Dangerous dogsUnder the Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 as amended, it's an offence for any dog to attack or cause injury to a person, any other animal owned by another person or livestock.
Injuries include bruises, scrapes, cuts, puncture wounds, broken bones and severe cuts which require stitches.
Under the legislation 'attacking' also includes a dog behaving in such a way that it causes a person to fear they will be attacked and injured.
It is also an offence to set a dog on a person (that is to deliberately encourage or command it to attack).
Help and adviceIf you feel threatened by a dog, follow these tips:
- stand still and don't run
- keep your hands firmly by your sides and don't wave them around
- try telling the dog, once, to sit or stay in a firm tone
- don't kick out, make loud noises or jump around
- avoid eye contact as the dog may think you are challenging it
- slowly back away from the dog and, when you are a safe distance back, walk away.
- keep your dog on a lead and muzzle it when in public
- put up a sign on your gate or door warning visitors that you have a dog inside
- keep your dog indoors and make sure it is properly supervised when outside.