The law takes a peculiar stance when it comes to the use of signs such as ‘beware of the dog’ or ‘Warning Guard dog’ and such signs.In the event a sign such as this is displayed and your dog attacks another person entering your property, then the owner is liable for prosecution. This is because it could be argued that by showing such a sign the owner was aware that their dog was dangerous. However, in the past, if your dog attacks an intruder where no sign is visible then the court would decree that the owner was unaware of the threat of the animal, and is therefore not liable for court action.
Since the enormous changes within England and Wales of the Dangerous Dogs Act came into effect from 13th May 2014, the law now states that ‘A dog doesn’t have to bite to be deemed dangerous in the eyes of the law’.
The new legislation now covers private homes as well as public places, so the most important point to consider is how to keep unexpected visitors or delivery drivers safe on your property.
YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT ANY VISITOR CAN SAFELY ACCESS YOUR FRONT DOOR WITHOUT ENCOUNTERING YOUR DOG.
What you may consider as your dog being friendly someone else may see it as threatening behaviour; For example, your dog being friendly by jumping up at visitors.
You need to make sure that any visitor can safely access your front door without encountering your dog.
We therefore recommend:
- our sign positioned at your front gate,
- a postbox near the sign,
- and a wired / wireless doorbell be positioned next to the sign.
This would at the least allow you to argue that you took adequate precautions to prevent people entering your garden.
It can be argued that this new law has yet to be tested and no sign will stand up in court, however, Benjamin Franklin once quoted
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE.
Signs For Your Home – £14.95
Made from strong plastic with rounded edges. Size of sign 20cm x 30cm x 3mm
*GBP 2.95 Extra for Postage.