All dog owners in England and Wales would have to insure against their pet attacking someone under Labour proposals to tackle dangerous breeds.
Police and local authorities could also be given powers to force owners of dangerous dogs to muzzle them or even get them neutered.
Ministers say the consultation responds to concerns about the use of animals to intimidate or threaten people.
But the Tories say Labour has allowed the problem to grow in recent years.
Each week, more than 100 people are admitted to hospital after dog attacks.
There has also been a reported rise in levels of dog fighting and illegal ownership, particularly by gangs who are using dangerous dogs as status symbols.