guard dog

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A dog kept specifically for the purpose of protecting people and/or property. Under the Guard Dogs Act 1975 it is a summary offence punishable by fine to use a guard dog, or to allow its use, unless either it is secured and cannot roam the premises freely or a handler is controlling it. The Act does not, however, affect civil liability for injuries or damage caused by the dog, which depends on the law of tort (see animals). In some cases the owner may be criminally liable for injury caused by a guard dog; for example, if it kills someone, the owner may be guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence or of constructive manslaughter. See also dangerous animals.

Subjects: Law.

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