How Many Dogs Can You Have in Delaware?

There is no statewide legal limit to how many dogs you can have in Delaware—but individual towns may have their own rules.
Written by Patrick Price
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Unlike most states, Delaware does not have any laws limiting the number of dogs a person can own. There may be local laws or city ordinances that limit dog ownership in just your area. 
While there are no statewide laws limiting how many dogs a person can have within a single residence in the state of
, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you're free to own as many dogs as you like. More urban areas tend to have tighter restrictions while rural areas are more relaxed. 
Even if you own your own house, there may be stipulations about pets in your mortgage agreement. For more details on dog laws in Delaware, scroll through this article—brought to you by
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Does Delaware have laws limiting how many dogs you can own?

Delaware does not have any laws limiting how many dogs you can own—at least, not on a statewide level. Each town, city, county, and local government has the right to pass its own laws regarding pet ownership. 
Densely populated areas and cities often restrict the number of dogs you can have to two or three per person per residence. So, before you run off to buy out your local pet store, check the laws in your local area. 
You should also check the terms of your lease and/or mortgage, as there’s a good chance that the number of dogs you can own is limited by the agreement parameters. 
Regardless of state/local laws, landlord rules, and mortgage restrictions, it’s important to responsibly limit how many dogs you adopt. 
There may not be any statewide restrictions on how many dogs you can have, but there are very strict federal laws about the proper care of pets—if you adopt more dogs than you can properly care for, you could end up facing some serious charges for animal abuse and/or neglect

Are there any dog breeds outlawed in Delaware?

There are no dog breeds that are outlawed in Delaware. State legislation does not contain breed-specific laws of any kind. What’s more, state law actually prohibits any local governments from passing breed-specific laws. 
In the past, many people believed that certain dog breeds were inherently violent and dangerous—which led to some states adopting bans on specific breeds. However, as outdated ideas about dog behavior are discarded in favor of more modern views, more and more states are moving away from breed-specific laws. 
K9 behaviorists and animal psychologists believe a dog's personality is influenced more by training and experience than by breed. So in order for a dog to be considered “potentially dangerous” in the state of Delaware, the Justice of the Peace Court must declare that specific animal to be dangerous.
Once declared potentially dangerous, though, no one can keep the dog—unless all of the following requirements are met: 
  • The dog is spayed/neutered
  • The dog is kept inside or in a fenced-in yard while on the owner’s property
  • The dog is kept on a tight lease and/or chain when not on the owner’s property
  • Any other requirements that the Justice of the Peace Court deems reasonable 

What are the leash laws in Delaware?

It is required by Delaware law that all dogs be kept on a leash when not on their owner’s property—or someone else’s private property with permission. 
If one or more of these exceptions are met, however, a dog is permitted to be off-leash: 
  • The dog is a working/service dog (hunting dogs, emotional support dogs, etc) 
  • The dog is in a specifically designated “off-leash” dark park or area. 

Penalties for breaking dog laws in Delaware

In the eyes of the law, the ultimate responsibility for a dog’s actions lies with the owner. If you break dog laws in Delaware, you’ll face legal consequences. If breaking a dog law results in any injuries or damages, those consequences can be very serious. 
If you are cited for letting your dog run off-leash, but no damages are caused, you’ll have to pay a fine between $25 and $100. If the dog bites someone, however, the resulting fine could be anywhere from $100 to $1,500
If the dog kills or seriously injures someone while off the leash, the consequences become even more serious. Penalties vary depending on your local municipality's ordinances and laws. In most places, though, the dog will be impounded and the owner may face criminal charges

Where to find affordable insurance in Delaware

As wonderful as they are, every dog-lover knows that K9s can also vary expensive. All sorts of expenses such as carpet cleaning, veterinarian bills, toys, and dog food add up quickly. This probably leaves you looking for places to cut back on your monthly expenses, especially if you have more than one dog. 
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