In the UK it is illegal to own certain types of dogs and owners will have to take action if a new breed gets added to the list.

Currently, there are four breeds on this list: the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.

The American XL Bully will be added to this list after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said they were 'a danger to communities' following several attacks this year.

He will be seeking to ban them under the Dangerous Dogs Act by the end of 2023, which would affect many dog owners.

What happens when your dog's breed is banned in the UK?

On the Government website it says if you have a banned dog, the police or local council dog warden can take it away and keep it, even if it is not acting dangerously or there has not been a complaint.

If your dog is in a public place when the police see it, they do not need a warrant to take it away, but they would need a warrant if kept in a private place.

Additionally, if the dog is in a private place and the police have a warrant for something else (like a drug search), they can seize your dog.

Following such action a "police or council dog expert will judge what type of dog you have and whether it is (or could be) a danger to the public".

The dog will either then be released or kept in kennels while the police (or council) apply to a court.

You would not be allowed to visit your dog while you wait for the court decision.

If it goes to court it would be up to the owner to prove your dog is not a banned type.

The website adds: "If you prove this, the court will order the dog to be returned to you. If you cannot prove it (or you plead guilty), you’ll be convicted of a crime.

"You can get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to 6 months (or both) for having a banned dog against the law. Your dog will also be destroyed."

In what situation can you keep your dog?

If your dog is banned but the court thinks it’s not a danger to the public, it may put it on the Index of Exempt Dogs and let you keep it.

You’ll be given a Certificate of Exemption which is valid for the life of the dog.

There are a number of stipulations to this though as your dog must be:

  • neutered
  • microchipped
  • kept on a lead and muzzled at all times when in public
  • kept in a secure place so it cannot escape

Additionally, an owner must take out insurance against the dog injuring other people, be aged over 16, and show the Certificate of Exemption when asked by a police officer or council dog warden, either at the time or within five days.

Finally, the owner must let the Index of Exempt Dogs know if their address changes or their dog dies.