Dog

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DOG. A well known domestic animal. In almost all languages this word is, a term or name of contumely or reproach. See 3 Bulst. 226; 2 Mod. 260; 1 Leo. 148; and the title action on the case for defamation in the Digests; Minsheu's Dictionary.
     2. A dog is said at common law to have no intrinsic value, and he cannot therefore be the subject of larceny. 4 Bl. Com. 236; 8 Serg. & Rawle, 571. But the owner has such property in him, that he may maintain trespass for an injury to his dog; "for a man may have property in some things which are of so base nature that no felony can be committed of them, as of a bloodhound or mastiff." 12 H. VIII. 3; 18 H. VIII. 2; 7 Co. 18 a; Com. Dig. Biens, F; 2 Bl. Com. 397; Bac. Ab. Trover, D; F. N. B. 86; Bro. Trespass, pl. 407 Hob. 283; Cro. Eliz. 125; Cro. Jac. 463 2 Bl. Rep.
     3. Dogs, if dangerous animals, may lawfully be killed, when their ferocity is known to their owner, or in self-defence 13 John. R. 312; 10 John. R. 365; and when bitten by a rabid animal, a dog may be lawfully killed by any one. 13 John. R. 312.
     4. When a dog, in consequence of his vicious habits, becomes a common nuisance, the owner may be indicted. And when he commits an injury, if the owner had a knowledge of his mischievous propensity, he is liable to an action on the case. Bull. N. P. 77; 2 Str. 1264; Lord Raym. 110. 1 B. & A. 620; 4 Camp. R. 198; 2 Esp. R. 482; 4 Cowen, 351; 6 S. & R. 36; Addis. R. 215; 1 Scam. 492 23 Wend 354; 17 Wend. 496; 4 Dev. & Batt. 146.
     5. A man has a right to keep a dog to guard his premises, but not to put him at the entrance of his house, because a person coming there on lawful business may be injured by him, and this, though there may be another entrance to the house. 4 C. & P. 297; 6 C. & P. 1. But if a dog be chained, and a visitor so incautiously go near him that he is bitten, he has no right of action against the owner. 3 Chit. Bl. 154, n. 7. Vide Animal; Knowledge; Scienter.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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