New Hampshire Dog Bite Laws: What You Need To Know

New Hampshire is one of the states in the U.S. with strict dog bite laws that hold owners responsible for their dog’s actions. It is important for dog owners and those who live with or near dogs to know these laws to prevent any legal issues in the future. In this article, we will discuss the major points of New Hampshire dog bite laws that every dog owner should take note of.

Strict Liability for Dog Owners

In New Hampshire, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries or damages caused by their dogs. This means that even if the owner was not aware that their dog had a tendency to bite or had no intention to cause harm, they can still be held liable for any injuries or damages caused by their dog. The only exception is if the person who was injured was trespassing on the owner’s property when the incident occurred.

One Bite Rule

New Hampshire does not follow the one bite rule. The one bite rule states that a dog owner is only liable for their dog’s actions if they were aware of their dog’s aggressive behavior in the past. In New Hampshire, the owner can be held liable even if their dog has no history of aggressive behavior.

Negligence of the Victim

If the victim of a dog bite was found to be negligent, the owner’s liability may be reduced or eliminated. Negligence in this context refers to acts such as teasing or provoking the dog, ignoring warnings from the owner about the dog’s behavior, or intentionally trespassing on the owner’s property.

Statute of Limitations

Victims of dog bites in New Hampshire have three years from the date of the incident to file a claim against the dog owner. If the victim is a minor, the three-year period starts on the date they turn 18.

Dog Leash Laws

New Hampshire has dog leash laws in place to protect the public from dog attacks. Dogs must be under control or on a leash no longer than six feet long when in public places. Exceptions to this rule include when the dog is in a designated off-leash area or when the dog is hunting or herding.

Reporting Dog Bites

Dog bites must be reported to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services within 24 hours. This information is collected to monitor the number and severity of dog bites in the state.


New Hampshire dog bite laws are in place to protect both the public and dogs. Dog owners should be aware of their responsibilities, and those who have been bitten by a dog should understand their legal rights. Remember that reporting dog bites and taking appropriate action is crucial in preventing future incidents. By following these laws, we can all work together to ensure the safety of our communities.

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