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.
What Are The 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 On Dog Biting
As regards dogs and bites, there are generally two kinds of laws in the United States; the strict liability rules and the one-bite rule.
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.
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What Steps Can You Take To Prevent Your Dog From Biting Someone?
The following are steps to prevent your dog from biting someone:
- 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.
What Happens If My Dog Bites Someone? — FAQs
Do You Have To Put Your Dog Down If It Bites Someone?
Whether or not your dog’ll be put down if it bites someone is dependent on a number of factors. And one very important factor is who it bites.
If your dog bites the vet during an examination, it could be chalked up to stress. And if they bite someone random that probably has dogs, that person might be forgiving. However, not everybody has dogs or is willing to let go of a dog bite.
Probably the second most important factor is whether or not your dog is a repeat offender. If your dog is biting for the first time, even if it’s reported, local authorities might be forgiving.
How Many Times Does A Dog Have To Bite To Be Put Down?
There is no one answer to this question as different states have different regulations for dog bite. One thing is for sure though, your dog will most likely not be put down on the first bite.
However, one of the the things that’ll be taken into consideration is how severe the bite is. If it is really severe that the victim requires serious medical attention, the dog will have to be checked by a vet who would make the ultimate call.
What Happens If I Don’t Report A Dog Bite?
If the dog is yours, you are probably putting yourself, your family and even your community at risk. Reporting the bite to your vet helps cross out any medical concerns that can create those risks.
However, if the dog isn’t yours, you might be setting yourself up for some complications, considering that you do not know the dog’s medical history.
That said, you could have a discussion with the owner of the biter and try to encourage them to report the incident themselves.
Why Are Dogs Put Down When They Bite?
Dogs that are put down when they bite are usually those that have been deemed aggressive and a danger to the public. And this is determined by their history of biting.
Why Do Dogs Die When They Bite?
A dog that died when they bit someone most probably had rabies. So, the victim should immediately go to the hospital.
That said, it is important to note that it isn’t the bite that killed the dog but the rabies infection. Whether or not a dog bites someone, it will eventually die when the rabies infection has ravaged the brain.
Can A Dog That Bites Ever Be Trusted?
Whether or not you can automatically trust a dog that bites is dependent on why they bit.
If your dog bit you in play, it is because they haven’t understood that biting is a no-no. They’ll have to be taught.
Some other times, your dog might bite because they are trying to protect you or someone/thing else they consider theirs. In this situation, while we don’t see why they should lose your trust, we do encourage that you teach them to share. Unless, of course, the person bitten is an intruder.
That said, if your dog bites unprovoked and out of aggression, you have to be cautious and take it to your vet.