With the UK Government adding XL Bully types to the list of banned dangerous dogs in Wales and England from 31 December 2023, it is now illegal to breed, sell, rehome, abandon, exchange, gift or allow an XL Bully to stray. This means that dog owners with this breed type are required by law to follow a number of restrictions.

If you currently have an XL bully type, you are required to keep your dog on a lead and muzzled when they are walked in public, as well as in a vehicle such as your car. You’ll also need to apply for the government’s exemption scheme by midday on 31 January 2024 to get your dog exempted and comply with additional restrictions including having them neutered and have third party liability insurance.

From 1 February 2024 it will be illegal to own an XL bully type without a certificate of exemption.

How do I check if my dog is an XL Bully?

As XL Bullies are considered as crossbreeds, the Kennel Club breed standards do not exist. This is why the Government have created their own specifications for the breed, which you can find here. Please note that breed name, parentage and genetics are not considered within the specifications.

What do I need to do if own this type of dog?

You will need to apply to the Government’s exemption scheme, which you can access here and pay for a certificate of exemption. This will cost £92.40 and you must apply before midday on 31 January 2024.

You will also need to make sure:

  • your dog is microchipped and neutered (by the deadlines provided)
  • they are kept on a lead and muzzled in a public place, including in cars
  • they are kept in a secure place so they cannot escape
  • you have third party public liability insurance cover for your dog, which you can access through the Dogs Trust here

You also need to be at least 16 years old to own an XL bully type.

The Blue Cross have teamed up with the RSPCA and Battersea to offer support to neuter your XL bully type dog if you’re struggling financially. Your veterinary practice can apply for a financial contribution on your behalf which will help towards the costs of neutering.

Is my home at risk if I have this type of dog?

No, you’re home is not at risk if you own an XL Bully type. We ask for our safety, your safety and for the dog, that they are removed into another room or garden area while we are in your home.

If you would like more information about the ban, you can stay updated through The Blue Cross and their dedicated newsletter around XL Bullies, as well as links to email your MP about allowing rescue centres, like The Blue Cross, to be able to rehome XL Bully types. Just follow this link.