Tennessee Dog Law

Liability Statute

Tennessee dog owners have a duty to keep their dogs under reasonable control and not running at large. When the owner breaches that duty, he is strictly liable when a person is injured by the dog in a public place or lawfully in or on the property of another.

When a person is injured by a dog on the residential, farm, or other noncommercial property of the owner, the injured person must prove the owner knew or should have known the dog's dangerous propensities to recover.

There is no liability for a dog that is doing police or military work, or protecting someone from being attacked. There is no liability if the victim provoked the dog or if the injury occurred while the dog was securely confined in a kennel, crate, or other enclosure.

Common Law Liability

In order to recover for a dog-bite, the plaintiff must prove that the dog owner’s negligence caused the injury.

Dangerous Dog Statute

Tennessee does not have a Dangerous Dog Statute.

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