Dangerous and Potentially Dangerous Dogs

Growling dogWhat is the Potentially Dangerous Dog Program?

We created the potentially dangerous dog program to identify dogs in the community that require special precautions in order to keep people and other animals safe. The goal of this program is to reduce the number of adverse events involving dogs.

How are Potentially Dangerous Dogs Identified?

Dogs are identified based on reported behaviors and incidents. Potentially dangerous dog classifications range from level 1 to level 4.
 
A level 1 potentially dangerous dog has been found at large (loose) and displaying aggressive behavior towards people. A level 4 potentially dangerous dog may have bitten a person or killed another animal.
 
A dangerous dog classification is the most serious.

What Happens when a Dog is Classified as Potentially Dangerous?

When a dog is classified as a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog, the owner must abide by certain restrictions and guidelines. The owners of classified dogs are provided with detailed instructions regarding restrictions and our animal services officers help owners ensure that the requirements are met.

Has the Program Worked?

We have found this program to be very successful in preventing further incidents. The overwhelming majority of classified dog owners comply with restrictions and most dogs do not have further incidents.

Can a Dog be Declassified as Dangerous or Potentially Dangerous?

If a dog classified as a potentially dangerous dog has no further incidents within the specified amount of time (one year for levels 1 and 2 and two years for levels 3 and 4) and all of the required restrictions have been observed, the owner can request that their dog be declassified. There is a fee for declassification.

Dangerous dogs have committed serious offenses and do not qualify for declassification.

Need Contacts or More Information?

Please see the county ordinances for more information about the program and its requirements.

If you are the owner of a dog and have further questions or would like to request declassification, please contact the our legal aid officer at (503) 988-7387 ext. 25238.