You love your dog, and your dog no doubt loves you back. As such, you likely have trained your dog to act calmly around strangers, but there may be times your pet feels intimidated or protective and he lashes out. Somebody approaching you and your dog should know to exercise caution, but in the event your dog bites somebody and causes injury you will need to take measures to protect yourself and your pet. The idea that the police or animal control could come for your dog is unnerving, but if you know what to do if your dog attacks another person you may be able to find a resolution that satisfies everybody involved.
Why would your dog bite another person? Regardless of whether or not your dog’s breed is considered aggressive, the risk of an attack is always there. Your dog may snap at somebody as a warning if he suspects danger, or bite as a signal to be left alone because he is in pain. Your dog may also be trying to establish dominance, which is understandable if a person strange to him comes into your yard or home.
In the event your dog bites another person – a visitor, friend, or relative – the first thing you want to do is assure that person that your dog’s shots are up to date. assess the injury. Check for broken skin and bruising, but don’t make light of the injury, and do not become defensive. You should apologize for your dog’s actions, but you want to be careful not to do or say anything to aggravate the bit victim.
If the person requires more medical attention than you can provide, offer to drive them to the emergency room. This is important, especially if your insurance covers your dog – you can provide the necessary information while your friend is being treated. Doing these things, including paying for the emergency room stop if you are not insured, can make a good impression on the dog bite victim. Show compassion and a willingness to help, and the victim may not consider taking legal action.
All the same, you will want to protect yourself and your dog. Once the bite victim is taken care of, look into ways you can prevent future attacks. Consider an obedience school or a device that will keep your dog at a distance when people approach your property. If there were witnesses to the attack, get contact information in the event the victim does call a lawyer. You will want to follow up with the injured party and stay informed of his/her condition. Be careful what you say regarding your dog, however, because you don’t want your words to come back and haunt you.
If you are insured and offered the information in the emergency room, you should contact your insurer and let them know what happened. If you suspect problems with the victim, it’s also a good idea to seek the advice of an attorney who knows personal injury law. He/she can counsel you with regards to your rights in the event the victim calls the police.
Above all else, remain level-handed and assist the victim’s injury. Depending on the situation and severity of the bite, your friend may be willing to let everything slide. Show that you care, and you can help yourself and your dog.