Question about libility

Not open for further replies.


Boxer Buddy
I walk Chance on a regular basis with a leash. I do not allow him to go up to people nor go on other people's property & I try to stay in control. At the end of my street, in a culdesac (where the mail box is) are a group of people that allow their dogs to roam freely. Chance is not really aggressive & the few times I have seen him act aggressively were towards little yappy dogs that have come after him (managed to control Chance & scare off other dog). There is only so much I can do when I walk him though. Chance obeys me but sometimes these other dogs are relentless, trying to get to him. I have asked these people time & time again to put their dog on a leash & they respond by giving me dirty looks. They have watched me pull Chance (all 65# of him) on one side of me, while I yell at their dog to go away! And they do nothing until I tell them to get their dog. Does anyone know what the libility factor would be if my dog bit another dog (mine leashed and on pubilc property)? I don't want Chance to be mean but the last time this happened, I almost wished he would have bit the dog. I know that is an ugly thought. It just makes me so mad!! Guess I needed to vent - THANKS!!


Boxer Insane
Do you have a leash law?
If there was a serious fight, I would think you would be in the better position because your dog was leashed and the others were not. However, if your dog caused injury, it may be viewed as vicious and you might get a "strike against you." It might not matter that yours was leashed and the others were not.

I'd contact your local animal control and ask them, hypothetically. You may also register a complaint against the loose dogs. If something ever did happen, it would be to your benefit to have record of these dogs being loose.
I'll cross my fingers that nothing ever happens. But I understand your frustration. I hate it when I'm walking my dogs (on leash) and other dogs are loose. :mad:


Boxer Pal
I would check out the local bylaws in your area regarding leash laws, as well I would check with your local police department regarding your liability. It is best to know before anything should happen. We have a leash law where we live however there are a lot of people around here who do not abide by it. Up until recently Buddy has always ignored the loose dogs however lately he has started to take notice of them and I too am afraid of an altercation. Your local by laws will let you know what the leash laws are and your local police authorities can inform you what would happen as far as charges go and your liability. In the meantime I would look for another route to take your dog on. I don't know what these people are thinking when they allow their dogs to be off a leash. Why is it that these little dust mop dogs are the ones that are the aggressors as well as the ones who are off their leash?

Buddy--Born May 4 1993
Male Fawn
Cropped Ears
Our best friend and companion


Reasonable Moderator
Staff member
I would definitely check and see what the local laws are. I would first check with your local SPCA or Animal Control. They are going to know what the local laws are regarding dogs. If there is no SPCA where you live, phone the police and ask them.

Here in Burnaby, you can be fined if your dog bites another dog even if your dog is on a leash and the other dog is not.

I would report these dogs every time you see them loose. I would also carry pepper spray, which you could use as a last resort if you thought the dog was going to bite you or your dog.

Markus, dark brindle
neutered male, 6 yrs old


Boxer Buddy
Regardless of whether or not the loose dogs are in violation of your City's bylaws,
because you took your dog into a situation where you know from past experience that there are loose dogs and when you know that your dog can react "aggressively" in certain circumstances, in my mind, I think a Court would find you liable if your dog did bite another dog under these circumstances.


Boxer Buddy
I agree to talk to animal control about the leash laws in public places. I don't think you should have to stay away from a public place you like to walk your dog because these people are idiots!!! The parks and ect. are there for everyone's use and people should abide by the rules and safety of others if they are going to be there. Sounds like you have that covered.

Mama too: :)
Steele - the defender brindle male docked with natural ears - Over the rainbow bridge 9-18-99
Kalua - jumpy fawn female docked with natural ears born 6-94


Boxer Booster
In order for you to be liable in case of an injury to another animal, the plaintiff would have to prove the following:

1. You had a duty of care. (which, in my opinion, you have provided by walking the dog on a leash - even if Chance has a past history. that's why there are leash laws for ALL dogs, not just aggressive ones - they protect ALL dogs).
2. You failed to provide the duty of care. (again, that would be tough to prove since the dog was on a leash).
3. An injury occurred. (obviously, that's why this is an issue)
4. The injury occurred because care was not provided. (since Chance is on a leash, I don't know that they could prove this - and this is the most important issue).

My understanding of liability laws indicates that the owners of the roaming dogs would be liable because if an incident occurs it would be a direct result of their failure to provide care. (in addition to the fact that they may be violating leash laws - if your community has any).

Suzanna - Mom to Jake, 2 year old fawn male, floppy ears, docked tail


Boxer Buddy
Thanks for all the replies. I guess there was some miscommunication. Chance has NEVER "attacked" or bitten anything. What I meant was there were two times in the past where I had him on a leash & a yappy, little dog came running up to him barking & growling. So Chance took on a defensive posture & growled back (I stood in front of him and shooed the dog away). I guess I just get so darn mad because I feel that I am being a responsible owner - I walk him on the street & not the sidewalk, I don't let him potty in people's yards, I don't let him go up to people or kids unless they have come over to us & asked to pet him, I never allow him to roam unless he is in our fenced-in back yard or I have taken him to a secluded field. And I would not go down to where those people are except that is where my mail box is & I don't feel that I should have to avoid this area because of them (our walks start w/ getting the mail). I have even had Chance in the front yard with me (on a leash) & their dogs have come on my property to annoy Chance or potty in our yard. It is just maddening. I don't want to start a war with my neighbors but I am tired of this. Guess I should start calling animal control when I see the dogs out roaming. I did call animal control & we do have leash laws. Dogs are to be leashed at all times unless in the home or a fenced yard. I work in law enforcement (juveniles) so the next time I run into a deputy, I will ask about liability. Thanks for listening.
Not open for further replies.