XL Bully Ban update
16 Nov, 2023

The Ban on XL Bullies

The Government has confirmed that a Ban on XL Bullies will begin on 31st December 2023.  Owners of banned breeds will need a Certificate of Exemption,

The Government has released the application form to begin the process of applying for a Certificate of Exemption, which you can find here

Owners have until 31st January to have completed the process.

You have the option to wait to see if the criteria is better defined in the coming weeks before including your dog, or progress it now.

To begin the application, you will need to:

Pay £92.40 up front to start the application

Have 3rd party liability insurance in place that you can get for an annual £25 a year membership of The Dogs Trust https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/support-us/membership

What To Do Straight Away

  • Ensure your behaviour, and your dogs’ behaviour, are exemplary and cannot be perceived as a risk.
  • Arrange 3rd Party liability insurance with your provider or via the Dogs Trust.
  • Book a future neuter now if not done already.
  • Microchip you dog and/or update owner details
  • Muzzle train your dog. See this link for guidance on this. the.muzzlemovement.com
  • Get a 1.5m lead
  • Secure your home to prevent escape

We think the costs will be something like this:

Muzzle – we recommend a ‘Baskerville’ cage that doesn’t completely close the mouth: £20

Lead – robust, non-retractable lead is essential: £15

Neuter – Female spay / Male castrate £295 -480 / £195-470

3rd Party liability Insurance: £0 with £25 annual membership with the Dogs Trust

Certificate of Exemption Application Costs £92.40

If you wait beyond the 31st January 2024

It is an awful dilemma as nobody ever wants to restrict their dogs freedoms.  Please be aware that should your dog later be deemed ‘type’ by a Dog Legislation Officer (DLO) and dangerously out of control it could be taken into police kennels.  There have been multiple instances of dogs being signed over to be put to sleep because the kennel fees increased whilst the case was argued in court to a point where the owners couldn’t afford to pay them.

Know your responsibilities and your rights

  • Understand your responsibilities under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1991/65/contents
  • Cooperate with the police, and also understand your rights. Police can’t enter your home without a warrant or being invited.  Don’t sign paperwork without advice.


  • If your dog is considered to be dangerously out of control and seized then contact Trevor Cooper on doglaw.co.uk for help.

Contact us for advice if you have any questions.  We are here for you.

Read the Government Guidance on preparing for the ban here  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prepare-for-the-ban-on-xl-bully-dogs

You can check if your dog may be considered an XL Bully on the Government website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/official-definition-of-an-xl-bully-dog


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