Collar and Tag
Every dog must wear a collar with the name and address of the owner on the collar or an attached plate/badge whilst in a public place.
This applies even if the dog is on a lead and it is microchipped.
Why must dogs be tagged?
The purpose of the law is to ensure that a stray dogs owner can be quickly identified and contacted. Often members of the public who find stray dogs return them to the owners without the need to contact the Authorities. If your dog is picked up by the Dog Control Service you will have to pay a release fee. Please visit stray dogs for prices.
Are there any exemptions?
The following dogs do not have to wear a collar and tag in a public place whilst they are working or being used for the following purposes:
- any pack of hounds
- any dog while being used for sporting purposes
- any dog while being used for the capture or destruction of vermin
- any dog while being used for the driving or tending of cattle or sheep
- any dog while being used on official duties by a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces or Her Majesty's Customs and Excise or the police force for any area
- any dog while being used in emergency rescue work any dog registered with the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
What information must be on the tag?
You must include:
- The name of the owner
- The full address of the owner. Abbreviated versions of your address e.g. a house number and postcode are not acceptable. (Ask yourself do you know the postcode of all the streets in your local area?)
We recommend you include:
- contact telephone number
- name of the dog, so it can be comforted by the finders
What happens if I don't put a tag on my dog?
You can be prosecuted at the Magistrates Courts and if found guilty you can be fined up to £5000 and receive a criminal record
If your dog is in public without a collar and tag, the Dog Control Service have the power to seize and impound your dog, even if it is under the control of the owner
My dog is microchipped, do I still need a collar and tag?
Yes. Only animal professionals carrying microchip readers have access to the national microchip databases that hold your personal information. Therefore your neighbour or other members of the public wouldn't be able to return your dog to you, without a collar and tag.
I always walk my dog on a lead, do I still need a collar and tag?
Yes. There are numerous unforeseen reasons why a dog may escape from their owner when out walking, even when on a lead! For example if a dog becomes scared by a loud noises or other dogs, it may 'slip their lead' or run away, or the owner may become ill. Often people will let their dog off a lead in a park and the dog can sometimes just get lost.