Great Debate: Are ‘beware of the dog’ signs worth it?

beware of the dog

Take part to our next Great Debate: are ‘beware of the dog’ signs worth it?

For centuries, they have been used as means to discourage thieves, or warn visitors of the presence of dogs – but now, with an increasing number of thieves targeting dogs as well as the fact the Dangerous Dogs Act applies on private property, some wonder if it’s worth it.

Waldrons Solicitors explains, “In 2014, the Dangerous Dogs Act was amended to include dogs that are in private spaces as well as public. The use of dogs for guard dogs is now limited according to law changes, meaning that dog owners can be liable for the injury of people even if it bites a trespasser on their property. A defence can, however, be argued if there is an intruder inside a person’s house.”

Some are concerned that, in case an intruder is bitten and the case goes to court, the “beware of the dog” sign may be taken as an admission that the dog is dangerous. Additionally, they argue, a “beware of the dog” sign can have the opposite effect than intended – effectively telling dog thieves that a potential target is in your home.

However, others believe the sign is still worth having; not only, they say, does it discourage thieves – it is also a matter of courtesy to visitors, to warn that a dog is on the premises.

What do you think – are ‘beware of the dog’ signs worth it? Tell us what you think here, on Facebook, or by writing to


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