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.

After you apply for an exemption

If you have a Certificate of Exemption for your XL Bully, you must follow these rules for the life of the dog: 

  • keep the dog at the same address as the certificate holder – you can temporarily keep it at a different address for up to 30 days in a 12-month period 

  • tell us if you permanently change address – you do not need to tell us if you temporarily keep the dog at another address for up to 30 days in a 12-month period 

  • tell us if the dog dies or is exported 

  • have third party public liability insurance for your dog – you can change insurance, but there can be no gap in cover 

  • keep the dog muzzled in public places – it's best to use a muzzle that lets the dog pant, breathe and drink easily 

  • keep the dog on a lead in public places – someone over 16 years old must securely hold the lead 

  • keep the dog in secure conditions so it cannot escape 

If the police or local authority asks, you must also provide: 

  • access to the dog to read its microchip 

  • proof of suitable third party liability insurance within 5 days of their request 

  • the Certificate of Exemption within 5 days of their request 

If you do not follow these rules, your Certificate of Exemption will not be valid and the police could take your dog. 

Replacement certificates 

We will only issue a new certificate if you: 

  • lose your existing certificate  

  • change your name or address 

How to contact us 

If you need to tell us about any changes or request a replacement certificate, email xlbullydogenquiries@gov.scot or send a letter to:   

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


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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