Common Law and German Shepherds
All dogs are subject to the common law of the land where you reside and it is up to the owners of large breed dogs, such as German Shepherds to know and to obey local laws.
Large breed dogs, especially German Shepherds are becoming more and more popular as pets in people’s homes for different reasons.
With the increase in crime and home invasions many people are turning to large breed dogs as a form of security. These breeds do offer an excellent deterrent to a burglar or other form of crime.
The media has helped a lot to create security hysteria among Americans with the threats of terrorism, rising crime statistics, and advertisers are quick to jump on the bandwagon selling home security alarms and devices. It’s no wonder we no longer feel safe in our own homes!
A large breed dog offers good protection when walking the streets at night, or even during the day in some areas!
Dogs and The Law
Recently, a New York City judge commented on the increase in large breed dogs in the area and whilst he could understand people’s need for extra security he was gravely concerned about the impact their presence had on the community.
He suggested the City needed to work on new rules and regulations as many of these dogs were untrained and a potential hazard for members of the public going about their normal daily routines.
A claim for damages by a mailman that was bitten by a Boxer when on his delivery round triggered the call for large breed dog owners to be fully responsible for any injuries their dog inflicts.
The ruling was that large breed dogs owners hold a greater standard of responsibility than owners of small breed dogs.
This double standard law is not a new law, it is applied to many different areas of concern for instance the law regarding a firework factory requires more careful maintenance than that of a clothing manufacturer. A negligent act in a firework factory could spell disaster, but the same act in a clothing factory would not have such an impact. Therefore this double standard law was introduced to help police areas of greatest concern.
The New York decision applies to the different dog breeds, with large breed dogs being of more concern as they can obviously inflict greater damages.
This fast developing trend to create “the law of the dogs” should be of concern to dog owners of all breeds. It could increase the dog owner’s legal liabilities and responsibilities and could end up with even high insurance costs.
Under Common Law, in most areas of the United States, the law follows traditional patterns, where the dog owner is charged for liability to his own misconduct and not the dogs.
However, some jurisdictions charge the owner of a dog with strict and absolute liability with him being held fully accountable for the public’s safety. He will be held fully responsible for any misconduct of his dog regardless to how he attempted to prevent the incident.
The New York decision, could spread throughout all the States of America. Meaning owners of large breed dogs could be held fully liable for anything that happens.
Watchdogs are subject to even higher scrutiny and laws than the average domestic pet. Typically watchdogs are trained to attack intruders and are classified as dangerous dogs.
As mentioned previously, the security hysteria flooding all parts of America has led to unscrupulous dog breeders and even incompetent dog trainers flooding the marketplace.
These poorly bred large breed dogs are falling into the hands of individuals who have no clue on how to properly train or treat such a breed. The result is more and more large breeds getting into trouble and getting the label of “dangerous dogs” which reflects badly on the many good dog owners of these breeds.
It is the owners responsibility of large breed dogs such as German Shepherds, to set a good example, to buy from reputable breeders and to have their dogs properly trained.
Hopefully this will help improve the overall outlook for German Shepherds and people will see there is nothing better than a well-trained large breed dog.
If you take anything away from this article I hope it is to get a good dog insurance coverage for your shepherd and to take the time to train him well. Dogs are a pleasure to own and a joy to have around.
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