Dog Bite Law: What is Pennsylvania’s Dog Confinement Statute?

We all love our dogs. I know mine means the world to me. However, not all dogs are properly trained, nor are all dog owners responsible, which could lead to liability for a dog owner should the dog cause harm to another. If you have been injured by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Additionally, it is important for victims to understand that this does not mean just dog bites. It means injury by a dog.

Does Pennsylvania have a leash law, or otherwise known as a confinement statute? Yes, Pennsylvania has a confinement statute, formally known as 3 Pa. Stat. §459-303. So what exactly does confinement of a dog mean? What all measures must a dog owner take to protect others from injury from the dog?

Essentially, Pennsylvania’s confinement statute provides three elements of confinement/control that dog owners must exercise over their dog. They are:

  1. The dog must be confined at all times on the owner’s premises;
  2. The dog must be firmly secured with a collar and chain so it cannot stray off the premises;
  3. The dog owner must exercise reasonable control by some person with reference to hunting, exhibition, performance, training, and other dog related events.

Failure for a dog owner to comply with these three elements of the Pennsylvania dog confinement statute will bring liability on the dog owner should the dog harm another person.

If you have suffered a dog bite or been injured by a dog, contact Mooney Law for a free consultation and case evaluation. You may be entitled to just more than medical bills being paid. You may be entitled to compensation. Call us today at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656 for your free consultation. You can also email us at to request your free consultation. Finally, you can visit our website and complete the Schedule a Consultation form.

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.