List of Dangerous Dogs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the following dog breeds as causing the most dog bites in the United States:
- Pitt Bull
- German Shepherd
- Doberman Pinscher
- Chow Chow
- Great Dane
- Saint Bernard
Dangerous Dog Defined by Ohio Law
Ohio law defines a dangerous dog as “a dog that, without provocation, has chased or approached in either a menacing fashion or an apparent attitude of attack, or has attempted to bite or otherwise endanger any person, while that dog is off the premises of its owner, keeper, or harborer and not under the reasonable control of its owner, keeper, harborer, or some other responsible person, or not physically restrained or confined in a locked pen which has a top, locked fenced yard, or other locked enclosure which has a top.”
Note that a specific breed is not defined in Ohio law for being labeled a dangerous dog. It can be any dog that displays the actions and behavior described above in the Ohio statute.
Vicious Dog Defined by Ohio Law
Ohio law defines a vicious dog as a dog that:
“Has killed or caused serious injury to any person.”
“Has caused injury or has killed another dog.”
“Belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog.”
Dogs that are labelled as dangerous or vicious are governed by special Ohio statutes. If one of these dogs bites someone, it may also be a crime. That means jail time is a possibility for that dog’s owner if it is determined to be a crime.
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Confining a Dangerous or Vicious Dog. Ohio Revised Code, Title IX, Chapter 955.22
Ohio law dictates special requirements when a dog is listed as either a dangerous dog or a vicious dog. Here’s what the owner, keeper or harborer of a dangerous or vicious dog must do:
“Securely confine it at all times in a locked pen that has a top, locked fenced yard, or other locked enclosure that has a top, except that a dog may, in the alternative, be tied with a leash or tether so that the dog is adequately restrained.”
“While that dog is off the premises of the owner, keeper, or harborer, keep that dog on a chain-link leash or tether that is not more than six feet in length.”
“The leash or tether must be controlled by a person who is of suitable age and discretion or securely attach, tie, or affix the leash or tether to the ground or a stationary object or fixture so that the dog is adequately restrained and station such a person in close enough proximity to that dog so as to prevent it from causing injury to any person.”
“Muzzle the dog.’
“No owner, keeper, or harborer of a vicious dog shall fail to obtain liability insurance with an insurer authorized to write liability insurance in this state providing coverage in each occurrence, subject to a limit, exclusive of interest and costs, of not less than one hundred thousand dollars because of damage or bodily injury to or death of a person caused by the vicious dog.”
“No person shall debark or surgically silence a dog that the person knows or has reason to believe is a vicious dog.”
The Responsibilities of Dog Owners to Prevent Dog Bites
It’s the responsibility of owners, harborers and keepers of dogs to control their pets and ensure they do not needlessly harm other people.
When the owner, harborer or keeper knows their dog is dangerous or vicious as defined above by Ohio law, it’s their duty to take additional precautions to protect others.