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Originally Posted By: Sherush
Originally Posted By: Moonfire
zyp said:
Quote: In Florida you need to have sign.
Not necessarily. In our county, at least, if you have a "Beware of Dog" sign puts you at more liability. At least, that is what we were told by the Sheriff's department.
My husband is a Toronto Police Officer and told me at least here in Ontario if you have a sign "Beware of Dog" and your dog bites someone you can be charged because you know you dog is agressive. If you don't have a sign, then you don't get charged.
All this talk about the signs being a good idea vs. a bad one, is just making me shake my head. When I was a teen, I bought a "BEWARE OF DOG" sign, and put it in the front window of our families home. I told my mom that it would deter people from breaking in. We had two dogs, a Rough Collie, and a Pomeranian. Whenever friends or family asked laughingly which dog they had to "BEWARE" of, I always said the Pom. It was a joke, cuz neither one of the dogs would have done more than bark.

Now I have a dog that I truly believe would defend me if the need arose, and I have to worry about whether putting a sign up will make me more liable? Aside from calling the cops, how can I find out what kind of area I live in?

It's crazy that our dogs can't even defend us without threat of being put to sleep.
 

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I used to have a BEWARE sign on my front door. Then there was an altercation where my insane elderly neighbor's nephew threatened to kill me with a hammer when I asked him to PLEASE GET OFF MY LAWN because he was making my dog crazy. Local PD told me it was a liability to have a BEWARE sign.

Still have signs on the gates across my driveway. They're nicely painted wood signs that say 'Guard Dog On Duty' and 'Doomed are all that enter here'. Usually people laugh at the Doomed.
 

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The lesson learned on this thread is : check your local laws.

Florida -
Quote:Florida dog law

LIABILITY STATUTE
In Florida, dog owners are liable for any injury their dog inflicts on a person. The owner of a dog that bites a person in a public place, or bites a person while lawfully in a private place, including the owner’s property, is liable for damages, regardless of the dog’s former viciousness and regardless of the owner’s knowledge of viciousness. If, however, the victim’s negligence contributed to the biting incident, the owner’s liability will be reduced by the percentage that the victim’s negligence contributed to the bite.

This statute also contains another exception. If at the time of the injury, the owner displayed in a prominent place on his property a sign, easily readable, that includes the words, “Bad Dog,” the dog owner will not be liable, unless the injuries were caused by the owner’s negligence, or if the person bitten is under six years old.
 

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Originally Posted By: zypThe lesson learned on this thread is : check your local laws.

Florida -
Quote:Florida dog law

LIABILITY STATUTE
In Florida, dog owners are liable for any injury their dog inflicts on a person. The owner of a dog that bites a person in a public place, or bites a person while lawfully in a private place, including the owner’s property, is liable for damages, regardless of the dog’s former viciousness and regardless of the owner’s knowledge of viciousness. If, however, the victim’s negligence contributed to the biting incident, the owner’s liability will be reduced by the percentage that the victim’s negligence contributed to the bite.

This statute also contains another exception. If at the time of the injury, the owner displayed in a prominent place on his property a sign, easily readable, that includes the words, “Bad Dog,” the dog owner will not be liable, unless the injuries were caused by the owner’s negligence, or if the person bitten is under six years old.
Ah, thank you. I will remember that next time someone tries to tell me different.
 

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"Beware" signs may or may not contribute. (I've worked a lot of dog bite cases and I've never encountered a Beware Of Dog sign being a factor one way or another. They sell them at PetSmart, Home Depot, Target, etc. That's what people buy because that's what's available. Maybe somewhere they're considered a big deal, but I've never worked in any locale where an owner has been penalized for it if a bite occurred. But that's my experience. I can't speak for the entire USA, of course).

In many states, dog bite laws are strict liability unless certain very specific conditions are met. So if it's strict liability, it's strict liability (so, I guess, why NOT put up a sign?) The following are those states that have strict liability statutes, according to the Michigan State School of Law.

http://www.animallaw.info/articles/qvusdogbiteslstatutes.htm

Provocations is often a condition, but if you're not home or outside when it occurs, you can't prove provocation.

Here is a state map so you can look up your own state: http://www.animallaw.info/articles/armpusstatedoglaws.htm

(I don't like dogbitelaw.com because the guy that owns it is an attorney who makes money off dog bite cases. I don't think he's particularly unbiased, so I don't trust his information.)

As Anne points out, local jurisdictions can modify state law somewhat.

My feeling is that if a sign keeps some moron off your property to begin with, well, that's a good thing. No Trespassing signs are excellent. You'll note that "Anywhere a person has a lawful right to be" is a phrase that shows up a lot in the strict liability laws (although these statutes aren't quoted verbatim). So make it clear that a stranger doesn't have the right to be in your back yard. Then you can certainly scream to high heaven that the police should be filing charges against the person who intruded, if something does occur.

I like Dog on Premises signs (PetSmart sells them) because they're neutral. Strangers technically do have a right to be in your front yard. The postal carrier, the UPS guy, the Fed Ex woman, even the annoying folks trying to sell new siding, Avon, or religion -- technically, your property has to be safe for access for people with a reasonable purpose for being there. And "reasonable" is usually defined pretty broadly by the courts. Just because you don't want new siding, doesn't mean they don't have a right to be there. They're providing a service just by offering to sell you their products. I know. It's crazy. But that's how courts have viewed it.

So my Dog On Premises sign tells people I have dogs (which are never in the front yard without me). And when they ring the doorbell, they hear loud barking. It's a pretty clear signal. The signs on my back fence (and the fact that those gates are locked) make it further obvious that folks aren't welcome back there.

But if I lived in Anne's jurisdiction, I'd have BAD DOG signs all around my property!
 

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gads I dont want to have to put Bad dog on my fences!!! guess have no choice.
My GSD is 8 yrs old and Ive always been confused on the fence sign issue, I DO have a locked gate and 6 ft fence but when could I know when some idiot would decide to climb it? Guess I will get some Bad dog signs

Thanks for the clarification.
 

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We have beware signs on the gate (and on the fence, on the other side of the house). We put these up shortly after we moved into this house, we only had Gunner and Jade (the wonder-mutt) at the time. The neighbor's kid (we called him "the screamer", because that's what he did all of the time) let himself into our backyard once while the dogs were out. They did not hurt him, just jumped on him. He screamed, as usual. We put a lock on the gate after that, and added the signs. We still have them up, until I can find something that I like better. Might have to go with the "no trespassing" signs. We do have a sign that reads "I can make it to the fence in 2.3 seconds....can you?" with a GSD silhouette....but we don't have it outside.
 

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Unless your dog is a "bad dog" why would you post that? Then you have already told the whole world your dog is a bad and if your dog is NOT Bad, I thing you just screwed up. Is it bad? Has it ever bitten anyone?
 

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We do have one bad apple, that's why we keep the signs up, and also as a warning. She hasn't bitten anyone yet, but has tried.
 

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Posting a sign that simply says Bad Dog is law in FL because it’s supposed to be less confusing to non-English speaking folks then a Beware sign. Generally, the more basic the Beware sign the less of a chance the owner will have an issue with posting it. Humorous ones liked- ‘We can make it to the fence in three seconds, can you?’ - can be contested in court.

Generally speaking- posting a Beware sign doesn’t cause you any more legal labiality then not posting one. The only way this comes back to get you is if you post the signs and then fail to contain the dog on your property.

A good general overview of Dog laws in the US in book form is Every Dog’s Legal Guide by Mary Randolph. I like it because it has real examples with the overview and covers other issues like vet labiality, boarding, travel, and other interesting dog laws across the US.
 

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I have signs on both of my gates that state "Dogs in Yard". I got them from this site http://www.doginyard.com/. These are enough to warn someone not to enter the yard but not suggest they are aggressive. The yard service guy at least looks to make sure they are not outside before he enters the yard.
 

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Originally Posted By: AnnaRileyUnless your dog is a "bad dog" why would you post that? Then you have already told the whole world your dog is a bad and if your dog is NOT Bad, I thing you just screwed up. Is it bad? Has it ever bitten anyone?
Maybe my dog is just a "bad" dog because he doesn't hold a stay?


I don't know. This is such a tough issue. If my jurisdiction was as specific as Anne's is, and THAT is how I got protection, I'd go with that. Keep in mind that a dog can "injure" someone by knocking them over. ("Injury" lies in the eye of the "injured.") Or the person simply gets frightened, backs up and trips over a flower pot (or in my yard, trips into the kiddie pool). None of those means my dogs would bite.

But if a sign keeps some kid, potential burglar or just some idiot who is nosey from climbing my fence and going into my yard, well, gosh, that is the best defense for me AND my dogs. And that is what I would argue to an animal control officer (as I'm shoving my GSD's numerous certificates earned in obedience classes, membership certificates, herding pictures, etc in the A/C officer's face at the same time.)

I have a senior citizen neighbor who always comments about how dangerous my GSD is, as I'm outside playing soccer with him. He's joyfully playing soccer, chasing the ball, and ignoring pedestrians. My elderly beagle, who is seriously hearing impaired, kind of barks at nothing intermittently, might actually pose more of a risk.
This neighbor walks her malamute, the offspring of two mean dogs that I know have attacked other dogs in the neighborhood. She barely controls her dog on these walks. But SHE thinks MY dog is dangerous?

If this woman ever had a reason to come up to my front door, I would be worried that she could stumble just because my beagle might bark at the doorbell.

We never know what could happen. So I have Dog On Premises signs. I have No Trespassing signs. I keep all my Obedience certificates. Am I paranoid? You know, I am. I've seen a lot of situations involving dogs where it clearly wasn't the dog's fault. My dogs are friendly, obedient, and safe. But *preventing* morons from having access to my dogs unless I'm there is what it's all about for me.
 

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Originally Posted By: AnnaRileyUnless your dog is a "bad dog" why would you post that? Then you have already told the whole world your dog is a bad and if your dog is NOT Bad, I thing you just screwed up. Is it bad? Has it ever bitten anyone?
I read that the Florida law requiring signs that say "BAD DOG" is because even a young child can read and understand those words as a warning not to go in - it's **** & Jane easy.

Currently my signs on the gates say STOP! DOGS IN YARD! With a silhouette of a GSD. My next signs will say STOP! BAD DOGS IN YARD! DO NOT ENTER! with the GSD silhouette.
 

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Yes, in FL the best protection and in keeping with FL state law is "Bad Dog" per the law and "No Trespassing" so there is no doubt that you do not want people in your yard.

Of course the above won't keep everyone out. I still from time to time have someone walk by my "Do Not Trespass by Order of the Sheriff" signs.
 

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We have a neighbor who is retired and makes signs during the summer when he sells at arts/crafts shows. This is the sign he made for our gate:
 

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Originally Posted By: Arycrest My next signs will say STOP! BAD DOGS IN YARD! DO NOT ENTER! with the GSD silhouette....
...DO NOT ENTER...unless you're the pizza guy!


Eh Gayle?


Sorry, I'm off topic, but I couldn't resist!
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
...DO NOT ENTER...unless you're the pizza guy!


Eh Gayle?


Sorry, I'm off topic, but I couldn't resist!
You have that right!!! Bruiser is a pizza fanatic!!! The boy would have that pizza eaten before the guy got 10 steps into the yard!!! Tomorrow's his 3rd birthday and he'll get a small pizza instead of the usual birthday burger most of the Hooligans have.
 

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Originally Posted By: Sean Rescue MomWe have a neighbor who is retired and makes signs during the summer when he sells at arts/crafts shows. This is the sign he made for our gate:
We have that same sign. My wife got it when Gunnar was a pup. I didn't hang it til he could live up to the expectation.
 

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why not a sign that says 'If you dont want to be bitten, dont enter the residence and put your arm in the dogs mouth!"
Or, hey sucker, you come here without an invitation, chances are that you will be bitten." We do have one sign up on our door that has a picture of a GSD and the sign reads, 'If you think my bite is hard, wait until you are bitten by my momma."

maybe we should have one to compliment that one that states,
'Dont mess with my momma, her bite is vicious"

maybe one that states, 'There are dogs on premises that may or may not bite, enter at own risk and sign disclaimer at door."

or NO tresspassing, rabid dogs present

or Stay out, my dogs bite if they feel you taste good
 
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