I’ve got an American Bulldog (note, this is not the same thing as the so-called “American pitbull terrier“, which breed was specifically banned in British law as a banned “dangerous” dog). My bulldog is extremely friendly, but she barks loud and often, and some of the expressions she pulls would definitely scare strangers.
Anyway, she spends her day going out of the house to the garden, then back again, barking at cats, dogs and children it encounters. The garden is securely fenced. But what’s worried me recently is this new family who’s moved into the neighbourhood. I’ve seen these idiots’ kids actually sticking their fingers through the fence so they could “touch the doggy”.
All this reminded me of a story/urban myth/whatever it is that claims a dog owner who put up a BEWARE OF THE DOG sign is admitting he knows his dog is dangerous and therefore is more liable for any dogbites than an owner who “didnt know” their dog might bite. From one point of view that seems quite reasonable… if you know your dog bites you should muzzle it or something… but from another POV it’s ridiculous: you’ve gone out of your way to inform possible trespassers that they might get bitten.
I decided to look around on the internet for any pointers on this (all the time remembering that the net is full of people from different places, with different rules, so I was unlikely to find a definitive answer. And I found a typically self-contradictory discussion on snopes.com. It seems that in some jurisdictions, a BEWARE OF THE DOG sign can be seen as an admission by the dog owner that his animal is a potential danger. Whereas in other places such a sign is considered “fair warning” to potential trespassers and if someone gets bitten it’s his own stupid fault. Which is the argument I agree with – if some fool enters my property knowing it’s guarded by a big barky dog, awful things may happen and it’s the trespasser’s own fault.
But laws are rarely sensible. And if one of my new youthful neighbours lost a few fingers through teasing my dog, it’s quite likely that my poor mut would be dragged off for a lethal injection. Doubleplusungood, eh?
But apparently there are ways around this. One such is a picture of the dog looking suitably horrible, and a message saying something like I LIVE HERE!!! This isn’t a threat – it’s just informative, right? I’m not telling potential thieves and trespassers that they may get eaten if they enter my garden; I’m proudly showing off my pooch.
To this end, I have created the sign below. It isn’t a threat; it’s just a statement. My pretty little dog hangs out in my garden. Maybe you’d like to stroke the pooch – some people do. But if a stranger enters my property… well, it’s like I say to the neighbourhood kids:
Kid: Does your dog bite?
Me: All dogs bite! That’s why they have teeth!
Anyway, I want some feedback. Is the sign threatening? Or is it just informative? Should I tie the pic to my fence or keep it in the house? Please leave a Comment: I’d really like to know what people in general think of this. Cheers.