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Attacked by a dog, what is my legal situation?

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Whilst out running on the weekend I was attacked by a dog in a forest area. It was not on a lead and the owner did little to stop it jumping at me and trying to bite me until I whacked it with a stick. I also booted it at one point. 

 

The owner then began threatening me with the Police and became overly aggressive.

 

Where do I stand legally with this, surely If an uncontrolled dog attacks me I have a right to self defense ? If I'

d seriously injured it (which was not the case)  or even killed it where would I stand ?

 

I was not injured bar a few scratches and it messed up my run. 

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You are right. He is wrong. Make a police report anyway. Police need to be alerted to dangerous dogs. In Germany, as much as it pains me to say so, dogs are just considered property, so I don't understand what he's threatening you about.

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Some people look at their dogs like kids.

 

Of these, there are those that take a critical look at their dogs - they will judge the situation as it stands and act Accordingly (control dog, maybe apologise).

The others have the opinion that their dog can do nothing wrong - these people will never apologise, will never see their dog at fault.

 

Granted, I do not know the whole story (can't say if it was just exited and jumping etc) so I cannot comment on the owner. However as said above, go to the police to report it and get a tetanus shot if needed.

 

 

 

 

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The use of pepper spray against aggressive dogs is permitted, the owner should be thankful that you didn't have any!

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2 minutes ago, AlexTr said:

You are right. He is wrong. Make a police report anyway. Police need to be alerted to dangerous dogs. In Germany, as much as it pains me to say so, dogs are just considered property, so I don't understand what he's thrwatening you about.

 

Exactly. I have warded off loose running dogs aggressively attacking my dogs, by blocking them off either with my foot or an umbrella if I'm carrying one with me, without even touching the animal, and get the same threatening stance from their owners. What they threaten you with is the Tierschutz, whereby harming an animal can be reported and punished. Like @cb6dba says above, quite a few dog owners treat their dogs like children believing they can do nothing wrong. The Tierschutzgesetz states specifically that noone is allowed to hurt an animal without reasonable cause. If it is attacking you, you have reasonable cause. You are also allowed to defend yourself against aggressive dogs with pepper spray. So these owners are simply being emotional idiots. 

 

§ 1 Zweck dieses Gesetzes ist es, aus der Verantwortung des Menschen für das Tier als Mitgeschöpf dessen Leben und Wohlbefinden zu schützen. Niemand darf einem Tier ohne vernünftigen Grund Schmerzen, Leiden oder Schäden zufügen.

 
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I get fed up having to stop and stand still when chased by a barking lunging dog, while owner slowly approaches from afar.  And then they do not bother to tell the dog to stop, or admonish it in any way, so dog must think he was doing exactly the right thing!  Now, most of these are just silly dogs, not vicious, but it is hard without knowing the dog to be sure what is going to happen.  I like the sound of the two stick approach, one to throw to see if they are just being playful, and the other to bash them with when they are not.  Several joggers I know here carry pepper spray.  Our postman carries doggy treats for all the dogs he comes across.  I wonder if I start dishing them out, whether it would cause more dogs to feel benevolent towards joggers/cyclists, or would they chase more, hopeful for a snack?

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3 hours ago, snowingagain said:

I get fed up having to stop and stand still when chased by a barking lunging dog, while owner slowly approaches from afar.  And then they do not bother to tell the dog to stop, or admonish it in any way, so dog must think he was doing exactly the right thing!  Now, most of these are just silly dogs, not vicious, but it is hard without knowing the dog to be sure what is going to happen.  I like the sound of the two stick approach, one to throw to see if they are just being playful, and the other to bash them with when they are not.  Several joggers I know here carry pepper spray.  Our postman carries doggy treats for all the dogs he comes across.  I wonder if I start dishing them out, whether it would cause more dogs to feel benevolent towards joggers/cyclists, or would they chase more, hopeful for a snack?

 

And @bramble Nothing irritates me more as an owner of a large breed dog than to see irresponsible dog owners allow their overgrown furkids to intimidate people. We have one retired guy in the neighborhood right now who lets his Belgian Shepherd jump the fence. Three people and 7 dogs have been attacked and injured. For this reason, I started carrying pepper spray but I am afraid to the point of sadness that one day this beautiful dog will be destroyed over such an incident. I wish the human victims would file police reports and not just take the rich old guy's money.

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Problem dogs are usually caused by their owners.

 

Either because;

 

1). The way the dog is treated by the owner causes behaviour that is not suitable.

2). The owner fails to take steps knowing how their dog will react badly.

 

Either way, owner problem. People who treat their dogs like kids should be slapped. 
I was once, and I kid not here, attacked by my brother's Chiwawa.

Dog was screwed up (he got the dog from his daughter, she got the dog from her mother). When it happens I was wearing boots so was not really in any danger, did get some holes in my jeans mind. 

I look at my brother, he just laughed. I have this dog standing on my boot trying to bite me, brother laughing. I flick the bog about 4 feet forward,  dog lands turn round to go again. I had however covered the distance and the dog nearly crapped herself. Tail between legs, I chased her until she hid behind the couch.

 

Point is, as I said to my brother, if she was bigger, or I was a kid, that could have ended badly. If I had had a child of mine with me, that flick would not have been a flick. He had the responsibility to make sure his dog listens to him in such situations. Or to take steps to make sure such situation are avoided (like locking his doors).

Going back to the OP - report it, other may have also reported it and the police can only take action if they know about it.

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4 hours ago, bramble said:

 

Exactly. I have warded off loose running dogs aggressively attacking my dogs, by blocking them off either with my foot or an umbrella if I'm carrying one with me, without even touching the animal, and get the same threatening stance from their owners. What they threaten you with is the Tierschutz, whereby harming an animal can be reported and punished. Like @cb6dba says above, quite a few dog owners treat their dogs like children believing they can do nothing wrong. The Tierschutzgesetz states specifically that noone is allowed to hurt an animal without reasonable cause. If it is attacking you, you have reasonable cause. You are also allowed to defend yourself against aggressive dogs with pepper spray. So these owners are simply being emotional idiots. 

 

§ 1 Zweck dieses Gesetzes ist es, aus der Verantwortung des Menschen für das Tier als Mitgeschöpf dessen Leben und Wohlbefinden zu schützen. Niemand darf einem Tier ohne vernünftigen Grund Schmerzen, Leiden oder Schäden zufügen.

 

 

The city in which I live goes further by stating in the city laws that even a dog on a leash is not allowed to pose a risk nor can the leash by its length or handling. Good dog owners know and follow the law. I haven't gotten this far, yet, but my wife, who is German, approaches other dog owners when they do not pick up their dog crap and hands them a bag and scolds them. I asked her not to do that when she is alone. You never know what kind of nutter you're talking to.

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Quote

The owner then began threatening me with the Police and became overly aggressive.

Well, next time just immediately call the police, so that they come and note their ID.

 

Quote

I was not injured bar a few scratches and it messed up my run. 

You could still sue them for some Schmerzengeld. Even for small scratches. All dog owners are obliged to have insurance.

 

And of course it's legal to kill attacking dog.

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8 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

And of course it's legal to kill attacking dog.

And there would be a different legal thing to tackle.

If the OP had killed the dog, the owner filled a case of animal cruelty, and the OP says 'my life was in danger, look at these scratches, I got from a dog, with big teeth'..

 

A vicious dog would leave more than scratches, even a small one.

This says to me that the dog was acting on doggy instinct and has not been raised to see people differently. I guess the dog the OP as another dog.

 

Report it, if the police have had other reports they may act. 

 

 

 

 

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I would report the both the dog attack and the owner's aggression/threats to the police. If you want to make it serious then go see a doctor about those scratches and get them documented as well as any anxiety you may have about going into the forest on your own again. Shame you didn't get a photo.

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The problem here is not the dog, it's the owner. He should be reported to the police.

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Will continue on this thread.

 

So today my 5 year old daughter was attacked (or the dog wanted to play) by a dog. 

 

So I am not sure how to proceed here, is there a law that states in the communal garden the dog has to be on a leash.

 

Not sure what my legal rights are here?

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Just now, AlexTr said:

@RenegadeFurther Is she okay? How badly was she hurt?

 

 

She is ok, more shaken than physically hurt.

 

The owner of the dog had to come running and lift my daughter up so the dog could not reach her.

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@RenegadeFurther Private property is covered by the house rules. Talk with building management about what is allowed.

 

We keep a very large and extremely generous insurance policy on our big dog, but I would likely just go quickly into my own pocket on something like this if it happened. Check with the owner of the dog about their insurance. 

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2 hours ago, RenegadeFurther said:

Will continue on this thread.

 

So today my 5 year old daughter was attacked (or the dog wanted to play) by a dog. 

 

So I am not sure how to proceed here, is there a law that states in the communal garden the dog has to be on a leash.

 

Not sure what my legal rights are here?

Just to be clear, did the dog actually attack your daughter, ren? Aggressive? Trying to bite her etc? Or just being playful? I an glad your daughter is fine.


I completely agree with Alex on this. Do check if the owner has dog owner liability insurance. If they do, they are a responsible owner ( hopefully).. if they don‘t, that may suggest they have a casual attitude at best to being in charge of a dog under German „ rules.“ Not the same where we live.. but anyway..

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1 hour ago, RenegadeFurther said:

Will continue on this thread.

 

So today my 5 year old daughter was attacked (or the dog wanted to play) by a dog. 

 

So I am not sure how to proceed here, is there a law that states in the communal garden the dog has to be on a leash.

 

Not sure what my legal rights are here?

 

The dog should be leashed. Here's a court order concerning dogs in communal gardens:  http://www.animal-health-online.de/klein/2008/06/02/gericht-hund-darf-in-einem-gemeinsamen-garten-nicht-frei-umherlaufen-hundekot-unzumutbar/3428/

 

Quote

 

Karlsruhe (aho) - The Higher Regional Court (OLG) Karlsruhe has restricted the rights of dog owners. In a community garden, dogs are not allowed to run around without a leash, the judges ruled. Children and adults who are not familiar with the animal could otherwise become frightened. Even good-natured dogs are ultimately not predictable, the reasoning of the judgement states. It could not be ruled out that their hunting instinct might awaken. Furthermore, dog excrement in the garden is not reasonable, according to the OLG. According to the judgement, a dog may only enter a community garden on a leash of no more than three meters in length and accompanied by an adult person.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

 

 

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Might also be worth making a report to Police or animal control,  as well as building management?

You do not mention breed of dog, small ones can nip as well!

But, maybe there have been other complaints about the dog. If it is a communal garden area, the regulations may specify leash control.

Glad she is ok, and hope she  does not develop a fear of dogs. Any friends with a cosy, friendly small dog?!

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