DOG wardens were called out to investigate nearly 200 incidents involving out-of-control dog allegations over the last 18 months in East Lothian.

East Lothian Council said it had seen a steady rise in the number of incidents reported in recent years as more people become aware of legislation.

It said that between January 2018 and last month, its officers investigated 180 alleged incidents.

Only two resulted in dog control notices being issued – one involving a Turkish Kangal dog and the other a Doberman. The rest were dealt with by giving advice or entering into written agreements with owners outlining any actions required to control their pets in the future.

The council said that dog control notices were only issued if an owner refused to enter a written agreement or breached the terms of it.

Agreements can include requirements for the dogs to be on-lead at all times and/or muzzled in public. Other actions open to the council dog wardens include requiring owners to enrol their pets in dog training as well as offering general advice.

Legislation giving councils powers to issue dog control notices came into effect in 2011 and breaches of the notices can lead to court action.

A council spokesperson said: “There has been a rise in reporting since the act’s introduction.

“The majority of incidents are minor in nature and relate to issues between dogs.”

The council said that most owners were willing to work with dog wardens to ensure written agreements worked and take advice to avoid any breaches.

The spokesperson added: “If the owner is not willing to enter into an agreement, our wardens can introduce a control notice to ensure the owner is held responsible for their dog’s behaviour.”