Dog attacks


Dog-on-human attacks

If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog, contact the police on 999 if it's an emergency, or 101 if it's not an emergency.

Dog-on-dog attacks

Usually, dog-on-dog attacks are due to natural dog behaviour. Dogs can become aggressive when guarding their territory, defending their offspring or protecting themselves. However, sometimes serious attacks can occur, leaving animals in distress and / or injured.

All dogs should be kept under close control at all times and the best way to do that is to make sure that your dog is on a lead. Most incidents reported to the Council involve both parties' animals being off the lead and therefore not under the effective control of the people walking them. 

What we can do

We assess reports of dogs attacking other dogs on a case-by-case basis.

We will sometimes give advice to the owners of all dogs involved in the attack, around anticipating dog behaviour and diverting the dog's attention.

Where there are significant concerns about dog owners not controlling their dogs enough, the police and Council can issue Community Protection Warnings / Notices to the owner or person in charge of the dog at the time (under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 ). 

Community Protection Notices

A Community Protection Notice could be used in circumstances where:

  • the dog is causing a nuisance, but no offence is committed under the Dangerous Dogs Act
  • the dog's behaviour is persistent, unreasonable and negatively affects the quality of life of people or animals

A Community Protection Notice can order the responsible person to:

  • stop doing something
  • do specified things, such as keeping a dog on a lead at all times or muzzling a dog

If you fail to comply with a Community Protection Notice, you can get an on the spot fine of £100 and / or prosecution in a Magistrates' court, where you can be fined up to £2,500 and forced to pay costs.

These powers mean that in certain circumstances, the police and Council can take action before a dog becomes dangerously out of control. Action will be taken in stages, and evidence of the problem will be needed.

Report a dog-on-dog attack

To report a dog-on-dog attack to the Council, call 0191 427 7000 or email

When reporting the attack, please provide as much information about the attack as possible including:

  • Date, time and location of the attack
  • Place where the attack took place
  • Witnesses to the attack and their name, address, contact details, if known
  • Circumstances of the attack
  • Whether animals involved were on or off lead
  • Details of the injuries sustained
  • Description of the attacking dog  - breed, markings, age
  • Description, name, address of owner / walker of attacking dog(s) if known

What to do after a dog-on-dog attack

  • Check both dogs thoroughly for any wounds - remember injuries may not be immediately noticeable after an attack, and you may only be alerted to an injury later once your dog starts to lick the wound(s)
  • Do not continue to exercise your dog as the movement could cause any smaller tears to get worse
  • Seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible if your dog is injured
  • Take down the other person's details, in case this information is needed for insurance or enforcement purposes