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Discussion Starter #1
I have a hypothetical question for you all; we were debating this over dinner with some of our friends the other night:

A stranger is on a person's property. The person has a dog in an enclosed area (i.e., a kennel), and tells the stranger not to approach the dog, who is barking at the stranger. The stranger disregards the owner, proclaiming that they love dogs, opens the kennel door and reaches in to pet the barking dog. The dog nips him, and although it is not a puncture or a gripping bite, it breaks the skin. The stranger seeks medical attention for the nip. Will the dog now be labeled as a "biter" or have a "bite history"?

We had three lines of thought;

A. A dog should never bite anyone
B. A dog should only bite when its family is in imminent danger
C. The stranger was unwise to disregard he dog owner's warning and the dog is not really at fault.

What do you think?
 

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Interesting. Dog was appropriately contained. Person opened the door despite instructions not to? My thought is that the person is an idiot.
 

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This scenario actually happened to me with my dog Zeus who was a dobe. In his old age he became pretty much deaf and blind and became nippy with strangers he didn't know. Our cable guy came out to replace a box and we put Zeus outside. I told the cable guy to not open the door because my dog was not friendly and went up to get my daughter who was an infant and had awoke from a nap. I hear a scream and come racing down with her in my arms quite alarmed until I saw him holding his hand and my dobe who was outside now inside. My exact words were "are you a f...ing idiot?" His response was all dogs love me I thought he would be nice.

Needless to say he reported the bite to his boss who made him have it looked at since it happened on work time. The hospital called to ask if he was current on his shots and could we have his rabies info faxed over in which we complied.....we never heard another thing about it. It wasn't the dogs fault he was blind, deaf, and scared. If someone says do not go near their dog and the dog is contained you can't fault the owner or dog- they were being responsible:) Anyone who opens a crate or kennel after being told not to because the dog is not friendly deserves a little nip;)
 

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I vote for C.

This has happened to me before as well,,Kodi was a fear biter, nail and back off type.
My yard is fenced, a cousin came over, who KNEW, how Kodi 'was', I had signs on my fence, "do not feed fingers to the dogs", and I was standing right there,

Kodi, all 125lbs of him was barking at the guy, whats he do, puts his hand over the fence. He got a good nip, didn't break the skin, but he knew and even said, "gee I shouldn't have done that" well duh duh duh
 

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I just can't get my head around someone dumb enough to approach a dog who obviously isn't very happy.

I admit, I don't pet strange dogs. You never know what they might have, and I don't want to bring something home to my dogs. But I just can't imagine offering my hand to a barking dog.
 

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I think in Ohio, in that scenario, you could not be held criminally negligent as the dog was contained and you did not give permission for the person to go into the enclosure.

However, the individual COULD take you to civil court and make your life miserable whether or not your lawyer is better than his lawyer and the judge is animal savvy or not.

If a person is trespassing on your property, committing a crime, or teasing the dog, and it bites him, the dog cannot be labled a dangerous dog for that incident.

However, the individual COULD take you to civil court and make your life miserable whether or not your lawyer is better than his lawyer and the judge is animal savvy or not.

When we made test equipment, we liked to make it so that you would have to remove the plug and possibly the fuse in order to take the dust cover off. People are idiots and you have to idiot proof equipment so that they cannot do something so incredibly stupid that you will be held liable for injury.

We have to idiot proof our containment system so that the cable guy or our idiot friend, cannot go and get themselves bitten, especially if we have a dog that we know will bite with little provocation.

Personally, I think those situations should have the injured party appologizing profusely and nothing more said about it. But the idea that something might be taken to court, might have a ruling from an individual who is not pet-freindly, is too scary to risk my dogs' lives on.
 

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I know I have (at least) three rules at my house for everyone who comes here:

1) Do not approach my dogs when they are in the kennel.
2) Do not approach my dogs when they are in the crates.
3) Do not approach my yard if my dogs are loose.

Most people that might visit here have gotten accustomed to these rules, but I still watch everything like a hawk. There is a sign on my fence in two places stating there is a dog on these premises, and my dogs never go out unsupervised. That is so I can see what people walking by the (wire) fence don't reach over to try to pet, or antagonize them by, say, throwing rocks, etc.

The pizza guy & UPS delivers to my living room window....LOL

The cops here have told me that if someone trespasses onto my property, even though I am renting, and my dogs go out(as they usually do go out ahead of me) and they bite that trespasser, it is on the trespasser for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They CAN take me to court, but odds are they would lose.
 

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Personal Opinion:

D. A well bred, well socialized, well trained dog should only bite when necessary - either on command from it's owner or in defense of itself or it's people.

Legal Answer that keeps you from being sued:

A. A dog should NEVER bite.
 

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i go with option C. People tell rules for their dogs to others for a reason. They arent smart enough to follow the rules.... well thats on you.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I once read on a breeder's website (I don't remember who now, it's been a while) that people in other parts of the world think that we're ridiculous for allowing people to sue over stuff like this. Basically like KZoppa said, if you approach a barking dog you show a lack of common sense.
 

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The cops here have told me that if someone trespasses onto my property, even though I am renting, and my dogs go out(as they usually do go out ahead of me) and they bite that trespasser, it is on the trespasser for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They CAN take me to court, but odds are they would lose.
First of all what the heck do the cops know about civil law? They are lawyer cops? You honestly trust the judgment of someone who MAY have a bachelor's in Criminal Justice to give you rock solid legal advice?

Second what do you consider a trespasser? It's not a trespasser unless they've been warned. What about the guy who walks up to your house by mistake? He deserves to get bit and won't be able to sue? Or the guy selling stuff with his son for the PTA?

What you said was unbelievably stupid. You will end up on the news, they will seize and destroy your dogs. You will be sued for everything you own and the local township will ban GSD's as a "dangerous breed'. Thanks for being a responsible owner!

You have aggressive dogs? Fine. Muzzle them when you go outside. Put them on a leash and walk them directly to the car.
 

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I guess it would depend on the state and local laws. Here in FL I have the proper BAD DOG signs displayed so from my understanding I couldn't be held liable in the circumstances described. My vote goes for C.
 

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Depends where you are.

In Canada all provinces (except Quebec which is Civil Law) are under the Common Law system. We own dogs pursuant to the Dog Owners' Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16.

Simply put,
Liability of owner
2. (1) The owner of a dog is liable for damages resulting from a bite or attack by the dog on another person or domestic animal. R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16, s. 2 (1).
(3) The liability of the owner does not depend upon knowledge of the propensity of the dog or fault or negligence on the part of the owner, but the court shall reduce the damages awarded in proportion to the degree, if any, to which the fault or negligence of the plaintiff caused or contributed to the damages. R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16, s. 2 (3).
Contribution by person at fault
(4) An owner who is liable to pay damages under this section is entitled to recover contribution and indemnity from any other person in proportion to the degree to which the other person’s fault or negligence caused or contributed to the damages. R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16, s. 2 (4).
 

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I vote for C. This happened with Chief many years ago. A friend of ours walked in the house in the middle of the night after he and hubby got off of work. Chief was in a gated off room sleeping. Hubby told our friend not to bother the dog, he's sound asleep and may bite if a non family member wakes him. Our friend says that Chief knows him. So he goes over, sticks his face over the gate, says Hi Chief and got rewarded with a bite to the face that broke skin.
 
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