Owners that wish to keep their XL Bully dogs have until Wednesday 31 January 2024 to apply for a Certificate of Exemption.

Owners will need to:

  • register their XL Bully dogs
  • make sure they are microchipped
  • make sure they are insured.

Registered dogs will also need to be neutered. Dogs under one year (as of 1 February 2024) must be neutered by the end of 2024, and older dogs must be neutered by the end of June 2024.

Apply for a Certificate of Exemption on GOV.UK.

If you do not register your XL Bully dog

From Thursday 1 February 2024, it will be illegal to own an XL Bully dog if it is not registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs.

After this date, owners without a Certificate of Exemption face a criminal record and an unlimited fine if they are found to be in possession of an XL Bully type, and their dog could be seized.

From Sunday 31 December 2023

It will be illegal for an XL Bully dog to be:

  • bred
  • sold
  • advertised
  • rehomed
  • abandoned
  • allowed to stray.

From this date, these dogs must be kept on a short lead and muzzled in public. Owners of XL Bully dogs are recommended to start training their dog to wear a muzzle and to walk on a lead ahead of the legal restrictions coming into force.

Breeders will need to stop mating XL Bully dogs from now in preparation of it being a criminal offence to sell or rehome these dogs.

Identifying XL Bully types 

It's up to the owner or keeper to identify whether they think their dog (or any puppies) is an XL Bully. This includes if it was not sold as an XL Bully. 

Read the official definition of an XL Bully dog on GOV.UK.

Further guidance

You can find further guidance on how to prepare for the ban on XL Bully dogs on GOV.UK.