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Monday, 7 January 2013

Can I see some ID?

Dear Dogs Today,

Can you settle an argument? My sister is adamant she only needs her phone number on her dog’s collar, but I am sure you need an address too, and my dog’s tag has our surname, first line of our address, postcode and telephone number.

Who is right?!

Yours faithfully,

Mrs E. March, by email

Dave Griffiths, Senior Policy Adviser, National Dog Warden Association, advises...

Dear Mrs March,

I am delighted to tell you that you are absolutely spot on. The Control of Dogs Order 1992 makes it an offence for a dog to be in a place to which the public have access unless it is wearing a collar bearing the name and address of the owner. Interestingly, working dogs are exempt from this law but only while they are actually working.

From a Dog Warden’s point of view, the information that you have on your dog’s tag is ideal. The addition of a phone number makes it much easier to contact the owner and arrange to get the dog back home; all the better if there is a mobile number too.

This legislation was made before microchips became commonplace so chipping your dog is not an alternative; you still need the collar and tag to comply with the law. However, knowing how often my dogs have managed to lose their ID tags (and, on occasion, the entire collar), I would strongly recommend that you microchip as well.

It is very unlikely that your sister would be prosecuted for not having the correct information; the main thing for a Dog Warden is that there is some sort of contact information. You are definitely the winner of the argument though!


  1. I'm not sure to be honest, but we don't have the address on our dogs tag as there is not enough room because:-

    On his main collar that he wears in our local area he has my phone number, the dog walkers and my parents numbers all people that he spends time with in different local areas with different prefix codes.

    On his other collar for when we go away in the camper van he has engraved on it "I'm on Holiday and Lost" plus mine and my partners mobile numbers. This came in very useful a few years ago when we lost him in a wooded area, we were frantic as he normally stays within sight. Within 30 minutes we'd had a phone call and were reunited again much to our relief. He is also micro-chipped but the return would not have been so quick without that "Holiday" dog tag..

    Sorry that hasn't answered the original question, but in my opinion a speedy return is what counts..

  2. The Control of Dogs Order 1992 mandates that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address of the owner engraved or written on it, or engraved on a tag. Your postcode is optional (but we would strongly advise that you include it), and your telephone number is also optional (but advisable).

  3. At KC good citizen club we were told
    phone number . house number . postcode

  4. One thing that is important to note is that you SHOULD NOT put your dogs name on their tag, this would mean if they are stolen the offending person will know their name and would therefore find it easier to handle your dog. This could also then be an issue if there was a conflict of ownership case.

  5. As Sam mentioned. It is the law and therefore very specific... 'Name and address of the owner' (postcode and phone number are optional but recommended). Potentially there is a fine of upto £5,000 if your dog is found without that information.