Chapter 6 – Dogs Labeled as Dangerous or Vicious and What That Means

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:

  1. Pitt Bull
  2. Rottweiler
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Husky
  5. Malamute
  6. Doberman Pinscher
  7. Chow Chow
  8. Great Dane
  9. Saint Bernard

Dangerous Dog Defined by Ohio Law

Dangerous and Vicious DogOhio 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:

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.

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:

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.

Learn more about dangerous dogs

Back to chapter 5

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