Opinions on "beware of dog signs" - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Opinions on "beware of dog signs"

So I just got a new place, Ace finally has a fenced in back yard so were excited. I've only been living here about a week and already got into a confrontation with a neighbor. I can't stand irresponsible parents, a little girl maybe 4 saw Ace and just started running towards us. We were walking in the middle of the street (its a quite neighborhood) but the girl ran in the street as the mom is failing to have control and call her back. I say in a firm voice "stop and put my hand out because I don't let anyone I don't know pet my dogs. I know Ace would've just licked her but I don't want to take any chances, things happen. Anyway when I did that the girl stopped and the mom came and yelled at me for raising my voice to her daughter, I was so mad. But my question is do you reccomend me putting a sign on the fence warning that there is a dog ? Would that protect me if a kid stuck there fingers through the fence and got mouthed and said the dog bit ? He will always be supervised outside so I should be able to just call him to me if someone did come to the fence, I'm just wondering.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 11:21 AM
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This is just a problem with society today I suppose the mom would prefer her child was mauled? I would get a Dog on Premises sign, which indicates a dog is there but that you aren't saying or admitting it is a dog that bites--sounds as ridiculous!! Does it matter, because a 4 yr old probably can't read and the court of law will find someone negligent if a bite happens. Maybe put slats in the frnce if it's chain link so no fingers can be put it?

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 11:24 AM
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I've heard - and I'm not a lawyer so take this with a giant grain of salt - that you can actually be admitting liability if you use "beware of dog." It's like you're tacitly acknowledging the dog is a hazard. If your sign says "dog on premises" it's supposed to be better.

I don't know. I don't have a sign.

I don't think you were wrong, for what it's worth. Sometimes a raised voice is what it takes to get their attention when they're honing in on something. But rather than be mad, I'd be dismissing the mom as a nutcase who can't control her kid and I'd just assume that I needed to be a strong advocate for my dog (i.e., keep him far away from the kid with the crazy mom).
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 11:33 AM
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In most places a "Beware of Dog" sign would not protect you if young children trespass because they are deemed to immature to understand the danger.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 12:04 PM
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Just think, twenty years ago, if you got bit it was your fault. Now it's everyone else's fault but your own....
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WateryTart View Post
I've heard - and I'm not a lawyer so take this with a giant grain of salt - that you can actually be admitting liability if you use "beware of dog." It's like you're tacitly acknowledging the dog is a hazard. If your sign says "dog on premises" it's supposed to be better.
See I saw the opposite posted by a lawyer in MI (my state). He was saying that if you DO have a dog that might bite someone and/or is protection trained, then you're better off having a warning sign.

The police in my city also advice people to have these signs even if they don't have a dog, it cuts down on burglary.

Bottom line is, anyone can sue anyone else for anything and if your dog bites someone, you are probably liable to some extent even on your own property.

I don't really like the BEWARE OF DOG signs, but I do have a sign on my gate. It is white with black letters that say "Keep gate closed, dog loose in yard." It doesn't imply that my dogs are aggressive or dangerous (maybe they are, maybe they aren't...) but does imply you may meet a loose dog if you open the gate.

We had issues with neighborhood kids reaching into our yard at our old house. There were huge backyards and no one had a fence until we put a 4' one up well inside of the property lines, but kids still came into our yard and we were always asking them not to reach over the fence. We also had once instance where an adult neighbor was reaching over the fence and waving a toy around because he wanted Nikon to jump around and bite at it and he would jerk it away at the last second, and he got accidentally bit because he misjudged how quick my dogs are, but he laughed it off because we'd already TOLD him please do not reach in or try to play with my GSDs. So at our current house the fence is 6' high, included the chain link double gate across the driveway. A professionally installed, well kept 6' fence and gate has served us a lot better. If a kid were to actually come up the driveway to the gate and reach in through the wood panels or chain link, well, I can't prevent that. Some of my dogs are not OK with strangers walking up or entering the yard, but none of my dogs are the nippy kind that would bite at someone's fingers through the fence, they'd just stand at the gate and bark like crazy. The mail lady has my permission to reach in and give them treats, but my dogs aren't left outside if I'm not around.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 12:18 PM
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I don't think "Beware of Dog" signs are automatic go to jail pass.

These cases are usually adjudicated at the county level so it really depends on your state and county and the judge.

Sometimes we hear of one case winning but that doesn't really mean it's a set in stone precedent.

Having said that, I would put up 'German Shepherds live here" of something neutral of that nature.

It's also true that dogs (and horses and pools and....) can be considered 'attractive nuisances'. That's why most communities have laws about fencing around pools with locked gates.

So IMO best to put in place all precautions you can. A sign which is neutral but yet gets the message across. A secure fence. We also planted prickly bushes along the fence and in some places double fenced. My dogs are NEVER outside without me or my hubby.

Now along the backside of our lot, we set back the fence, which is supposed to be private 'green space' but the kids like to make trails. The boys, will sometimes approach our fence and stand there staring at the dogs. The dogs bark. I know what's going through those little sinker's heads "should we mess with the dogs or not". Course they'll goad each other to see who is not the 'scardey cat'.

Along the backside of the fence where people are NOT supposed to be walking and actually are trespassing, I use dog poop. When I pick up the yard I deposit a few of the piles in strategic locations just over the fence.

Works like a charm and if anyone complains they've just been busted trespassing on my land.

Last edited by Gwenhwyfair; 10-30-2015 at 12:20 PM.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
See I saw the opposite posted by a lawyer in MI (my state). He was saying that if you DO have a dog that might bite someone and/or is protection trained, then you're better off having a warning sign.

The police in my city also advice people to have these signs even if they don't have a dog, it cuts down on burglary.

Bottom line is, anyone can sue anyone else for anything and if your dog bites someone, you are probably liable to some extent even on your own property.

I don't really like the BEWARE OF DOG signs, but I do have a sign on my gate. It is white with black letters that say "Keep gate closed, dog loose in yard." It doesn't imply that my dogs are aggressive or dangerous (maybe they are, maybe they aren't...) but does imply you may meet a loose dog if you open the gate.

We had issues with neighborhood kids reaching into our yard at our old house. There were huge backyards and no one had a fence until we put a 4' one up well inside of the property lines, but kids still came into our yard and we were always asking them not to reach over the fence. We also had once instance where an adult neighbor was reaching over the fence and waving a toy around because he wanted Nikon to jump around and bite at it and he would jerk it away at the last second, and he got accidentally bit because he misjudged how quick my dogs are, but he laughed it off because we'd already TOLD him please do not reach in or try to play with my GSDs. So at our current house the fence is 6' high, included the chain link double gate across the driveway. A professionally installed, well kept 6' fence and gate has served us a lot better. If a kid were to actually come up the driveway to the gate and reach in through the wood panels or chain link, well, I can't prevent that. Some of my dogs are not OK with strangers walking up or entering the yard, but none of my dogs are the nippy kind that would bite at someone's fingers through the fence, they'd just stand at the gate and bark like crazy. The mail lady has my permission to reach in and give them treats, but my dogs aren't left outside if I'm not around.
I'll have to double check Minnesota law. I'm curious now! I do know that the law is heavily on the side of the victim in this state. I can actually be held liable if my dog scares someone and they injure themselves, and she's the "but for" factor (like if they think she's going to lunge at them and they fall off their bike and break their arm). She doesn't have to touch someone to be considered to have injured them.

We either keep our dog on leash and under control when out, or she's behind a 6' fence (privacy fence on all sides except one; neighbor pitched a fit so that side is chain link, to be replaced the very second we see a "for sale" sign go up on her house). The gate we don't use frequently is kept locked at all times except when we're expecting company. I can see nearly my entire back yard from one window or another in the main area of the house, so she's always under supervision of some level when out in the yard.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 01:04 PM
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In Montana, if you trespass and get bit it's your own darn fault. If it's a kid, it's the parent's fault. Too many signs in this world already. It's sensory overload. Nobody pays attention to signs because of it. Nice work with your dog!

My GSD is smarter than your honor student.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 01:12 PM
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Definitely read your state law! I believe Florida, for example, has a specific law stating if you have a sign that says "BAD DOG" you're not liable for anyone bitten over the age of 6, or something to that degree. In some states, it's considered having previous knowledge that your dog had aggressive tendencies.

We personally have no trespassing signs and "GSD crossing" signs. I believe that conveys the message to anyone who might be considering coming in without implicating my dog as aggressive. Watch out guys, we got a 13 week old puppy over here!
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