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What Are the Laws About Dangerous Dog Breeds in Georgia?

pitbull dog standing on green grass dangerous dog concept

Dogs have been man’s best friend for more than a millennia, but dogs have also been bred for hundreds of years for hunting and combat capabilities. Unfortunately, some warrior-dog instincts have yet to catch up with the peaceful nature of society today. Dogs today don’t need to growl at strangers, attack unknown dogs, or defend aggressively against unfamiliar human or animal behavior – but their instincts don’t know that yet. This is why dogs of certain fighting breeds and even normally sweet-natured dogs can sometimes be the source of a vicious and unforeseen attack.

Dog Attack Injuries in Georgia by Dangerous Dog Breeds

If you have suffered a dog bite injury or other dog-related injuries in Georgia, your injuries matter. While the dog owner may apologize for their dog immediately (or not), it’s important to know that Georgia is a strict liability state – and that in many communities, dog owners must carefully control certain dog breeds identified as violence-prone.

Call an experienced Georgia dog bite lawyer to begin the journey of recovery and compensation after your Atlanta, GA, dog bite or dog attack experience. Let’s take a closer look at the current laws about dangerous dog breeds in Georgia to determine just how responsible the dog owner must be for your injuries.

Georgia Law on Dog Bites and Dog Attack Injuries

The first thing you need to know is that Georgia is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites and other dog-related injuries. This means the dog owner is strictly liable for all personal and property damage caused by their animal – even if they had no official warning that the dog was potentially dangerous. The alternative, which you may run into in other states, is the “one bite” policy, which means a dog must prove itself to be potentially dangerous with a previous bite or overtly aggressive behavior before the owner is held liable for injuries or damage.

Because Georgia is a strict liability, it does not matter if the dog was known to be dangerous or not, the dog owner is responsible for your injury, medical bills, and emotional damage caused by the injury.

Georgia Law on Dogs Known to be Dangerous or Vicious

While Georgia dog owners are liable for injuries or damage before the first bite, their responsibility does increase if a dog is known or suspected of being a “dangerous dog” or “vicious”. These are legal terms that identify a dog that could hurt someone and a dog that has been known to attack people or other animals. Officially dangerous dogs that have previously been involved with the law must also be registered as such, and their enclosures market with warnings.

This is where local dog breed laws come into play. There are several cities and communities throughout Georgia that have defined dog breeds that are considered dangerous.  Due to Georgia’s laws on the owner’s responsibilities of dangerous dogs, these breeds are typically more restricted to remain on a leash, confined on the owner’s property, and never left alone with children.

Cities in Georgia With Dangerous Dog Breed Laws

What dog breeds are legally dangerous in Georgia?

There are eight cities and communities in Georgia that have defined potentially dangerous dog breeds and require owners of these breeds to carry greater responsibility for injuries caused by their animals. If you have been attacked in one of these Georgia cities by a dog breed legally defined as dangerous, your dog bite injury case against the dog’s owner may be stronger.

Let’s take a closer look at Georgia’s local laws on dangerous dog breeds.

1. Clarkston, GA Dog Breed Restrictions

In DeKalb County and the city of Clarkston, GA, off-leash parks are protected from potentially dangerous breeds of dogs, including Rottweilers and Pit Bull varieties. These two breeds are deemed more likely to react in anger, choose hostile behavior, and are more capable of doing grievous damage than other breeds of dog.

This law specifically relates to off-leash activity and public off-leash dog parks. Dog owners of Rottweilers or pit bulls should stick to leashed public activities and ensure their homes are safely enclosed.

2. College Park, GA Dangerous Dog Laws

  • Statute – Chapter 4 Article II Section 4-21
  • Dog Breeds Considered “Potentially Dangerous Dogs”
    • Pitbulls
    • American Pitbull Terriers
    • American Staffordshire Terriers
    • Staffordshire Bull Terriers
    • Rottweilers
    • Dobermans
    • German Shepherds
  • Enclosure, leash, and warning sign requirements
  • Yearly registration

In College Park, Georgia, a large section of dog breeds is designated as “potentially dangerous dogs”.

A potentially dangerous dog, legally, is a dog that might attack a person or other animal at any time, without provocation or previous bad behavior. If a dog attacks someone, it can legally be deemed a potentially dangerous, dangerous, or vicious dog. However, dog breeds including pitbull and terrier varieties, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and German shepherds, must be treated as potentially dangerous without an existing court order.

Potentially dangerous dogs must be kept properly enclosed on the property, walked and aptly controlled on a leash, and must have warning signs conspicuously placed around the dog’s enclosure.

3. Dawson, GA Law on Potentially Dangerous Dogs

  • Statute: Chapter 4 Article VII Sec 4-76
  • Defines the Pit Bull family of dog breeds as “Potentially dangerous Dogs”
    • American Pit Bulls
    • Pit Bull Terriers
    • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
    • American Staffordshire Terrier
    • Or any dogs significantly representing these characteristics
  • Leash, enclosure, and warning requirements
  • Yearly registration

In Dawson, Georgia, owners of any recognizable pit bull dog variety must behave as if their animal is potentially dangerous. This means leashing, safe and regulation-compliant enclosures with tall-enough fences, and posting warning signs around the dog’s enclosure. Don’t forget to register your pit bull every year if you live in Dawson, GA city limits.

4. Lafayette, GA Dog Breeds Considered Potentially Dangerous

  • Statute: Chapter 5 Article III Sec 5-43
  • Any dog that is significantly Rottweiler, Chow, or Pit Bull Terrier is considered a potentially dangerous animal
    • Rottweilers
    • Chows
    • Pit Bull Terriers
    • Staffordshire Bull Terriers
    • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • Must be at home and safely enclosed at all times,
  • not allowed in public places except for transport to and from the vet

Lafayette, Georgia defines potentially dangerous dogs as including three distinct breeds. Rottweiler dogs, Choses, and any significant blend of Pit Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Terrier require owners to register the animal as potentially dangerous, enclose it at home, leash it in public, and limit the dog’s exposure to public places unless going to or from the vet.

5. Lyons, GA Dog Breed Law

  • Statute: Chapter 10 Article 0 Sec 10-1
  • Any significantly Pit Bull Terrier dog will be considered legally vicious
    • American Pit Bull Terrier
    • Staffordshire Terrier
    • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Statute: Chapter 10 Article III Sec 10-76
  • Owners of vicious dogs are required to register them regularly, post warnings, and must carry liability insurance.

In Lyons, GA, any Pit Bull variety or dog that is significantly pit bull is considered potentially vicious. This means dangerous and ready to attack. Pit bull owners must register their dogs regularly and clearly post warning signs about the dark around their enclosure.

6. Marietta, GA Dangerous Dog Breed Restrictions

  • Statute: Part 10 Sec 10-4-200
  • Dogs not allowed in dog parks or off-leash areas
    • Pit Bull breeds
    • Rottweiler breeds

In Cobb County, the city of Marietta, Georgia bans pit bulls and Rottweilers from entering public dog parks or off-leash areas. Therefore, pit bull dogs should be kept on leashes when outside the home or enclosure at all times.

7. Trenton, GA Law on Potentially Vicious Dogs

Statute: Chapter 10 Sec 14-18

Trenton used to have a statute defining pit bulls, Rottweilers, and chow chows as potentially vicious animals. However, this definition has since been repealed.

8. West Point, GA Vicious Dog Breed Law

  • Statute: Chapter 4 Article IV Division 1 Sec 4-76
  • Potential Vicious Dog Breeds Include
    • Pit Bulls
      • American Pit Bull
      • Bull Terrier
      • Staffordshire Terrier
      • Presa Canario
    • Rottweilers
    • Chow Chows
    • Doberman Pinschers
    • German Shepherds
    • Wolf Hybrids
  • Always adequately enclosed or leashed and under control.

In West Point, Georgia, several dog breeds have been identified as potentially vicious – meaning capable of doing sudden and grievous harm without warning. Dogs of these breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, Dobermans, and German Shepherds, must all be kept properly enclosed on the owner’s property or both leashed and under control when not enclosed.

What to Do if You are Attacked by a Dangerous Dog in Georgia

Dangerous dog breeds are defined to help owners keep others safe from their dogs. These dog breeds are deemed more likely to attack, even without provocation or a history of violence. By making these definitions and safety guidelines clear, the law also places a greater responsibility on these dog owners to keep others safe.

If you have been attacked and injured by a legally dangerous dog breed, you will be able to build a stronger personal injury case regarding the owner’s responsibility, negligence, and liability for your recovery expenses. Don’t let a dog bite or dog attack leave you injured and without coverage for medical bills. Georgia Injury Lawyer can help.

As soon as your doctor has seen you, contact Georgia Injury Lawyer to discuss legal protections and options available to you after a dangerous dog breed attack.

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