Signs like the one below are cute and all and probably even provide some sort of warning for passersby, but that's about it.

When it comes to Massachusetts law, the ubiquitous "Beware of Dog" signs, or any variation there of, do nothing to protect the owner.


Swapping your beware of dog warning, no matter how flashy it is, for alternate verbiage might be worth it.


But, people's fear of dogs is a real thing and these signs are important.

Will A "Beware of Dog" Sign Protect You From A Lawsuit in MA?

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The is answer, unfortunately, is no.

In most jurisdictions, whether you have a “Beware of Dog” sign posted or not, you will be liable for any damage to humans or property that your dog causes. In the material that follows, I’ll be talking mainly about dog bites.

There is a better way, though.

Post a “No Trespassing” sign. In Massachusetts, you will be liable for damage caused by your dog but not if you have warned people against trespassing.

Smart Sign Amazon
Smart Sign Amazon

The last time I was bit, I was jogging with my then six month old son in the stroller when a puppy boxer got loose from a neighbor and he bit my calf drawing some blood!

I certainly was not hurt to badly, but I did have to call the police to make sure the puppy was up to date on his shots.

For those who think just slappin' up a "beware of dog" sign will exempt you of future lawsuits if your dog happens to bite someone, try a "no trespassing" sign instead.

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