XL Bully dogs in Scotland

Rules you must follow if you own an XL Bully dog. Includes information on how to apply for an exemption certificate for your XL Bully.

The rules

The rules have changed if you own an XL Bully dog in Scotland.  

You must apply for a Certificate of Exemption by 31 July 2024 to keep an XL Bully dog. Otherwise, you’ll be committing a criminal offence.

If you do not want to keep your dog after this date, compensation is available.

It is an offence to: 

  • have an XL Bully in public without a lead and muzzle 

  • breed or breed from an XL Bully

  • sell, give away or rehome an XL Bully 

  • abandon an XL Bully or let it stray


If you break these rules, you may be fined up to £5,000, sent to prison for up to 6 months, or both. 

Check if your dog is an XL Bully

Use our guide to check if a dog is an XL Bully.  

If you're not sure after checking, you should follow these rules as a precaution. 

Get help with muzzling your dog 

There are organisations that can help with advice on how to muzzle your dog: 

Report a stray, abandoned or out of control dog 

If you find a stray, abandoned or out of control dog of any breed, report it to your local council

They’ll work with the police if they think the dog is an XL Bully.  


Email: xlbullydogenquiries@gov.scot


XL Bully Dog Exemption Team
Scottish Government 
St Andrew’s House - Room GW15 
2 Regent Road 
EH1 3DG 

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