Laws for Large Breed Dogs: New Jersey

Are you a proud owner of a large dog?

On May 11, 2015 the Responsible Dog Ownership Act was introduced in New Jersey by Democrat assembly members.

The bill would require fences for large dog breeds to be at least eight feet tall, and sets forth stricter rules for the leashing of larger dogs. The idea is not to discriminate against larger dogs, but to be realistic about the greater threat they have historically posed to public safety.


The bill is in response to two particularly violent New Jersey dog bite accidents in 2014, one of which killed a 13 year old boy. In 2014, 40 percent of dog attacks which resulted in fatalities were caused by dogs which had gotten loose. If the Act is passed, dog owners who do not adhere to the new rules would be liable not only under this new act, but would also face penalties under the existing Endangering Welfare of Children Act.
As far as determining what dogs are considered large breeds, the New Jersey State Department of Health would be tasked with deciding the ultimate details including: the exact size of dog the law would pertain to; the exact fence height needed for containing large dogs; and the requirements for leashing the dogs when they are not on their owners’ properties.
OG Post by: Eric A. Shore