What happens if my dog bites someone? Well, first things first, don’t panic. If it is the first bite, you most probably won’t have to have your dog euthanized.
However, that depends on how you handle things after the bite. But before that, let us see some reasons why your dog might bite.
Reasons Some Dogs Bite
Interestingly enough, aggression is not the only reason dogs bite. For some dogs (especially dogs that were adopted), you might find out that they instinctively bite anytime anyone comes too close. This could be a remnant instinctive reaction from when they were abused.
Furthermore, a good number of dogs, irrespective of how sweet they are, could bite if they are patronized too much. So, having people they do not know constantly in their faces and talking dog talk might prove too much for them.
Some dogs will bite (or at least try to) if they feel suspicious about a person. So, it could be someone trying to sneak into your home or someone they just get a bad sense about.
Running away from a dog could also cause them to chase and bite. Then there is aggression. Some dogs are aggressive which is why they bite.
So, What To Do If My Dog Bites Someone
The most important thing to do is be empathetic. Do not, for any reason blame the victim (even if you think it was the victim’s fault). The thing is, once your dog has bitten someone, ‘the bitten’ has the right to press charges and you’ll just have to answer to that.
So, how you handle matters immediately after the bite will go a long way in informing whether the aggrieved party will sue or not. Of course, this depends or whether or whether not the aggrieved party is a good person.
You’ll need to take things a step further by offering to pay any medical costs that might be incurred (and meaning it).
The thing is that, while a good number of people won’t need medical intervention, some will and you’ll need to be prepared for that possibility.
In the event that the aggrieved party decides to call in the police, be open to whatever investigations. However, do not allow anyone be brutal with your dog. And the way to do this is by immediately containing your dog.
If your dog is still out and about panting, it is easy for the police to see them as a threat. But once you can get them out of sight, they are not so threatening anymore.
So basically, you want to be calm, open and forthcoming with the aggrieved party and whoever they decide to add to the equation.
Concerning State Laws
As regards dogs and bites, there are generally two kinds of laws in the United States. Some states apply the strict liability statue which puts the liability of a dog biting someone entirely on their owner, no questions asked.
The only time that some concessions might be made is if your dog bites an intruder. Aside that, your dog bites someone, it is entirely your fault and you’ll have to face the music.
Some other states have a one-bite rule which basically gives you the benefit of doubt. So, you are only liable if you know that there is a possibility that your dog could bite.
This kind of explains the idea behind ‘one-bite’ because if your dog has bitten someone before, that is your forewarning.
So, you’ll have to find out what laws are in place in your state whether or not your dog has bitten someone or not.
There are a number of things you can put in place to reduce your chances of asking the “what happens if my dog bites someone?” question. Nothing is exactly fool-proof but the chances can be greatly reduced.
- Make sure that your dog is always up to date with their vaccinations. This does not exactly prevent them from biting but, at least, if your dog actually bites someone you can be sure that there will be no medical complications.
- You could actually train a dog to learn that biting is not the way you greet someone.
- Seek professional help if your dog has bitten someone before. It might not be anything but you have to let a professional (your veterinarian) tell you that.
You love your dog and are attuned to them quite alright. However, veterinarians are actually trained to detect if there is anything wrong; let them.
- You could also teach the people in your home how to approach your dog(s). Try not to startle your dog, especially if they have anxiety issues.
- When you’re outside, keep your dog on a short leash. Anything could happen when your dog is overstimulated.
- If your dog is certifiably aggressive, a muzzle might be of great help.
Finally, that you are asking the “what happens if my dog bites someone?” does not mean you’re irresponsible.
In fact, you’re pretty responsible to be trying to find a solution. However, as much as is within your power, make sure that it doesn’t happen in the first place.