I have a question concerning dogs. I have four German Shepherds who spend most of the time in the house. During the day, at least one of them is in the house. At night, all four of them are inside in my room. I live on a 100 acre farm in the middle of nowhere - closest neighbor is a quarter mile away. Of course dogs are great initial deterrents especially GSDs. Are dogs considered weapons? They’re not trained for protection, but I know two of my GSDs will fight to the death if it came to push over shove. I live in Ohio. Would this now become a point that if someone pulls a gun and it meets all the criteria for me to pull mine that my dogs could be considered overkill on use of deadly force on my part? I hope this makes sense. Just want to make sure I’m looking at all angles.
That is a great question and one that deserves to be figured out in a legal manner. Ohhhhhhh @MikeBKY !!! My guess would be that if your pooches were inside your property and came across an uninvited guest there would be no issue. GSD’s do not enjoy the same notoriety as say a Pit Bull but even then inside your property lines I’m not thinking it is overkill to have four lovely GSD’s as pets unless you have papers that say they are something more than well trained.
So for @MikeBKY are dogs not trained as “anything” considered “weapons”? I know you practice in KY and cannot give legal advice, blah, blah blah Love you brother
Yes, a prosecutor can present your dogs as deadly weapons in court. I dont think this fact should affect your defensive plans in any way.
You have 400 times the backyard I do. I envy you, in a good way
Thank you! I knew if they were considered a service dog then they’re protected like police dogs, but my hope is that if someone is outside of my room and hear them barking that they leave the house and I won’t have to do anything. That’s my hope.
That would be my fear that they would argue the dogs were deadly weapons and I over-killed the situation with a gun. However, at the same time, I know a bullet can stop a dog.
The only thing that matters is that you
a) increase chances of your survival
b) increase chances of invaders leaving without coming in contact with you or your firearm.
As far as malicious prosecutions, burglars suing homeowners for cuts on broken glass, etc etc. I got two words. FEAR LESS.
Thank you for your help.
My Dear i wasn’t referring to service dog paperwork, I think the correct term is “working dog”. I have been introduced to dogs that would grab your wrist and drag you across the ground, others that would grab an ankle and do the same. There are a few that I know that will grab you at the throat and dare you to move. If you have your mark one mod zero dog with a penchant to protect I will assume what you find after the scuffle will be less than pleasant and said pooch will be quite proud and tired and dare I say need to be rewarded. If you have a “working dog” that poor bastard (the intruder) is going to get drug across hell’s half acre and be much worse for the wear. Professional training comes with a liability, if you don’t have that then the dog is working on instinct which to my understanding is defensible within your property boundaries.
You may want to check on a farm policy, or on your farm policy. Most ‘home owners’ policies won’t insure you against a poodle biting someone. But not much more than a couple of decades ago I carried a farm policy that covered livestock in the road (if my place was maintained and the reason they were out was beyond my control) and it also coved me if prperly maintained/contained ‘stock’ hurt someone. I specifically inquired due to the nature of the dogs I kept and if I remember right it came down to properly posting the property (caution, livestock guard dogs or something like that) the dogs I kept were Sarplaninec or Sarplaninac depending on where you are from.
Try farm bureau - they did more and were cheaper in my case.
Greg, I have farm bureau as well…I never thought to ask about a biting dog. Great topic!
Good word sir!!! Well said!!!
I too have an inside German Sheperd specifically for this reason. I also have it posted on my property that I have a protection dog. So if a perp decides to come in my house then he has been warned!
This is a really interesting question @Jennifer14 and thanks for tagging me @Craig6. I will give you an idea of how Kentucky would deal with an issue like this. Kentucky Revised Statutes defines specifically what a “deadly weapon” is. Dogs are not included in the definition of deadly weapons. However, Kentucky law also recognizes the use of “dangerous instruments” that can be use to injure or kill someone. For instance, a car is not a deadly weapon but, when used to run someone over, it becomes a dangerous instrument. Obviously, many animals, domestic and wild, could injure or kill people. They become dangerous instruments when used by a person for the specific purpose of injuring or killing another person.
If someone breaks into your house and you direct your dogs to protect you, they could easily be considered dangerous instruments but the use would likely be just as justified as using a firearm or other deadly weapon.
I have a friend with 5 great danes, 2 mastiffs and a dachshund that look pretty intimidating, well not the dachshund. My wife and I visited them in March and the 240 lb. male mastiff growled at me until I told him to knock it off and pushed him aside. A little while later he was asleep on my lap. I had never met the mastiffs before but had been there with all the danes. It is more likely that a dog trained as a police or guard dog would be considered a dangerous instrument than the killer rabbit from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, but only if you do not know the average speed of a migrating swallow.
It’s a different perspective, but if they are farm animals then it shouldn’t really be much different than if someone wanders in with the bull.
Thank you for your reply. I was referring to service animals as those who help individuals with disabilities. They are protected under law. None of my dogs are trained to protect. One was being trained as a service dog, but has an issue with other dogs so he is just now a pet. Now, my daughter will be working with working dogs. She’s a MP with the army.
Good grief. I didn’t even think of that for my dogs. We had this type of amendment for my horses, but removed it when we sold our stallions.
I just might do that too. Get a sign just saying beware of dog.
Where we live, people are pretty understanding. We have cows or horses wondering around every once in a while. Sometimes the sheriff gets involved especially when they get up on the highway. A lot of people keep specific animals to keep the coyotes away.
So would my dog be considered a dangerous instrument even though I have it posted there is a protection dog in this residence?
As I’m thinking about this I would ask if you create a liability for the dogs when they are off site by placing a warning sign on site. If you post the property and then take the dog off property and something happens (like the dog defending itself from another dog even) a shrewd attorney may challenge that you posted your residence to warn others about the dog and then took it off site??
My dogs lived with the animals and the vet came to us for the most part.