TikToker issues PSA to pet owners with 'Beware of Dog' signs

MDV Edwards/ShutterStock @kay_guzman98/TikTok (Licensed)

“Do not post a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign”: Woman issues PSA to pet owners about ‘Beware of Dog’ signs

'Let a dog being aggressive be a surprise to somebody.'


Marlin Ramos


Posted on Jul 17, 2023

The latest advice passed down from cops has gone viral on TikTok—do not post “Beware of Dog” signs on your property to avoid house break-ins. According to a Canada-based TikTok user, this sign might make you liable for any harm your dog inflicts on others, including on those who break in.

“If you’re thinking about getting a ‘beware of dog’ sign or you already have a ‘beware of dog’ sign, get rid of it,” user Kay Guzman (@kay_guzman98) urges viewers.

In the video, Guzman tells viewers about how she was considering putting up a “Beware of Dog” sign to discourage break-ins into her family’s home. However, she decided not to after advice from family members who she claims have been cops.

“If you’re worried about people coming in, better [to] be surprised that your dog is aggressive and it attacks them than to put a sign that says ‘beware of dog’ that could make you liable to any aggressive behavior your dog does,” Guzman explains.

@kay_guzman98 Or no trespassing signs! Save your ass in case something happens on accident. #notresspassing #privateproperty #bewareofdog #headsup #becareful #throwitaway #tiktok#foryoupage#fyp#foryou#viral#love#funny#memes#followme#tiktok#love#like#follow#explore#2023#meme#video#new#tiktokfamous#tiktoktrend#viralvideos#viralpost#cute#fun#happy#fashion#follow#comedy#bestvideo#tiktok4fun#thisis4u#loveyoutiktok ♬ original sound – Kay Guzman

She claims that if you put a sign warning others about your dog, it implies that you know your dog is aggressive.

“If you’re nervous about people coming into your house, get a security camera. Better yet, get private property signs,” Guzman says.

The video has received over 273,000 views and 600 comments as of Monday.

Commenters have raised questions about a number of other signs people use to deter house break-ins. For example, alternative signage recommended in the comments includes “Dog on Premise,” “Guard Dog on Duty,” or “Security Camera in use.”

These signs and a “Beware of Dog” sign might deter people from break-ins. Still, it is unclear if they will help or harm the owner by assuming liability. In the United States, laws about charges against dog bites vary from state to state, including the “one-bite rule.” The rule determines if the first bite from a dog on your property is grounds for legal action or if the owner gets a pass. 

Overall, legal experts say that determining the effectiveness of a “Beware of Dog” sign is complicated. Several factors like state laws, motives for being on the property, history of the dog, and other markers determine the impact of the liability. 

The Daily Dot has reached out to Guzman and a U.S.-based police department for comment via email.

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*First Published: Jul 17, 2023, 5:15 pm CDT