Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter IV. Commercial Guard Dogs.


§ 8–1841.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “commercial guard dog” means any dog trained to guard, protect, patrol, or defend any commercial premises.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 401, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.02. License; immunizations.

(a) All commercial guard dogs shall have a valid commercial guard dog license issued pursuant to District law. Upon issuance of a license, the Mayor shall issue a fluorescent guard dog identification tag, or such other tag as the Mayor determines appropriate, to be affixed to the collar or harness of the commercial guard dog to indicate the dog is a commercial guard dog.

(b) All commercial guard dogs shall be immunized against rabies and distemper pursuant to District law, and a current and valid certificate of these immunizations shall be retained on file by the owner of the commercial guard dog.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 402, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.03. Health.

(a) All commercial guard dogs shall undergo an annual examination by a licensed veterinarian for the purpose of determining whether or not the animal is healthy and fit to work as a commercial guard dog. Upon a determination by a licensed veterinarian that a commercial guard dog is unfit to work, the dog shall not be used to guard, protect, patrol, or defend any commercial premises until the dog is re-examined by the veterinarian. Upon a determination by a licensed veterinarian that a commercial guard dog is permanently unfit to work, the dog shall be immediately retired.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any individual, business, or entity to cause, allow, use, or train commercial guard dogs that have undergone the surgical procedure of ventricular cordectomy.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 403, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.04. Insurance requirements.

An individual, business, or entity that utilizes a commercial guard dog shall maintain a general liability insurance policy for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage of not less than $50,000 to insure against liability resulting from acts of the animal performed while on guard duty.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 404, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.05. Notification requirements.

An individual, business, or entity that utilizes a commercial guard dog shall notify the Mayor, in writing, as to the presence of the animal and shall provide contact information for the entity responsible for the animal and a 24-hour emergency telephone number.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 405, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.06. Signage.

An individual, business, or entity that utilizes a commercial guard dog shall post a sign in plain view alerting the public to the presence of a commercial guard dog and shall include the name of the entity responsible for the animal and a 24-hour emergency telephone.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 406, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.07. Care of animal.

A commercial guard dog shall not be maintained on any premises unless the dog is provided:

(1) Full access to an enclosed shelter sufficient to protect the dog from wind, rain, excessive heat or cold, and disease; and

(2) Continuous access to sufficient food and water.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 407, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.08. Violation and penalty.

Any person found guilty of violating this subchapter shall be subject to a penalty of $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 408, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.09. Rules.

The Mayor shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this subchapter.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 409, 55 DCR 9186; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 65, 59 DCR 6190.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 substituted “this subchapter” for “this section.”