Helping dogs with a legal problem
There are practical steps so that you and your dog don’t end up in trouble with the law.
Make sure your garden is safe and secure.
- You must ensure that any unexpected visitor who comes to your door is safe on your property. They should be able to access your front door without being accosted by your dog.
- Your dog will not be considered dangerously out of control if the person attacked is a burglar or trespasser. However the attack must take place within your private dwelling but does not extend to any area of your garden. This places the obligation squarely on dog owners to ensure that their gardens are safe and secure.
- Take precautions – ask your neighbours not to allow their children to enter your garden under any circumstances.
Be sensible – don’t take risks
- Many dogs are reactive to visitors at the door. Be sensible, have a plan in place before hand. You could shut the dog in another room or put him out in the garden. Make sure the front door is not accessible from the garden. This will ensure that both the visitor and your dog will be safe.
- An alternative is to train your dog that it is not acceptable for him to approach the door. Teach him to sit back and wait for you to deal with the situation. If this kind of behaviour training is beyond you, I may be able to help.
- How your dog greets people is also very important. You may consider your dog friendly. However, if your dog jumps up at visitors, the visitor may see that as threatening behaviour. Again, I can help you to modify this kind of behaviour.
Owning a dog means that you must act responsibly. Give the matter thought, take steps to ensure that visitors and your dog are safe. If you do you are unlikely to fall foul of the law.
If you and your dog end up in trouble with the law I can provide information about the law and your legal options. This service is free and provides basic information only. I can sign post you to experts in the field if you require further help.
“Every dog is a lion at home” – Italian proverb