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Dog bites & the law
Even though you may not agree – your dog always thinks it’s a good time for a walk. Of course, and especially if you don’t have a yard, daily walks are a necessity. Keeping your dog on a leash and under your control is an absolute must. But what happens in that split second you turn your head and your dog bites someone?
Most likely, you didn’t think that your Fido would ever bite anyone or hurt another dog, but things happen. And it’s tough, because our pets are a part of the family, but under the law, dogs are considered as property.
Interestingly, when it comes to dog bites, it depends on the breed of the dog as to what can happen.
Some dog breeds have been determined to have dangerous propensities. This means that by the very nature of their breed, they are more aggressive than other breeds.
German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Pit Bulls get lumped into this category.
Also, your dog is deemed to have a dangerous nature if it has bitten someone in the past.
If your dog falls into the dangerous category, you can very well be held liable for the damage caused by your dog biting someone. It can be a very expensive price to pay if you are sued. In some cases, dogs are actually ordered to be “put down” if they are ruled too dangerous to be around people.
On the other hand, if your dog is typically friendly with no record of having bitten someone, it can be difficult for the other party to win a lawsuit against you.
Does it make a difference if you let the other person know that your dog is not always friendly?
This depends on where the incident happens and whether or not your dog is muzzled. Obviously, if you know that your dog is a biter, you would want to use a muzzle when you take the dog into public places, such as the dog park.
In this type of case, the normal rules of negligence apply, so you could have contributory negligence as an offense.
Always be aware of your surroundings and in total control of your dog when you take your pet out away from your own home and yard.

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