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Am I liable if my dog bites neighbor who constantly taunts him?

Q:

I have an 8 month old puppy, he's considered fearful aggressive. Because when he sees other dogs he gets anxious. But he also doesn't like it if people get near our gate. I have a neighbor that likes to antagonize the dog. And I have told him about the dog and how he gets spooked easily and gets defensive. Yet he still does it.  He sticks his hand over the fence and tries to get my dog to bite him and so does his Autistic grandson. And my If my dog bites them am I responsible?


A:

As the expression goes, “Good fences make good neighbors.” To safeguard one’s animals and others, supervision is very important as is appropriate fencing to prevent people from putting hands over, under, or through a fence. To help to socialize a dog, humane training is also important. New York State's dangerous dog law (and some local dangerous dog laws) provide that a dog will not be declared dangerous if the conduct of the dog was justified because the injured person was tormenting or assaulting the dog. However, proving those circumstances can sometimes be a challenge both in a dangerous dog proceeding and in a civil action where one is sued for money to compensate the injured person. 


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott

 

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