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A first time dog owner poses a question in the Austin Chronicle regarding what could happen if his dog bites someone. The question posed was

I’m a first-time dog owner. My friend recently told me that I would have to pay for all damages my dog causes if he ever bites someone. Is this right?

Although I do not disagree with the general answer posted in response to this question, the ultimate issue is what kind of dog are you purchasing, is it an aggressive breed, will the dog be accessible to passing children, will the dog be frequently irritated by other dogs, will the fencing be able to restrain the dog, and would someone who does not “love” dogs mind having their young children playing with this animal. You should also be aware of city ordinances regulating dogs in your area.

The legal responsibility for dog attacks is basically handled on a case by case basis. There is a general obligation to not be negligent. Stated otherwise, there is generally a duty to act as a reasonable person. Taking the factors and circumstances involved in any given situation could subject a dog owner to liability for damages and injuries sustained by a dog attack.

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