Dog bites are a serious injury that could lead to long-term medical issues and possibly death. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to keep your dog under control and prevent such attacks. 

In general, California Legislative Information states that a dog’s owner is liable for any situation where the dog bites or injures another person. In almost every situation where your dog is on public property, you will be liable for injuries it inflicts on others. However, there are exceptions where you may not be liable. 

Government use of dogs 

If the dog is under the command of a law enforcement officer or member of the military and the injury occurs during professional work, then the owner is not liable. For example, if an officer uses a dog to catch a suspect and the suspect suffers a bite injury, the officer nor the agency he or she works for is liable. 

Private property 

If someone suffers a dog bite when on private property and he or she is not on that property legally, then the owner is not liable. The dog bite laws only say you hold liability as the dog owner if someone is legally on your property. This is why you should post warnings about your dog so that people who may go door to door for religious, sales or other reasons will not enter your property unless you invite them. Do note that the law permits postal workers to be on your property. It is your duty to ensure your dog cannot attack a postal worker or any other person who has the right by law to be on your property, such as meter readers.