It happens to the best of us. Our good natured dog suddenly gets a wild hair and bites the neighbor's dog or other variations of this scenario. Who is responsible? Does it matter if the biting dog was provoked? What if the dog who was bitten was illegally off leash?
State, County, and City laws vary. It is generally held that the owner of the attacking dog is responsible for the economic damages caused by their dog. Many times, provocation does not have an impact on the case. Even if your dog is on a leash and an unrestrained dog approaches provoking your dog to bite him or her, you will likely be responsible for economic damages.
As a rule, it is best to maintain constant control over your dog. In some cases, however, this can be difficult. Dog on dog bites often occur at off-leash dog parks. If you are at a dog park and either your dog or another is showing signs of aggressive behavior, it is best to leave immediately.
For specific information be sure to check your local laws.
This blog should not be construed as legal advice. For legal advice specific to your situation, please contact an attorney. The Animal Law Center can be reached at 303-322-4355 or 1-877-Pet-Law-1. Or, visit http://www.theanimallawcenter.com/