According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), nearly any dog can be aggressive and attack. Large dogs may get more publicity and cause fatal bites more often, but even small dogs attack. Aggressive dogs are a liability for pet owners. You can be sued if your dog bites someone and causes injuries. However, you can mitigate your risks by taking action with your dog.
Train Your Dog
Teach your canine friend how to behave in your home and on a leash. Make sure your dog understands boundaries and commands. If you have an aggressive dog, you will need to watch how you play with him or her. A class or private instruction can help you if your dog has specific behaviors that you don’t know how to handle.
Socialization of your dog will give him or her positive experiences with other people and dogs, reducing aggression. You can even teach your dog bite inhibition, so he or she understands that it is not appropriate to put his or her mouth on a person.
Supervise Your Dog
When your dog is outside, he or she should be securely controlled in a safe area or on a leash. Over 80% of the fatal attacks by dogs occur when they are unrestrained. If you do have to leave them alone while they are in a fenced in area, you will need to make sure it is secure. Not only could a dog jump over the fence; they could also dig under it to get out.
When you are in a new environment with your dog, pay close attention to them. Strangers can startle dogs and cause them to become unexpectedly aggressive. If someone approaches your dog, make sure they do so calmly and slowly. Let your dog sniff their closed hand and be sure they don’t make eye contact.
Spay or neuter your dog. This is especially important with a male dog. Almost 80% of attacks are from unneutered male dogs. Neutering will inhibit him from wanting to roam or fight with other dogs. You should make sure that your dog has proper veterinary care, especially rabies vaccinations. Give your dog plenty of time with your family and proper exercise. Dogs who are left alone and have pent up energy will be frustrated, which could lead to aggression.
If Your Dog Bites Someone
The first thing you should do if an attack does happen is to make sure the victim is safe and gets medical care immediately. Give the victim your dog’s information, especially the date of his rabies vaccination. Cooperate with the local authorities if they are involved. You may need to quarantine your dog for a period of time. If you don’t want your dog put in the community animal shelter, ask if your vet can provide appropriate confinement.
After being the victim of a dog attack, it is always wise to consult an attorney after an incident occurs. Contact W. Winston Briggs Law Firm to see how we can help you. The local laws and circumstances surrounding the attack will determine the outcome for you and the compensation you could receive for your injuries.