Understanding Dog Leash Laws & Aggressive Dogs

Many pet owners tend to forget that their family dog is still a dog, and therefore needs to be restrained by a leash. Failing to put a dog on a leash can lead to a number of health risks, including potentially serious injuries to neighbors and strangers, and injury to the dog itself. Continue reading to learn more about dog leash laws.

Leash Requirements

According to the Municipal Code, all pet owners must keep and maintain their animals under leash restraint if outside of an unfenced portion of the owner’s property. Municipal Code also maintains that pet owners must attempt to restrain the animal if it jumps on, threatens, or bites another individual outside of the owner’s property line.

Fines and Penalties

Pet owners who fail to adhere to these guidelines may be fined up to 300 dollars. However, any violation that results in severe injury or death to another individual may result in a fine of between 1,000 and 10,000 dollars, and may also require the pet owner to pay restitution to the victim. Additionally, pet owners may be fined between 300 and 1,000 dollars for physical damages which occur on another individual’s property.

Steps You Can Take

If you have been bitten or otherwise hurt by a dog, the owner may be required to provide you with certain compensatory damages. It is important to seek the advice of a qualified personal injury attorney or dog bite lawyer if you or a loved one has been injured by an unleashed dog in order to prove your case. You may be eligible for damages if you and your attorney can prove that the injury was caused by the dog, the defendant is the legal owner of the dog, the dog was not provoked, and that you were legally allowed to be in the location where the injury took place.

A Look at Some of the Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

Dog bites are extremely common among Austin residents and account for millions of personal injury accidents each year. In fact, studies show that nearly five million individuals are affected by dog bites in the United States on an annual basis—thousands of which live in the Austin area alone. While an experienced dog bite lawyer can defend your case in the event of injury, it is important to educate yourself on the most aggressive types of dogs in order to reduce your risk for a personal injury.


The Chow is notorious for being a one-person dog, meaning that they are extremely protective over their owner and will often bite strangers without warning. Chows require intense discipline from the start in order to break these habits and control their ferociousness.

Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer is a very dominant breed. As with the Chow, Giant Schnauzers will usually challenge strangers who come close to their owner, causing potentially serious injuries.

Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniels may not seem aggressive, but they often suffer from a genetic disease known as rage syndrome, which leads to spontaneous acts of violence against family members rather than strangers.

Llasa Apso

The Llasa Apso is a large-sized dog known for being impatient around children. This often leads to serious problems, as children tend to approach unknown dogs without thinking about the consequences.

Old English Sheepdog

It’s no real surprise that the Old English Sheepdog is protective of their owners, especially considering that they were originally bred to show dominance in order to successfully herd sheep and other farm animals. For this reason, Old English Sheepdogs may become aggressive if another individual gets too close to their owner.

Dog Owner Behavior That Breeds Aggressive Dogs

States and municipalities are increasingly adopting laws that assign dog owners full legal responsibility for their dog’s behavior. In strict liability situations, victims of any personal injury inflicted by a dog, including dog bites, are entitled to legal compensation by the animal’s owner. As this article explains, many dog owners inadvertently encourage aggressive behavior in their pets.

Insufficient Exercise

According to Cesar Milan of the National Geographic show “Cesar’s Way,” a lack of adequate exercise is at the root of most behavioral problems exhibited by aggressive dogs. As with humans, exercise allows animals to burn off excess energy and maintain a state of psychological well-being. Without sufficient exercise, dogs can become restless, frustrated, and aggressive.

Owner Permissiveness

The best pet owners establish boundaries, rules, and limitations in their puppy’s earliest developmental stages. Before purchasing or adopting a dog, owners must perform due diligence to research their breed. For example, to control a naturally strong and powerful dog such as a pit bull, Rottweiler, or Mastiff, an owner must step into the role of a dog’s “pack leader.” That means earning your dog’s trust, loyalty, and respect before your pet will consider you to be stronger and abide by your rules for good behavior.

Learned Aggression

If an owner fails to step into the “pack leader” role, a dog will adopt that role himself. If he senses a threat to his “pack” from an outsider, he may attack or bite—regardless of whether the outsider is a small child, a friend, or a relative. When the dog is naturally strong and powerful, the situation can escalate into a serious threat in a matter of seconds.