How to Protect Your Dog and Yourself from Liability

How to Protect Your Dog and Yourself from Liability

Chihuahua Bite Rope Small Dog Dog Puppy Ba

MuttShack Foundation for Animal Foster and Rescue, claim that dogs bite more than 4.7 million people every year in the United States.

The blame may be the dog’s, the owner’s, or the victim’s. But the person who always pays, is the owner. The owner of the dog becomes responsible for paying for the medical bills, time lost from work as well as pain and suffering. The person who suffers most, is the dog that’s abandoned in a shelter or disposed of.

Dog owners should assume more than their share of the responsibility for protecting people and other animals from their own dogs, and also assume the responsibility to protect their dogs from individuals. Kids will run as much as a dog screaming in delight and frighten the dog. A dog in his enthusiasm to greet someone may jump up and scratch her or him. A passer-by may approach a dog harshly or provoke him. Neighborhood kids may let the dogs out just to have some fun.

There’s absolutely not any way to guarantee that your dog will never bite someone. But you can significantly reduce the risk:

This important and routine procedure will reduce your dog’s desire to roam and fight with other dogs, making safe confinement an easier task. Spayed or neutered dogs are not as likely to bite.

o Socialize your dog. Introduce your dog to many different kinds of people and situations so that he or she is not nervous or frightened under normal social circumstances.

O Train your dog. Accompanying your dog to a training class is an excellent way to socialize him and to learn proper training methods. Every member of your household should learn the training techniques and participate in your dog’s education. Never send your dog away to be trained; only you can teach your dog how to behave in your property. Note that training courses are a terrific investment even for seasoned dog caregivers.

O Be alert with your dog around kids. Rambunctious play may startle your dog, and he may respond by biting or snapping. Neighborhood children may be attracted to your dog, so be sure you get a child-proof lock onto your gate and there is no way for small hands to get through the fence.

o Teach your dog appropriate behavior. Never teach your dog to chase after or assault others, even in fun. Your dog can’t always understand the difference between play and real-life scenarios. Set appropriate limits for your dog’s behaviour.

Don’t await an accident.

The first time he exhibits dangerous behavior toward any individual, seek professional help from your veterinarian, an animal behaviorist, or a qualified dog trainer. Dangerous behavior toward other animals may eventually lead to dangerous behavior toward people, and it’s also a reason to seek expert help.

O Be a responsible dog owner. For everyone’s safety, do not allow your dog to roam alone. Make your dog a member of your family. Dogs who spend a whole lot of time alone in the backyard or tied to a chain often become dangerous. Dogs who are well socialized and supervised are much less likely to bite.

o Stay on the safe side. If you don’t know how your dog will react to a new situation, be careful. If your dog may panic in crowds, leave him at home. If your dog overreacts to visitors or delivery or service personnel, keep him in another room. Work with professionals to help your dog become accustomed to these and other scenarios. Until you are confident of his behavior, however, avoid stressful settings.

I thought you said your dog doesn’t bite? “That’s not my puppy”… says Peter Sellers.

Seriously, if your dog bites someone, act responsibly; consider these steps to mitigate the injury:

o Confine your dog immediately and check on the victim’s condition. If necessary, seek medical assistance.

O Provide the victim with important information, such as the date of your dog’s last rabies vaccination.

Strictly follow quarantine requirements for your dog.

O Seek professional help to prevent your dog from biting again. Consult with your vet, who may refer you to an animal behaviorist or a dog trainer. Your community animal care and control agency or humane society may also offer helpful services.

If you need to let your dog go, don’t drop him off in a shelter, where he will only be given a few days to live. Take the opportunity to find him a new family. To do this there’s a training and support network called MuttShack, at, that will teach you how to re-home your pet.

O If your dog’s dangerous behavior can’t be controlled, and you have to make the painful decision to give him up, do not give him to someone else without carefully evaluating that person’s ability to protect your dog and prevent him from biting. Because you know your dog is dangerous, you might be held responsible for any damage he does even when he is given to someone else.

o Never give your dog to someone who wants a dangerous dog. “Mean” dogs are often forced to live miserable, isolated lives, and become even more likely to attack someone in the future. If you must give up your dog due to dangerous behavior, consult with your veterinarian and with your local animal care and control agency or humane society about your options. Be safe, be responsible and most importantly, teach your dog to be a good canine citizen.

O Your dog lives to make you happy. If he understands what you need from him, he will make you proud.

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