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Delaware Dog Law


Liability Statute

In Delaware, a dog owner is liable in damages for injury or death caused by the owner’s dog, unless the victim was committing or attempted to commit a trespass or other criminal offense on the owner’s property at the time of the injury, or unless the victim was attempting to commit a crime against any person, or unless the victim was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog at the time of the injury.

Dangerous Dog Statute

Delaware does not have a Dangerous Dog Statute that addresses an owner’s liability for injuries a dog may inflict on a person. Delaware does, however, have a statute that sets forth certain legal duties of dangerous dog owners. Under this statute, after Delaware officials declare a dog to be dangerous, the owner must

  • maintain liability insurance of at least $100,000 to cover any damage or injury caused by the dog;
  • confine the dog when it’s on the owner’s property;
  • properly muzzle and restrain the dog when it’s off the owner’s property
  • display a sign warning that a dangerous dog is on the premises. The sign must be visible and legible from the roadway or 100 feet, whichever is less
  • Spay or neuter the dog
  • immediately notify the local animal control agency when the dog is loose or unconfined, when it attacks a person or another domestic animal, when the owner moves, and when the dog dies.

Violations of this statute carry penalties ranging from $50 to $2,000.

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Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.

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