I am moving out of an apartment and looking at homes for rent in my area. Several are "dog friendly" and advertize fenced-in yards, others have no fencing, and one has said it comes with invisible fencing installed.
I'm concerned about liability. My dog has never displayed aggression towards people (or other dogs unless threatened, yet has never been in an actual "fight"), and has never bitten anyone. Now, to the law and anything legal, my dog's awesome personality isn't going to do diddly-squat against someone who feels my dog was aggressive toward them or their child. As a side-note for those interested, she's a husky/Australian shepherd cross, 2 years old, 45lbs, and rather skinny and very energetic. When she plays, she often "play nips" (something I discourage) and will bat with her paws (thus can cause scratches) and doesn't know when to calm down, although when commanded, she's completely under control.
I have a bit of a hypothetical situation and this community was the closest I've found to being helpful although it won't be my first dwelling, it would be my second (I'm only 20).
If I, say, rent a house from the owner and they allow dogs but do not allow me to erect a physical fence barrier to contain my dog, under the law how much "containment" would an invisible electronic fencing system be? I'm talking under the terms I did research where electronic fencing is an underground or radio-collared fencing system that delivers a shock when the dog tries to cross the perimeter. Not my favorite thing, but my dog tangles on tie-outs and there may not be accomidations for a cable-line to tie her to.
If a child is attracted to my yard by the dog and crosses into my property (most likely unsupervised, I assume, nobody here seems to care about their kids...pftht) and my dog becomes over exuberant and scratches or nips the child, am I liable because the dog was "not contained"? I would hope kids are taught not to play with strange dogs but I want to make sure I'm covered, I do not like dealing with these situations and sadly I've heard it happen.
Also, if I clearly display "Beware of Dog" signs on the property and the child trespasses and is injured, what are my chances of being liable for this?
Does anyone in this community have any suggestions or experience with these types of things when moving with pets? I'm sure my dog is not aggressive and will not bite, but she plays rough and I would not consider her to be safe unsupervised around children (and I would watch her in the yard, obviously, not leave her there when I'm not around, but I also have roomates who may be home when I'm not and allow the dog to go out who might not supervise her as well) because of her rambunctious nature and a child's inability to control their enthusiasm sometimes... 2 + 2 = BAD in this situation.
So, sorry if it's totally off-topic, I'm already having enough problems as it is finding a nice rental house in a good neighborhood here that's affordable, much less pet friendly, and it's easier if I am at least moving prepared instead of finding myself stuck in a "dog bite" lawsuit or something later.
Thanks for any responses, I really like the idea behind this community, I hope it stays running!