XL Bully Dogs

At the end of 2023 XL Bully type dogs were added to the list of banned breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act. This does not mean that all existing XL Bully type dogs will need to be euthanised, but it does mean that there is now strict legislation involved.

Does my dog count as an XL Bully?

Unfortunately, XL Bullys have developed as a hybrid of several other breeds and so it is tricky to decide what is and what isn’t an XL Bully type. The government are making the decision based on a series of measurements and features. The list is not definitive, and many Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Bulldogs, Mastiffs and their crosses may meet the criteria. If your dog meets the majority of the criteria they are likely to be covered by the ban unless are an ‘easily recognised Kennel Club breed’.


If in doubt, current legal advice is currently to assume your dog is covered by the legislation and then appeal later when the appeals process is launched. If you chance it you could end up with your dog being seized and held in kennels for 6 months plus without being able to visit and the decision not to register them could be held against you in your court case.

What do I need to do?

You will not be able to sell, abandon, give away or breed an XL Bully type dog after 31st December 2023

All XL Bully types will need to have a certificate of exemption by 1st February 2024 (applied for from the government). The cost is £92.40


XL Bully types must be microchipped, kept on a lead and muzzled at all times in public (including in the car)

They must be kept in an escape proof area

Dog must have liability insurance (included in most existing insurance plans or The Dogs Trust offer a policy)

XL Bully types must be neutered. If they will turn 1 before 31st January 2024 this will need to be performed by 30th June 2024. Younger dogs will have until the end of 2024

XL Bully types can not be left with someone else for more than 30 days

How can we help?

Veterinary Surgeons or Registered Veterinary Nurses do not have the authority to say whether your dog is or is not an XL Bully Type.

We can however:

  • Help you understand the terminology and where to measure your dog
  • Check your dog’s microchip number and that details are up-to-date
  • Point you in the direction of good muzzle training (being offered for free by some trainers currently)
  • Neuter your dog
  • Complete proof of neutering paperwork
  • Continue to provide veterinary care to your dog. XL Bully Types will always be welcome at Towcester Vets
  • Direct you to further resources if you require them

We understand that this is a hugely stressful time for owners of XL Bully types or similar breed dogs.

Please contact us if we can support you at all.

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