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Do dogs legally have to wear a tag?

The Control of Dogs Order 1992

This is the original version (as it was originally made). This item of legislation is currently only available in its original format.

Wearing of collars by dogs

2. —(1) Subject to paragraph (2) below, every dog while in a highway or in a place of public resort shall wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it.

(2) Paragraph (1) above shall not apply to—

(a) any pack of hounds,

(b) any dog while being used for sporting purposes,

(c) any dog while being used for the capture or destruction of vermin,

(d) any dog while being used for the driving or tending of cattle or sheep,

(e) any dog while being used on official duties by a member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces or Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise or the police force for any area,

(f) any dog while being used in emergency rescue work, or

(g) any dog registered with the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

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Can You Put a Dog Tag on a Harness?

In theory you can attach a dog tag to your dog’s harness, as most dog harnesses will have a suitable d ring to attach one to, but when it comes to the law in the UK there is a specific requirement to attach a dog ID tag to a collar, specifically a collar and not a harness. By law in the UK the Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that dogs must either have an ID tag or the details inscribed on their collar. The law doesn’t mention dog harnesses, so if you want to comply and ensure you don’t get a fine, we would recommend using a dog collar with an ID tag. That doesn’t mean that you can’t also use a dog harness and there’s absolutely no harm in using two dog tags, one for their collar and one for their harness. Although we aren’t aware of any dogs escaping from our dog collars or harnesses, we know that it can happen so if your dog likes to try and escape from their collar or harness then we would definitely recommend having a dog tag on their harness too to help if they get lost and don’t forget to keep your dog’s microchip details up to date too!

Where Does the Tag go on a Dog Harness?

As mentioned most dog harnesses will have a suitable d ring to attach a dog id tag to. We recommend always attaching it to a piece of metal hardware and not plastic, just to make sure it is secure and doesn’t come off. At Noggins & Binkles all of our hardware on our dog harnesses have brass hardware and no plastic and there are two d rings above the buckle that a dog tag can be attached to. Alternatively, you could also attach a dog tag to the metal rings on each side of the dog harness, it just depends what your preference is.

dog tag on harness

Gorgeous Nora wearing her grey cotton dog harness. Dog tags can be attached to the D rings or O rings on the sides.

What Details Should you Include on a Dog ID Tag?

We have gone into this in much more detail on our blog, ‘What details should you include on a dog ID tag in the UK’ so we would recommend reading that for all the details and also some information about what not to include. However, in short, in the UK it is a legal requirement to ‘include the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it’. We would also recommend a phone number or two, although this isn’t required by law. All of our dog and puppy tags have plenty of room on each side to engrave what is required by law and some extra contact information.

Brass dog ID tag engraved with contact details

Our luxury solid brass dog ID tags engraved with contact details


If you are in the UK we would definitely recommend complying with the law and ensuring your dog is wearing a comfortable collar with a dog tag, although also wearing a dog tag on their harness is a good idea for extra backup identification! If you aren’t living in the UK we recommend checking to see what the specific law in your country says about putting a dog tag on a harness to make sure you are compliant.

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