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dangerous dogs

Dangerous dog laws, including the dog bite law, vary from state to state, with different definitions and outcomes for owners.

In Texas, the 'dangerous dog' laws are primarily governed by the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 822, Subchapter D. A dog may be considered dangerous if it makes an unprovoked attack on a person outside of its enclosure and causes bodily injury, or if it commits unprovoked acts in a place other than its enclosure and those acts cause a person to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury. Owners of dogs deemed dangerous are required to register the dog with their local animal control authority, restrain the dog at all times on a leash or in a secure enclosure, and obtain liability insurance or show financial responsibility of at least $100,000 to cover damages from an attack. Texas does not have a statewide 'dog bite statute,' but it follows the 'one bite rule,' which means an owner may not be held liable for the first bite or attack by their dog unless the owner knew or should have known the dog had aggressive tendencies. Subsequent bites or attacks could lead to liability for the owner. Additionally, local municipalities in Texas may have their own ordinances that could impose stricter requirements on dog owners.

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