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If The Dog Is Provoked And It Bites, Is The Owner Responsible? February 22, 2023

A dog bite case can be a very emotional and difficult experience for victims, their families, and the dog owner. In order to determine if there is liability in a dog bite case, it’s important to understand what constitutes provocation and what kind of evidence proves it based on state law.

What Is Provocation in a Dog Bite Case?

Provocation is a defense in a dog bite case. It’s not the same as negligence, which is when you did something to make your dog more likely to attack. Personal injury lawyer in St. Albert knows that provocation means that the owner had done something or been somewhere that made their dog more aggressive.

Often the Plaintiff Must First Prove Provocation Did Not Occur

Provocation is a defense. It means the dog owner must prove that the plaintiff did not provoke their own injuries by engaging in activities that would naturally provoke an attack from their dog.For example, if you were walking your dog down the street and saw another dog running at you, then jumped into a nearby bush to avoid being bitten, this would be considered provocation for both parties because it was an attempt at self-defense.

Circumstances and the Dog’s Past Behavior Matter

Knowing the circumstances and past behavior of your dog is important when it comes to determining whether or not you are liable for an injury caused by a provoked dog. The defendant’s knowledge of the dog’s past behavior can help determine if he should be found liable for any injuries that may have occurred during an incident with another animal.

The Effect of State Law

The effect of state law on this issue depends on the exact language in your state’s dog-bite statute. In some states, the law requires that you have actual knowledge that your dog had bitten someone before you could be held liable for their injuries. This means that if someone is injured by an unknown and provoked animal—even if it was not yours—you will most likely be found guilty of causing those injuries due to negligence or malice aforethought (i.e., intent).

In other states, however, there are no requirements for knowledge and therefore no way to be legally responsible for injuries caused by your pet unless they were provoked first (which would then allow you another way out). The best thing you can do as a dog owner is learn what these laws are so that when faced with these types of situations with friends or family members who come into contact with our pets we can know how much liability we may face under each state’s statutes!


As we’ve seen, there are many different levels of liability for dog owners. While the law does have a tendency to favor the owner in cases like these, it’s clear that there are more equitable ways to handle these types of disputes. For instance, allowing victims to sue without first proving provocation may be an effective way to do away with this kind of legal loophole while still protecting property owners from frivolous lawsuits.