wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it.”

Understanding the Law: Collar and Tag Obligations

So, what does this mean in simple terms? Whenever you take your dog outside the house, it is essential for them to wear a collar with a tag displaying your name and address to conform to the law in the UK. This measure not only promotes responsible pet ownership but also helps in identifying lost or stray dogs and reuniting them with their owners.

Exceptions to the Rule: Dogs Exempted from Collar and Tag Requirements

However, there are certain exemptions to this law. According to the Control of Dogs Order 1992, the following dogs are not obligated to wear a collar and tag:

(a) any pack of hounds,
(b) any dog being used for sporting purposes,
(c) any dog being used for the capture or destruction of vermin,
(d) any dog being used for the driving or tending of cattle or sheep,
(e) any dog being used on official duties by a member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise, or the police force for any area,
(f) any dog being used in emergency rescue work, or
(g) any dog registered with the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Dispelling Misconceptions: Gundogs and Collar Regulations

There is a common misconception that gundogs are exempt from wearing collars and tags during their day-to-day lives simply because they are gundogs. However, this assumption is incorrect.

While gundogs may not require collars and tags while working or during training, it is important to note that even when walking or driving to work, your dog should be properly equipped with a collar and tag, adhering to the law. This ensures that even outside their designated roles, gundogs are accounted for and can be identified, promoting responsible dog ownership and maintaining compliance with the law.

So, whether they’re visiting the beach or enjoying a leisurely stroll, gundogs should be properly outfitted with collars and tags, just like any other dog, to ensure their safety and legal conformity.

Breaking the Law: Widespread Non-Compliance

Unfortunately, it is evident that this law is frequently violated, as many dog owners neglect to provide collars, let alone identification tags, for their pets. While the chances of prosecution for non-compliance are relatively low unless a dog goes missing, certain areas have witnessed councils conducting spot checks at popular dog-walking locations.

Consequences of Non-Compliance: Seizure, Conviction, and Fines

If you are found with your dog in a public place without a collar and tag, it becomes your responsibility to provide a robust explanation for the violation. A mere assertion that your dog doesn’t like collars would not be considered adequate. The enforcement officer not only possesses the authority to seize your dog if they deem it necessary but can also report you for the offence, which may lead to a conviction and a fine of up to ¬£2000.

Remember, adhering to the Control of Dogs Order 1992 by ensuring your dog wears a collar and tag can help safeguard their well-being, facilitate identification, and contribute to responsible dog ownership.

Enhancing Safety and Style

If, like many others, you have neglected to put a collar and tag on your dog before venturing outside, now is the perfect time to rectify that and prioritize your dog’s safety. Take this opportunity to engage in some doggy shopping and invest in a stylish new collar and tag that not only complements your dog’s personality but also serves as a crucial form of identification.

If you find the dangling tags bothersome or worry about them getting caught on things, there are now innovative options available. Consider purchasing slide-on tags that fit snugly onto the collar, staying securely in place and out of the way during your dog’s adventures. With the wide array of collar and tag options on the market, you can find a solution that not only satisfies legal requirements but also enhances your dog’s comfort and style.

So, if you haven’t already, equip your dog with a new collar and tag, providing them with essential identification and peace of mind.

Promoting Responsible Dog Ownership

The Ladies Working Dog Group (LWDG) is committed to promoting responsible dog ownership and adherence to legal requirements for several important reasons.

Firstly, responsible dog ownership ensures the safety and well-being of both the dogs themselves and the communities in which they live. By complying with legal obligations, such as ensuring dogs wear collars and tags, owners increase the chances of lost or stray dogs being quickly identified and reunited with their families.

Secondly, adhering to the law fosters positive relationships and harmonious coexistence among dog owners, non-dog owners, and the general public. By upholding legal responsibilities, the LWDG aims to prevent conflicts or incidents involving dogs, creating a peaceful and respectful environment for everyone.

Lastly, through its advocacy efforts, the LWDG seeks to uphold the reputation of our members as responsible and caring individuals who prioritise the well-being of their cherished companions while respecting the rights and safety of others.


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