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guard dog

A dog kept specifically for the purpose of protecting people, property, or someone who is guarding people or property. Under the Guard Dogs Act 1975 it is a summary offence punishable by fine to use a guard dog, or to allow its use, unless either it is secured and cannot roam the premises freely or a handler is controlling it. The Act does not, however, affect civil liability for injuries or damage caused by the dog, which depends on the law of tort (see *classification of animals). In some cases the owner may be criminally liable for injury caused by a guard dog; for example, if it kills someone, the owner may be guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence or of constructive *manslaughter.

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