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Where would you stand legally if....

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by pearltheplank, Nov 26, 2012.


  1. pearltheplank

    pearltheplank PetForums VIP

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    If your digs bites someone who attacks you or threatens to?

    Out on our walk tonight, we came across a chap who had been drinking and was having a conversation with himself out loud. We quickly walked by but the pup was very on edge. He has met this chap many times before and I doubt he would have took it further but what if he did when I really was being threatened or attacked! How would you stand legally?
     
  2. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    It is the same as every other "weapon" you might choose to use to defend you.

    It would be judged on an individual basis and you are allowed to use proportionate force to defend yourself.

    If you had no means of escape or stopping an attack you would use what was at hand.

    Most dogs will not detain a determined attacker as they have not been trained to bite or to do so a) with a full mouth b) a firm grip c) on command d) in the face of being attacked themselves.

    However people might be put off "depending on the size and breed of your dog" but conversely you might be putting your dog at risk too.

    So, you will make a decision based on the balance of probabilities. IE the probability of you being attacked and the probability of your dog being of any use.

    Most dogs will run away in the face of trouble or, even join in if not properly trained.
     
  3. sligy

    sligy PetForums Senior

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    I dont know about this one, but Hugo takes certain dislikes to people and generally its people that make me feel uncomfortable or unsafe. I have always wondered if it is a vibe he gets off me, or that he knows that the person is up too no good.
    I would be curious to know what would happen legally should it be in the event that you were under attack of threat.
     
  4. pearltheplank

    pearltheplank PetForums VIP

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    Thanks. I hope I never am attacked! I'm not sure if he would actually defend me or not, he lets anybody in the house wether I'm there or not :eek: It was just odd that he did have some strange reaction to the guy
     
  5. GingerRogers

    GingerRogers PetForums VIP

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    Interesting question. I am not really a nervy walker but on occasion I was glad of having Rory at my side. I know he would do 'something' if someone attacked me as he was very protective, didn't even like my hubby play fighting with me but as Smokeybear says, would it be enough to protect both me and him as he certainly hadn't been trained to attack properly.

    I would like to think in an ideal world given the right circumstances that you would not be prosecuted, but, to be able to prove a certain set of circumstances would probably be quite difficult and I bet the most likely outcome whatever happened to you would be the dog PTS.
     
  6. Booties

    Booties PetForums Senior

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    The high-and-low of it is;

    If the dog bite is your fault, you/the dog is finished.

    If it's their fault, they're finished.

    For example, if someone breaks into your house/pins you to the ground while out on a walk, and is attacked by your dog, they would need the world's best lawyer to win a case against you.
    In this situation, you have not been negligent, your dog is not a danger to the public. The stranger has taken the risk, and is committing a crime in the first place.

    In theory, if the stranger just threatens you and the dog bites, that is far less likely to hold up in court.
    The stranger will have the bites to prove the attack, and you will have no evidence that he threatened you, or that you warned him of your dog's aggression.
     
  7. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    Nobody can be sure whether or not their dog will defend them in an actual attack until it has been tested.

    Many people confuse dogs that guard a resource as ones that will defend their owners, and often dogs react not because they have some fantastic ability to see into the human psyche but because of their odd movements which is why some dogs freak out at people carrying say a bale of straw on their back etc and often dogs which are diagnosed as "protective" by their owners are merely windy and would run at the first sign of trouble.

    I really think it is pointless worrying about something that is unlikely to happen and about which you can do nothing apart from being sensibe about where and when you walk.
     
  8. sskmick

    sskmick PetForums VIP

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    I am really not sure, the dog is doing it's job defending you, however I wouldn't put myself or my dog in that position. I would avoid these type of people where possible.

    The twit probably felt safe as your dog is a puppy. More often than not people will avoid me and Duke.

    If anything did come of it I would state the puppy was playing, I didn't see him bite.

    Ideally you need to keep your dog under control.

    Even my own dog has gone for two people, once when he was being walked with my husband and once with me. Both men were drunk or drugged. Duke growled and beared his teeth. These people were under no illusions and whilst I got some verbal both men kept his distance. I am fairly sure the man who my husband encountered said something like ohh he's a bit keen isn't he. Hubby reply was something like only with people he doesn't like.
     
  9. Ploppy

    Ploppy PetForums Member

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    Legally, as far as I'm concerned anyone who threatens me, sober or not, is to be treated with the respect and rights of a chew toy. Preferably my chew toy, since they don't euthanise humans for defending themselves in this country. At least not yet.

    If my dog attacked them, my only concern would be what happens to the dog.

    As for the attacker on the other hand, I could go on forever about what I'd do to him once the dog's wounded him if I had any chance of getting away with it.



    Fortunately, the courts treat cases on an individual basis, and where violent hooligan crime is involved - the judge is usually on your side. As long as your actions are reasonable in a crime, which can include killing someone if you can prove it's reasonable, you CAN get away with it.
    As long as you can prove that
    A) The guy was a genuine threat.
    B) The dog is not a threat to "normal" people.
    C) When the police arrive, you aren't wearing his skin like a dress.
     
    #9 Ploppy, Nov 26, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  10. terrierist

    terrierist PetForums Senior

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    I once asked a police officer a similar question.....I was told that if you were to tell an attacker 'go away or my dog will bite!' and it does, then you are liable for prosecution because you were aware your dog is likely to bite.
    Should a bite occur when the dog was doing its best to protect you, it is unlikely prosecution would happen.
     
  11. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    I think you are confusing civil and criminal law.

    There is no "liability" in criminal law. ;)

    For a prosecution to occur it must meet two requirements:

    a) be in the public interest
    b) evidentiary test

    Is is highly unlikely that if you are responsible dog owner with a good record, history and evidence of training your dog to be a responsible and obedient member of the community, that either or both of these criteria would be met.
     
  12. terrierist

    terrierist PetForums Senior

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    From what I recall of the conversation, if you warn of an attack and it indeed happens....it is tantamount to employing a weapon and thus you can be charged.
    My wording may notbe correct as I am not a law expert.
     
  13. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    You can be charged with ABH, GBH, etc whether or not you use a weapon. ;)
     
  14. blitzens mum

    blitzens mum PetForums Senior

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    what if someone was to break into your house and your dog bit them, i know for a fact if this happened to me then blitzen would bite
     
  15. pearltheplank

    pearltheplank PetForums VIP

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    Mine wouldn't :eek: I was having my heating boiler replaced and the chap turned up while I was out with the pup. On my return I said let me sort dogs out first, to which he replied oh I out your other one in the kitchen to stop her getting out. He had got no response knocking, not even a bark so he walked in. She greeted him with a lick and went back to bed :confused::eek:
     
  16. blitzens mum

    blitzens mum PetForums Senior

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    trust me your lucky, blitz tries to biite anyone new that comes into the house :(:(
     
  17. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    I hope mine either hide or run off as all they would need to do is give them a good kick and they would be badly injured.
     
  18. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    The law is clear if you use proportionate force then you will be ok.

    Which means of course that you can get your dog off.............
     
  19. dandogman

    dandogman PetForums VIP

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    I don't know, but I remember one incident with my old Labrador Monty.

    An old lady bent forward and said can I touch him, so I said yes of course, and he went mental! I think it was because she came towards us with her arm stretched out.

    It just shows even the most mild tempered dog can react when it feels threatened.
     
  20. Zaros

    Zaros Pet Forums, P/resident Evil

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    Zara and Oscar grounded a man who let himself into our house after deliberately ignoring all the warning signs regarding the Dogs.


    PHOTOS REMOVED DUE TO MALICIOUS INTENT.

    Now phuq off!

    After considering all the facts the Police did not have a case and neither was a civil case brought after viewing all the evidence despite community opinion.
     
    #20 Zaros, Nov 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
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