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While Ohio doesn’t have a statewide limit on how many dogs you can own, individual municipalities may have provisions on dog ownership, including leash laws, kennel laws, and dogs deemed “dangerous”.
As avid dog lovers know, you can never have too many dogs—and the state of Ohio seems to agree. As long as you can provide for your canine companions and keep them safe and healthy, Ohio state law does not restrict the number of dogs you can own.
However, certain municipalities may have their own laws on leashes, kennels, and breed-specific legislation.
Here to give you the rundown on dog ownership laws in Ohio is Jerry, the home insurance and super app! In this article, we’ll go over ownership restrictions, leash laws, and penalties for breaking them in the Buckeye State.
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Does Ohio have laws limiting how many dogs you can own?
Ohio does not have a statewide limit on the number of dogs you can own, but certain municipalities may have specific provisions for dog ownership.
For example, the city of Montgomery doesn't restrict the number of dogs you can own, but residents are not allowed to maintain a kennel for more than three dogs for overnight purposes. A kennel refers to an accessory building that’s separate from the main dwelling.
Similarly, the city of Akron defines kennels as packs of more than four dogs, requiring all kennels on the property to obtain a license. In general, dog ownership laws in Ohio depend on the city, the type of dog, and whether or not it’s considered a “dangerous dog”.
Are there any dog breeds outlawed in Ohio?
Certain cities in Northeast Ohio have Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) around certain breeds of dogs, including pit bulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, and American bulldogs. You can check if your city bans any of these breeds on the BSL Census map.
Some cities may only ban dogs of certain breeds that are deemed “dangerous”. The state itself has provisions for “dangerous dogs”, which section 955:11 of Ohio’s legislation defines as any dog that has:
- Attacked or injured any person or animal unprovoked
- Done harm or injury to any person or animal
- Done damage to another’s personal property
Dogs that are deemed “dangerous” are not illegal in Ohio but may be subject to different leash, kennel, and breed legislation in certain municipalities.
What are the leash laws in Ohio?
Any dog can perform a Houdini-esque escape attempt when they smell something interesting. But what are the laws around leashing in Ohio?
Leash laws in Ohio may vary by city. There are also specific regulations around dogs deemed dangerous. In general, Ohio leash laws require that dogs must be:
- Physically restrained by their owner while walking in public spaces, except in designated dog parks
- Physically restrained by leash or fence while on private property
- Restrained by a suitable leash or collar that fits and is secure
These restrictions don’t apply to dogs that are out hunting with their owners.
Kennel and leash laws are meant to keep residents safe and unperturbed by noise and odor. Breaking these laws can result in consequences for you and your dogs.
Penalties for breaking dog laws in Ohio
As with any violation of the law, the penalties for breaking dog ownership laws in Ohio depend on the severity of the violation.
First offenses will generally result in a fine, with the amount of money owed increasing with every offense. Consistent offenses may result in seizure or impoundment of the dog as well as a hefty fine. In instances of dogs injuring people or causing damage to property, the owner is liable for all medical or property expenses.
In the extreme case of injury or death, the state may require the dog to be put down. Otherwise, the owner must abide by “dangerous dog” regulations.
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