Dog’s owners legal liability in Spain. Bites and road accidents.


Dear lawyer,

We have a dog. We live in a house that is not fenced. We would like to know if we would have any liability in the event that our dog run away from our house and causes any problem.

Thank you very much for your help.



Dear reader,


Thank you for your inquiry.


The answer to your question is YES. You as owner of a dog (or any other type of animal) are responsible for all kinds of damage that your animal causes.


The liability of animal owners for all damages caused by them, is expressly regulated in the Spanish civil code (Cc), in its article 1905, which reads:


“Article 1905

The possessor of an animal, or the one who uses it, is liable for the damages it causes, even if it escapes or get lost. This liability will cease only in the event that the damage arises from force majeure situation or from the fault of the person who suffered it. “


This type of responsibility is included in the chapter of the Civil Code  about the obligations arising from negligence, although the liability in these cases, does not require proof of the negligence of the animal owner, it is understood that a diligent animal owner can avoid that his /her animal causes any damage, either because it is in a safe place (fenced area), has the muzzle when it goes for a walk, etc. Therefore, whenever an animal causes damage, its owner will be liable, even if he she was not negligent.


There are many cases in which dogs and other pets owners can be held responsible for damages caused by their animals, such as:


.- Road Accidents caused by animals.

.- Damage caused by animals in other people’s property or assets.

.- Bites to other animals.

.- Bites to people.



According to the said article 1905, there are several elements of the liability of the animals owners, which must be taken into account:


1.- They will be responsible even when their dog or animal has been lost or run away, that is, if your dog get lost and bites someone, the owner will be responsible.


2.-The owner will ALWAYS be responsible, having this rule only two exceptions:


2.1.-In cases of Force Majeure, which is defined as an unpredictable extraordinary event, that could not be avoided.


2.2.-The other exception is when the accident was caused by the fault of the person who suffered the damages. This exception is more usual, for example, when someone approaches a place where there is a sign of dangerous dog, but touches the dog through the fence.



If you are in this situation, if your animal has caused any damage or if any animal has caused any damage to you, contact us and we will help you.


The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.


Carlos Baos (Lawyer)

White & Baos

Tel: +34 966 426 185


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