California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)
2951. Negligent Control of Attack DogDownload PDF
2951.Negligent Control of Attack Dog (Pen. Code, § 399.5)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with failing to use ordinary
care in (owning/ [or] controlling) an attack dog [in violation of Penal
Code section 399.5].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant (owned/ [or] had custody or control of) a dog
trained to ﬁght, attack, or kill;
2. The defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the
dog was vicious or dangerous;
3. The defendant failed to use ordinary care in (owning/ [or]
controlling) the dog;
4. As a result of the defendant’s failure to use ordinary care, the
dog (bit someone on two separate occasions/caused substantial
physical injury to <insert name[s] of person[s]
<Give element 5 unless alleged victim not capable of taking precautions;
see Bench Notes.>
5. <insert name[s] of person[s] allegedly attacked> took
all the precautions that a reasonable person would have taken in
the same situation.]
[If the People have proved that <insert name[s] of
person[s] allegedly attacked> (was/were) (under the age of ﬁve years/
[or] incapable of taking reasonable precautions because
<insert reason for incapacity>), then the People do not need to prove
item 5 and you do not have to ﬁnd that (he/she/they) took all the
precautions that a reasonable person would have taken in the same
Using ordinary care means using reasonable care to prevent reasonably
foreseeable harm to someone else. A person fails to use ordinary care if
he or she (does something that a reasonably careful person would not
do in the same situation/ [or] fails to do something that a reasonably
careful person would do in the same situation).
New January 2006
The court has a sua sponte duty to give an instruction deﬁning the elements of the
The ﬁrst bracketed paragraph is to be used when the victim is by law incapable of
being held to the ordinary standard of care under the law of negligence. (See
People v. Berry (1992) 1 Cal.App.4th 778, 785–786 [2 Cal.Rptr.2d 416] [children
under ﬁve are deemed incapable of negligent acts.]) If the parties agree that the
alleged victim was under ﬁve years old or incapable of taking responsible
precautions, the court may omit element 5 and not give the bracketed paragraph.
Penal Code section 399.5(c) states that “nothing in this section shall authorize the
bringing of an action pursuant to” three listed situations. If any of these defenses
are raised, give CALCRIM No. 2952, Defenses: Negligent Control of Attack Dog.
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 399.5.
•Victim Incapable of Negligence Due to Lack of Capacity. People v. Berry
(1992) 1 Cal.App.4th 778, 785–786 [2 Cal.Rptr.2d 416].
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, § 366.
CALCRIM No. 2951 VANDALISM, LOITERING, AND TRESPASS