What to Do When Your Dog Bites Someone

Updated on January 2, 2018
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian in Brazil. He also trains dogs, mostly large breeds, and those that suffer from aggression problems.

Out of a total of about 4.5 million incidents of dogs biting per year, there are more than 350,000 that end up in US emergency rooms.

Only a small percentage of those bitten sue the dog's owner, but do you want to be one of the few who loses your dog, loses a home, or even goes to jail as a result of a dog bite?

Not all bites are the same.
Not all bites are the same. | Source

Why Do Dogs Bite?

  • Some dogs bite because they have been trained by their owners to be aggressive, and the owner may not even be aware he is teaching this behavior.
  • Some dogs bite because of previous incidents of maltreatment, like being subjected to misguided “trainers” practicing alpha rolls, being sprayed in the face with a water bottle, or maybe having been slapped with a rolled-up newspaper.
  • Some dogs bite because they feel trapped by a human's inappropriate attempt at affection.

It doesn’t matter why he does it, though, because if your dog ends up biting someone, you are in for a lot of headaches.

Some dogs only bite once
Some dogs only bite once | Source

If Your Dog Bites Someone, Here's What You Should Do:

1. Take him to a kennel or crate and lock him up, immediately. I have read numerous accounts of people who have lost their dog when the police showed up to investigate. Police might shoot the dog on sight or might haul him off to an animal shelter. But if you take your dog and lock him up in your house, it's less likely that the police will open fire. (This is not what the lawyers recommend, of course, but they are not concerned about your dog´s welfare.)

2. Talk to the person who was bitten and tell them that you will cover all their expenses. Have a first aid kit on hand and offer it to them. If they want to go to an emergency room, offer to drive. Do NOT tell them it was your dog's fault.

3. After you put the dog in the house and do what you can for the person who was bitten, call your insurance company. (Of course you should have homeowners insurance that covers your dog. If you do not, and you are sued, you could lose it all. If you own a dog that others consider vicious, you will have to pay more and will have trouble finding a carrier. The insurance company might not want to continue providing coverage after the first bite, but at least you'll be protected for that first incident.)

4. Make an appointment to see your veterinarian and tell them you need a referral to see an animal behaviorist who deals with dog aggression. Even if your dog bit because he was trapped and being abused, his actions are still not normal and need to be addressed.

5. If the police show up, just tell them the situation is being dealt with. You do not need to let them into your house without a warrant and do not need to surrender your dog. If they continue to harass you, tell them to call your lawyer. If the police become involved you will need a lawyer.

(Police and animal control officers hate this part of the article. They cannot bust into your home if they do not have a warrant. I have heard hundreds of people tell me stories about not being able to get their dogs back, and the dogs end up dead. Dog lives matter.)

6. Purchase a muzzle for your dog so that if you are ordered to buy a muzzle, you will already have one.

Q: What Is a One Bite Rule?

A: Some states have a rule that says that the dog owner will be held strictly liable for injuries caused by the animal only if the owner knew (or should have known) about the animal's dangerous or vicious propensities. In other words, if the dog bit before, then the owner is responsible.

Other Things You Need to Know

  • Some articles make claims about which breeds are more likely to bite, but these articles are full of misinformation, and articles that scare people are part of the problem. Any dog has the potential to bite, but larger breeds can do a lot more damage. A visitor might laugh off a ferocious little Chihuahua but get really upset if your Rottweiler growls at them.
  • A word of warning: some states have a “one-bite” rule and allow a dog one free bite before it is determined he is aggressive. If your dog has already bitten someone in one of those states, or if you have been stupid enough to train your dog to be aggressive, the penalties are going to be a lot harsher.
  • Even if you have the mildest, most mellow old dog that would never bite anyone, you should make sure you have a secure place to put him in the house, have an insurance policy that covers him, and make sure you know of a lawyer you can work with if a bite occurs.
  • Sometimes, bites happen to the nicest dogs. People can do the most annoying things, and sometimes it is just more than even the best dog can bear.
  • Protect your dog's life. After all, she is always there to protect yours.


Questions & Answers

  • My one-year-old dog bit my nine-year-old cousin yesterday, requiring him to have stitches. My dog has never been mean, and didn’t show any warning signs before the bite. He was happy and playing. Any idea on what might’ve happened?

    There are a lot of possibilities. Dogs are often scolded when they growl, so they are less likely to growl and warn before they bite. They still try to warn, but a nine-year-old probably did not see anything going on.

    It is possible that the child was playing too rough, touched a part of the dog that was painful or sensitive, and of course, it is just possible that the dog got too worked up and bit like he would another dog. Kids can be very fragile, so he may not have even meant to bite so hard.

    The first thing I would do, if this were my dog, is to take him to his regular vet and have a thorough exam. He may have a painful bladder, early arthritic pain (joint degeneration), or something else that the vet picks up. If your vet does not find anything, and you are in a city that has a behaviorist, it would be a good idea to have a consultation.

    If your dog were to bite again, the victim might win if they chose to sue you.

  • My dog nipped someone while he was on leash. Am I responsible?

    Yes, but the potential penalties vary state to state. If the person has medical expenses, you should pay. You should also consider consulting a lawyer before they sue.

  • My dog's on house quarantine since she bit, and I can not find the rabies records. She is an inside dog and it was the first time she got out. After quarantine can I get a blood test, or should I just get her shots?

    You should just update her rabies vaccine since you do not have any proof of the last vaccination and the titer will not protect your dog from the legal system.

  • My half Akita shepherd bit the Veterinarian when he came out to administer a rabies shot. He grew impatient, picked the dog up from behind and slammed him into the dirt. No wonder the dog bit. What can I do?

    It is unlikely a vet is going to try and sue you over a dog bite, and even less likely that you will be able to sue him for animal abuse. If you do not hear from him again, that is probably for the best. If your dog is aggressive with everyone, I'd consult an animal behaviorist, and get another vet next time your dog needs a rabies vaccination.

  • My 8 month puppy nipped an 11 year old who made a rapid movement in our home. What will happen?

    It depends on where you live and who the child is. You did not explain if he is family, if he is a child of friends, if he is just a neighbor, etc. I explained in the article what you can try to do, but if the parents are interested in suing you should consult a lawyer now before they start their suit.

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    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      17 hours ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      RM, why does he feel so protective of you? Does he believe that he is in charge and feels like he needs to protect you? If this were my dog, I would want to start with obedience classes so that he will start to obey me. As soon as a visitor comes over, tell him "down". Make him stay that way until the person has been around for a while, sitting down, drinking coffee, etc.

      If you are still having problems after the obedience training, you need to take him to see an animal behaviorist. Your vet can refer you to someone local.

    • profile image

      R. M 

      24 hours ago

      my dog is a maltese and very sweet, he never bites, only when im around. he is extremely protective of me. what can i do to make him used to other people touching or hugging me and entering my space???

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 days ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Kris, it depends on the state or locale where you live, but yes, you and the dog are still responsible. I even read an article by a home security expert last night that recommended not putting up "beware of dog" signs since if the thief is bitten he can say that you knew you were keeping dangerous dogs.

    • profile image

      Kris 

      4 days ago

      If someone enters my home knowing I have a dog that made bite them and they get bit requiring stitches am I responsible and what could happen to my dog after all it was inside her home

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 days ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      It depends on what state you are in, but since she had to go to the hospital this will be reported to animal control. The dogs will most likely be taken away from you to quarantine, and rabies vaccinations status will have to be proven to get the dogs back. In some states they will be declared dangerous dogs, and if a bite happens again the dogs will be taken away and euthanized.

      If your niece lives with you, seriously consider whether you should allow the new dog to be in your house. You may be setting yourself up for a lot of heartache.

    • profile image

      Ash 

      7 days ago

      My niece just got a rescue pit bull who is two. She was over bread and malnurished. We have another dog and also two cats in the home. But she for some reason went after our dog and had a hold of his mouth. She caused a lot of bleeding and he tried to protect himself. But one person got bit trying to break them up. And had to go to the hospital. Why and what will happen to the dogs now?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Agent, unless that person is a licensed dog sitter, and has insurance to cover this, you are responsible. Can your dog get into trouble for this? Certainly. If the person who was bitten received medical care, offer to pay the expenses. That may help.

      If the person is still angry and wants to sue, you really need to consult a local lawyer ASAP.

    • profile image

      AgentProvcatuer 

      3 weeks ago

      Our dog bit someone while we were on vacation, and someone else was caring for him. He is 9, and has never done anything like that! Are we responsible, or would the caretaker be?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Lisa, go to this site and see if you can find information that will help you and your dog. https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/

      You might have to get a lawyer involved.

    • profile image

      Lisa Azzano 

      3 months ago

      I live in Lake County, IL. Animal control will not release any information that medically my dog bit this person. They are saying I must surrender my dog for 10 days because his rabies shot expired on 3/14/18. Don't I have a right to receive proof before I surrender my dog ?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      He is trying to keep your dog at his own home? As far as I know he has no legal right to do so in any state. Tell him to get a court order. If he does not you should not release your dog to him. (He could take your dog to a vet, tell them that the dog belonged to him and request that the dog be euthanized and his head cut off and sent for a rabies test.)

    • profile image

      jessicalynnborders 

      3 months ago

      can someone talk to me I'm not sure what to do the boy that got nipped his dad is trying to keep my dog for 10 days to watch to see if he has rabies he said I cant bring him home hes my dog what can I do

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      LA, as long as your dog did not bite her, and only her dog, you should have no trouble. If that is the case I would sue the woman who stabbed my dog!

    • profile image

      LA 

      4 months ago

      Some girl was walking her dog out without a leash! Her dog started chasing my cat and my dog ran outside to defend her! Both dogs got in a fight! The lady walkin her dog stabbed my dog in the back so he would let go of her dog! Any suggestions on what should I do? I offered to pay half of the vet bills as long as she payed for half of mine but she didnt want to come to an agreement!

    • profile image

      Jonathan 

      5 months ago

      Why can a police dog bite a person and have ZERO consequences?? But god forbid one of our dogs bite someone...seems a little unfair?? Just saying

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Jessica, personally I would not want that person as a friend. You probably do need to pay medical bills, but other than that? The problem would be if he tries to sue--according to the law the dog is always wrong. If you need to, you will need to get a lawyer where you live.

    • profile image

      jessica 

      6 months ago

      my friend saw that my dog and his dog were fighting. He came running from the bathroom chasing my dog around, at this point he wasn't even aggressive at this point because my dog was terrified of him. My friend then tackles my dog, you can hear him yelp and my dog bites him on the face. My friend got a little cut on his lips and got two stitches. But after that he punched my dog and bragged about how his hand was bruised from it. I don't want to compensate this guy. but am wondering if im in the right because my dog was provoked.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Angie, it depends on where you are. You should contact a lawyer if her lawyer contacts you. if you are visited by animal control, I recommend you follow the procedure I outlined in the article here.

    • profile image

      angie 

      6 months ago

      I left my gate open and my neighbor got to close to my chained pit bull. he bit her leg and I am afraid if she tries to sue us. She knows my dog barks at her and knows he's dangerous. what do i do?

    • profile image

      Jam Santos 

      9 months ago

      My vaccinated (Anti Rabies) puppy (3 months old) bit my sister.Will my dog die?

    • profile image

      tinybuster2023@gmail.com 

      10 months ago

      I have just moved to Michigan and staying with my daughter and one of my dog's, a jack Russell bit my granddaughter and I don't know what to do because My Daughter want's to take my dog to the pound and I'm afraid that they will put him to death. My granddaughter was playing around with him and then I did not know what happened to cause him to bite, but I think she has been teasing him all day . I live in Michigan USA and don't know what the shelter will do to him, will they do to him. What are they going to do to him ,does anyone tell me please. My granddaughter has been playing with him and even leading him around with her outside. Help me please. We live in Iona country in Michigan. I don't want my dog killed.

    • profile image

      Dee 

      10 months ago

      A ups driver went into the yard of a good friend who has 4 puts. Unfourtntly no one was there and all 4 came out and attacked the driver. He had serious injuries and taken to hospital. The 4 dogs were taken to shelter. Now the driver knew not to go in so what happens now?

    • profile image

      Deane 

      11 months ago

      I was at a dog run. A man unknown to run brings a aggressive dog. His dog attacked my dog. The man refused to intervene. I Pulled my dog away. And. Left. 3 hours later Police came to my house and accused my dog of bitting him when he tried to break up dog fight. The man had no visible injuries when we left park.

    • profile image

      Pinkelephant 

      12 months ago

      Has anyone been thru a dangerous dog hearing (los Angeles)? I am worried sick and i just can't find people who have gone. Would love to know what its like, what to bring/ show, etc. thanks.

    • profile image

      Dog 

      12 months ago

      On my way home from work get a call from city police saying my dog was out .i had just put new door locks on my house i had the only key. 8 to 10 cops on the street come toward my truck acusing my dog of biting i sad bs my house is locked im the only one that can get in they tell me the party that was bitten said they were my dog. And that if i dodnt take them to a vet animal control will take them how is that when im the only one that can get iin my home, and there is witnesses stating my dogs were never out.

    • profile image

      Janiceausburn@hotmail.com 

      13 months ago

      if you have kids picking on your dogs and bugging them a lot of the time and one of your dogs bite them and you have camera video is that enough to keep you and your dog out of trouble

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      16 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Tien, my only advice would be to get a lawyer to represent you. It is going to end up costing you, but maybe a lot less than if you went against that guy and his lawyer alone.

    • profile image

      Tien 

      16 months ago

      Hello, my dog bit someone last year May of 2016, and they went to a lawyer and now they're asking for a compensation of $10k. When the incident happened, I offered helped and also assure them that I would pay any medical bills needed, but instead of responding to my request, they went to their lawyer. What should I do now? I am still a student and would not be able to compensate for that amount beside slowly paying for the medical bills.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      16 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Lawyers will put anything in a letter.In fact, since they get a cut of the money from a letter and from suing, they will sue whenever they can. The safest thing is to hire a lawyer in the state where you live and have him write a letter stating that it is not your dog and you are not liable. A hassle, and an expense, I know, but this is a bad situation she has gotten you all into.

    • profile image

      Mother trying to be helpful 

      16 months ago

      Last year, when my son and his family returned from oversees, my husband and I agreed to take in their dog until they were able to purchase a home. While the dog was living with us, my son and his wife would drop by and take their dog for the weekends. In April last year my daughter in-law came and got the dog for a few days while she visited her parents in Oregon. While there, my daugher in-laws older brother got too rough with the dog and it bit him in the face. Yesterday, my husband and I received a demand of compensation letter from an Oregon attorney that the brother hired. This attorney says that I am financially responsible. Is this true?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      16 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I really, really hope things work out for you all. Boxers are sweet dogs and she is lucky to have a good home. I hope this was just a once in a lifetime event.

    • profile image

      Ann 

      16 months ago

      Thanks. We are seeking out a behaviorist.... I am getting a couple referrals. I know that she was stressed out from the storms the night before and that morning, so I think that might have had something to do with it. We are going to put her in her kennel when other people are at our home and take any other suggestions from the behaviorist. Thank so much for your response. I really don't want to get rid of her - she is such a positive part of the family

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      16 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Ann, I am not sure what to tell you. Some dogs will only bite one person, some dogs will only bite a person who invades their personal space (like your boyfriend) but kids do this a lot so they are at risk. It is hard for me to tell you without a thorough exam. If you have a canine behaviorist in the area, it would be worth taking her to visit. If not, I would talk to the shelter and see if they have any other alternative homes for her.

    • profile image

      Ann 

      16 months ago

      Our dog bit my boyfriend this morning when he was trying to give her a kiss. She was awake and he spoke to her prior to leaning down to give her a kiss on the top of her head, but she bit him on the mouth and it drew blood. She is a boxer and we got her from the pound about a year ago. She was a stray, so we are not sure as to her history. We are both heartbroken and are not sure what to do. We have young children at the home and now we worry what else could happen.

      He thinks we need to get rid of her and take her back to the pound to turn her over. I want to try to find an alternative but I also don't want to put my children or their friends at risk.

      Not sure what to do

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      16 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Jesse--are you referring to his vaccination certificate to prove he was vaccinated against rabies? If you do not have this, you can go to your vet, have them look it up and give you a copy.

    • profile image

      Jesse 

      16 months ago

      My dog bit my neighbors son and i dont have his papers what should I do please let me know immediately i have 10 days or they will take his life.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      18 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Grace, if you are in an area where a dog behaviorist is available get in to see one as soon as possible. There is no way anyone can help your dog without a full series of questions and an exam to watch his reactions.

    • profile image

      Grace 

      18 months ago

      My dog cant stop biting what do i do

    • profile image

      lisa gadd 

      22 months ago

      my dog bit my daughter but the dog didn't drew blode

    • profile image

      Kennedi 

      23 months ago

      What if it is a minor bite

    • profile image

      Dogwalker 

      2 years ago

      Can someone help. I am a dog walker and one of my clients dogs bit a lady on a walk she had stopped to say hi and one of the dogs was sniffing her and then she started to turn away and he bit her ankle. She went to urgent care and saw that it broke the skin but I wasn't told if she received stitches or not. when we were standing on the sidewalk there wasn't any blood and from what I could see it just looked red and irritated where he bit her.

      She contacted someone because they called our business asking for the shot records and the owners info.

      This was the first time walking these dogs and the owners did not make me aware of an aggressive behavior towards people. They said that this was new to them. Im in the sate of California, can someone tell me what grounds I stand on liability wise??

    • profile image

      Patricia 

      2 years ago

      My dog bite the pizza man my friend new my dig bites I told him put my dog in the room before the pizza guy comes will he didn't he open the door and bit the pizza man not serious hard but animal control came for my dog but the dog left the house faint find him what do I do

    • profile image

      wanda 

      2 years ago

      My neighbor dog was killing a puppy so me and my friend went to help the puppy.We got the puppy but it bite her we call the police they said nothing they could do privite property.She went to the emeremy room and they still said we could get in trouble for being on his property.

    • profile image

      Paintmeblue 

      2 years ago

      Thank you for your reply. I haven't had time to fill out my profile information, but I live in the State of Hawaii. I tried looking up what happens, but I keep getting conflicting information. I most likely will have some scars on my hand, but I am not worried about it. It could have been much worse, and will take what I have over anything worse. :)

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Paintmeblue, I looked on your profile page to see if I could figure out where you live. There was nothing, and some areas might be different. If it happened here, and the animal control people came to my house after someone else reported it, I would just say that I do not wish to file a bite report and then nothing would happen to the dog.

      People get bit all the time and never report it (although mostly by small dogs, not by mastiffs). Kudos to you for thinking of the dog first and not thinking of filing a suit against your friend and causing the dogs death. I hope your injury was not too serious and does not leave any marks on your hand.

    • profile image

      Paintmeblue 

      2 years ago

      Yesterday evening I met up with a friend to say hi. She was walking her dog and we stopped in the middle of the street to chat. Her dog was acting very hyper and jumpy. Odd behavior for a mastiff. Anyway I talk a lot with my hands, and out of nowhere the dog lunged and grabbed my hand. He bit down hard, growled, swung his face once, but then let go. I have several puncture wounds and had to get stitches at the ER. I am not one to immediately point fault at the dog. I love animals and don't ever want to see them harmed. I am not reporting it, and she is taking the proper action with a trainer/behaviorist. There were a ton of witnesses though. A park full of parents and kids, who came rushing to me when they saw me crying and the blood gushing from my hand. I am afraid that one of them will report it. So here is my question. If someone else reports the incident, do I have to go along with it, or is there a way I can protect the dog since I am the one it happened to? I have not really been around dogs all that much, so I don't know the procedure if someone else calls in a complaint.

    • profile image

      timmy6665 

      2 years ago

      Its sad to read all of these stories. I pesonally have been bitten several times and one perticuler i would like to share. I rescure dogs from the streets i had taken in a great pyranise who was obviously very badly abused well had him taken to the vet and had all his shots up to fatr had him fixed and he was very good during everything and a couple weeks passed i couldnt find him a home so i decided to take him in permenatly and he was great and a very happy dog well a couple of weeks passed and all seemed well till i was going to take him outside for a walk when out of no wear he latched on to my arm and didnt let go after a couple of seconds he relesed and got another bite in i was finnaly able to get him off of me. Unfortunately i put him down about five minutes later i didnt want to but ultamatly if he bit me he would bite anyone and thats not a chance i was willing to take l. So i ended up in the emergency room due to the bit and had to have twenty stitches in my arm the hospital called the sherifs dpt because of standard protocalls and they tried to charge me with animal cruelty because i put him down my self. Some time has passed since the bit and im still taking in rescues of all kind and of all breeds i personaly belive it was not the dogs fault he bit me he was very abused and somthing in his mind snaped and well my life has moved on

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Great point Susie, thanks.

    • profile image

      Susie 

      2 years ago

      I would also have a plan in place to have your dog mysteriously "kidnapped" and taken across state lines as a last resort.

    • profile image

      Cody 

      2 years ago

      While I was away my dog jumped the fence and got in a fight with a dog that was being walked on a leash in the street. The person walking the dog was bit in the leg tryong to break up the fight. They went to the ER but the wound on their leg didn't require stitches. The police came to my house and took my dog. They said it had to be quarintined for 10 days because i didnt have my rabbies vaccination paperwork. It has now been over a month and they are refusing to release my dog. The sheriffs department and the citys attorney keep giving me the run around. I'm scheduled to go to court over the matter but I would like my dog back and from reading over the city ordinance they have no legal cause for keeping my dog. This is the first bite incident involving my dog.

    • profile image

      jackie 

      3 years ago

      My dog got out in november of 2014. Supposedly she bit someone. Animal control came the day before Thanksgiving and put her down. Court case resolved fine paid. Now 6 months later someone else claimed they were bitten by the dog. No report with Animal control. What happend now?

    • profile image

      unfortunate 

      3 years ago

      Hi, I am from Mass and have 3 pitbulls. They have left the property a few times but never bit anybody and people filed complaints with animal control about them being loose off the property. They got loose again all by accident and attacked a man pretty badly. They also scratched the girlfriend who was screaming and went after a lady's pocketbook knocking her to the ground all during this one episode. Two have their rabies shots but one doesnt. The man who got attacked is suing me and i have homeowners insurance but all dogs have been quarantined for two weeks and animal control will not release them until after the public hearing. Animal control says thar i should sign them over so they can be euthanized because im

      never going to win this because of the witnesses, amount ofcomplaints, and the severity of the attack. and they will be put to sleep

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Lucy you did not even mention what state or country you are in, and also if your brother´s friend plans on taking your dog to court because of the injury.

      Some states have a "one-bite law" and are a lot more lenient to a dog that has never bit before. If your dog ever bites again though, the state will most likely take you to court and force you to kill the dog.

      If the friend was not hurt, a lot of dog bites go unreported. It really depends on what he does at this point.

    • profile image

      Lucy 

      3 years ago

      Hi my dog has always been a good girl. Very sweet and quiet. Today I was gone and my brother and his friend came home. She met the friend once or twice and was good with him. I was not home and she jumped up and nipped his face more like scratching it. I'm not sure what I should do.

    • profile image

      debby 

      4 years ago

      why don't you address the pain and suffering the person has that gets bit? How about the loss ot time from work? Dr. bills, your just worried about the dog? You really should address both sides!!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Angelia, you should try to contact a local shelter and find out if they know of any lawyers in your area that will help you with the animal control. It depends on where you are, but it is never a good idea to release a dog to the police.

    • profile image

      angelia 

      4 years ago

      I have a blue pitt who bit ny boyfriends daughter in face he more scratched her and a little mark on her chin but police called animal control and they took my dog can i get him back i don't want my dog to be killed :(

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Donna, Texas has a one-bite law but since this is his second bite you can be sued by the mailman, whether or not you put him down. That is a really rough decision, I know. The note on the door telling you to bring him to the pound has no legal power unless it is a court order signed by a judge, and if you release him to the pound you may or may not get him back. You will be releasing the dog to the pound and will be voluntarily giving up your rights.

      No matter what you decide to do, I would hire a local attorney to protect you in the months ahead. Do not do anything, including giving up your dog, until you have talked to a local attorney.

      Good luck to both of you.

    • profile image

      Donna W 

      4 years ago

      Live in Tx and my dog got out the front door and bit the mailman. This is his 2nd bite. He is a good dog when we are at other locations, such as the vet. dog stores, dog park etc. Just very protective of me at our home. I have had friends come over and I put him up for a few minutes then on a dog chain I bring him out and he is fine once he knows I'm ok. I have also taken him to friends house where they have dogs and cats and he does fine. He was penned up for 10 days then I took him home. Few days later a note was on the door to bring him back to the pound until we have a hearing this next week. He is not a bad dog just a protective dog. I'm not sure what to do. What are the laws in Tx. and should I put him down. I know he was just trying to protect us. Need answer ASAP Thanks

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Brenda, Texas is one of the 18 states in the US with the one bite law. So, unless you were letting your dog run off leash, he cannot be killed for biting someone. I am not sure about medical expenses for the person bit, so if you are worried about this consult a local attorney.

    • profile image

      brendagrl 

      4 years ago

      Is Texas a one bite state?

    • profile image

      Joyce cats 

      4 years ago

      A friend came into the basement and opened the basement door, the dog was barking on the other side and the friend came in anyway. The dog bit him on the leg. What can I do?

    • profile image

      juliana 

      4 years ago

      my grandma's dog molly when she get's to crazy she bites people and it really hert

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I would contact a lawyer there in Sacramento as soon as possible, because he will need to call and send a letter to animal control and make sure you do get Rosco back.Yes, the forums are right, since sometimes they (animal control) will determine a dog is dangerous and put him down. Do this immediately!!!

    • RiF916 profile image

      RiF916 

      4 years ago

      today my 4 year old rottweiler "Rosco" attacked a man that just walked in my home. i heard someone open the front door and walk in and then saw my dog sprint toward him. i yelled for him to get out, and was yelling for rosco to stop as i ran after him. instead of just going back out the door he just walked in, the man squares up with my dog and punches him twice then rosco grabbed his arm i grabbed the dog and the man continued trying to punch my dog so i pushed the guy off and secured my dog. i gave the guy a towel for his wound and offered to pay his medical but he said no. animal control took rosco for a 10 day rabies observation cause i didn't not have his paperwork right that minute. he also told me that the dog was in the right, didn't charge me for impound and says they will release him in 10 days. and yes there were BEWARE OF DOG signs posted in clear view. my question is......

      am i really going to get him bac.k? i have been reading all kinds of forums that say no matter what, do not turn the dog over to animal control. im totally stressed out, that's my best friend they took. hes a very sweet, very smart dog. oh yeah, this was in sacramento california

      https://sphotos-b-lax.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/66...

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      It sounds like you did everything right--like getting out of there before the situation got worse. Is this his first bite? The laws are very strong against dogs, and you should definitely talk to a lawyer in your state; since the dog has bitten before you may have to muzzle him when taking him out in public from now on. That might be your best chance of keeping him, but of course it depends on where you live. Sorry I could not be of more help--I hope things work out for you and him!

    • profile image

      Jessie Whitmire 

      5 years ago

      My dog just bit someone. He already met the guy last week but this time I had both dogs on leash and he wanted to meet them again. My dog growled and bit him. I'm so embarrassed and worried he might sue me. The man offered to show me the bite but I had the dogs and honestly wanted to get out of there. What did I do wrong? Please help, this is my 11 year old dog, I don't know what I would do without out him and I don't want this to happen again.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      How terrible! And probably not even a lock will do it, as if the trespasser climbs over the fence it is the dogs fault. That is like that post from the woman in California; the kids went into her yard and messed with the chickens but when the dog bit it is he who will have to be declared "dangerous".

      I put a "beware of pit bull" sign up at my gate, but if someone comes in and is bit my dog will be blamed anyway!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      5 years ago

      Our state requires a 10-day quarantine after a dog bite, and they will allow you to take the pet in for quarantine. It is very disgusting, however, when a person is warned not to go into the pen with a dog, goes into the pen and gets bitten, and then the owner has to pay a couple of hundred dollars for the dog's quarantine. That happened to us with the last dog we owned. It didn't matter that the bitten person was trespassing. After that we put a lock on the gate.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Rebecca, the sad thing is, that wasn't really his fault. Kids bit on the fences and run away, he thinks they ran away because of him, and then he thinks everyone is going to attack his property, even your neighbor. Poor dog.

      Dirt Farmer, I think the insurance companies are sometimes the worse culprits. Like you mentioned, sometimes they settle just to get rid of a lawsuit, and then they jack up rates for dog owners everywhere to cover the costs. And then sometimes they will not even allow families to have dogs because of POTENTIAL bites.

      I´m glad you built that fence. If your dog bites again the insurance company will do their best to make you take it in and kill it.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      Our dog bit the mailman recently. Because he was "protecting me and his territory," as the animal control people put it, we simple had to keep him quarantined in the house for a week while he and his shot records were investigated. However, the mailman sued us. For his emotional pain. (His injuries were ... well, perhaps nonexistent since he refused to show them to the county authorities.) Our insurance settled, but THEY have a one-bite rule. We just finished fencing in the back of the house, something I thought the pooch would hate, but he loves it, and has discovered all sorts of areas, especially in the woods, to play. You're so right: any dog will bite. I wish that provocation were factored into the equation a bit more, though, when it comes to lawsuits. But perhaps insurance co. find it less expensive to settle than to fight.

    • Rebecca Furtado profile image

      Rebecca Furtado 

      5 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

      We lost a chow to the pound because hit bit a neighbor, it was after the neighborhood kids had been running sticks along the fence. The dog was just riled up and the neighbor there at the wrong time. Of course I never will understand why people mess with dogs in fences.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Planes, trains, and automobiles-- it is painful to be in an accident, and oh yes, they can also kill you.

    • livewirez profile image

      Romel Tarroza 

      5 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Sea

      One of the animal that I fear most is the dog. Aside that it is painful bitten by dogs, rabies can also kill you.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Thanks, Perry; Two problems, unfortunately. Laws vary state to state, and if you don't post the sign and someone comes in, you are negligent, and if you do post the sign, you are claiming that your dog can bite. Personally I would just as soon post the sign, and maybe people will be less likely to trespass (like those neighbor kids she describes).

    • Perry the Cat profile image

      Perry the Cat 

      5 years ago from Mouskin, Texas

      According to Texas law, posting a Beware of Dog sign is an indication you know your dog is dangerous

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Did you have "beware of dog" signs posted? It is going to be very difficult for you to win, even though it was obviously not your dogs fault. Make sure you have a lawyer, go ahead and make an appointment with an animal behaviorist so that you can tell the judge that your dog is getting "therapy" for this bite incident. Also make sure you buy a muzzle for your dog before the judge orders it--even though you know the dog will never need to use it!

      Even though you do the right things, your dog is most likely going to be branded "vicious" by those jerks in California and if he bites someone again the police will come in and kill him. It really shows how unfair the rules are.

      Let me know how things turn out for your boxer. I hope for the best.

    • profile image

      Destinee 

      5 years ago

      I have a boxer Almost 2 we live on property where 5 acres are fenced off my dog has never showed any signs of aggression and I have 2 kids 3 years and 6 months. We have some neighbors who's kids showed up with out invitation and took the lock off the gate to come over the boy 9 was playing with our chickens and the dog bit him...I live in ca our dog has now been in quarantine for 10 days and now we have to go to court for a potentially visious dog ...what are my options on how to win this???

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Jmillis2006 I don't know if you read all the comments but I had a discussion with a hubber Perry the Cat about that type of issue. My god-daughter was bitten by our Lhasa and she still has the scar on her lip, about 10 years later. Thankfully she admitted it was her fault, so we didn't blame the dog.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

    • Jmillis2006 profile image

      Jmillis2006 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      I was bitten by my grandfathers lab when I was about ten years old, it was completely my fault and I would not have wanted him to be put down for it, it left a nasty puncture that I still have a scar from 16 years later, but like I said my fault. Great hub.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      It is more likely to get worse with your new baby on the way. If you do not have the money to take her to a behavioral consultant, you really need to consider finding another home for her, with someone aware of the behavioral problems you are having.

      Do something quickly Ian, before your new baby comes.

    • profile image

      Ian 

      5 years ago

      I'm having a lot of issues with my 2 year old wire haired, german Shepherd, and lab mix. My wife is 9 months pregnant and my dog has been acting really crazy, especially when we're out of the house with him. Today, we went to a cafe and we're sitting outside when someone came up to enter the place and my dog freaked out and pounced on the guy trying to bite him. This has happened twice now and I don't know what to do. We don't have a lot of money at this point and would like to find ways to train at home. Also, is there a possibility this behavior will stop when our baby is born?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Amie was it your dog? Send me more details on my email (go to my profile page, open fan mail and you will find it) and I will try to help.

    • profile image

      Amie 

      5 years ago

      I'm a kid and I got bit by a dog and I told my mom she did't know what to do what should I do

    • profile image

      dog 

      5 years ago

      thanks

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Great comments. I agree on the second chance, but unfortuantely there are a lot of places that do not. It is not always the dogs fault, and if bite inhibition is taught properly it is sometimes not even that serious. (Look at the comments from Perry the Cat. A lot of people do not agree with you or me.)

      I like your comment on growling too. It is SO wrong to try to stop a dog doing what comes naturally! I wonder if the little Lhasa I adopted was always yelled at when he growled (he bit my god-daughter). I let my Pit Bull mix growl all she wants when she is wrestling with the kids and never worry about her.

    • Nature by Dawn profile image

      Dawn Ross 

      5 years ago

      Great article! I see a lot of varying opinions about dogs and biting. In general, I think everyone who has a dog should be aware that dogs could bite and take precautions accordingly. Even the mildest dog like my Lab could bite by accident when playing. I also believe dogs should be allowed to growl. Growling is their way of telling someone that they are crossing their comfort boundaries. Punishing a dog for growling is like teaching them not to warn people and they may bite without warning instead. If your dog growls, it is up to you as the owner to not punish the dog, but to help him learn that he doesn't need to be uncomfortable. If you can't teach him that, then it is your responsibility to help your dog avoid those uncomfortable situations. I also believe dogs should get a second chance and that the situation surrounding the dog bite should be considered.

    • profile image

      Reality people 

      5 years ago

      Um excuse me? All of your info is against the law, if your dog bites someone a rabies vaccination needs to be shown and a 10 day quarantine must be done. If it is refused by the dog owner a warrant will be served to impound your dog at your expense. I am an animal control officer and it is the law in every state to handle bites in this way. It is the dog owners responsibility to keep your pets vaccinations up to date for the protection of your pet and the victim, neglect in doing so is your own fault enough said. Ant responsible pet owner should know this. We are not going to kill anyone's dog ever unless the owner signs it over to us.

    • profile image

      Southernmapart 

      5 years ago

      Good advice. Thanks.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Thanks for the comment. I really appreciate your visit and note, and hope you do not need the advice!

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 

      5 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      Great hub and I hope I never have to deal with my dogs biting somebody but if it ever does happen your hub has made it helpful on what to do.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I understand your point but my first thought would be to get the dog away, put it inside the house.

    • afriqnet profile image

      Joe Njenga 

      5 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

      Dr Mark,

      Your Hub is interesting and I enjoyed reading it. I think the first thing I could do if my dog bite someone is to possibly give them first aid and then call my insurance company.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Thanks for your comment jainismus.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 

      5 years ago from Pune, India

      I was looking for such information and here it is. Thank you for sharing.

    • Perry the Cat profile image

      Perry the Cat 

      5 years ago from Mouskin, Texas

      Tell me about it. We even tried to warn the rest of you folks about George Bush, but no one would listen!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      That is sad. Too bad the people of Texas keep electing the same kind of legislators.

    • Perry the Cat profile image

      Perry the Cat 

      5 years ago from Mouskin, Texas

      Agreed. It IS Texas. We do the same thing to humans.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      DIFH: the Belfast City Council would have killed the dog anyway. They even had offers to fly the dog to the US so that it would no longer be in their city, but they decided to kill it anyway. Even being a Nerf dog wouldn't have helped.

      Perry: If that is the case the people of Amarillo are stupid and sick for enacting such a law.

    • Perry the Cat profile image

      Perry the Cat 

      5 years ago from Mouskin, Texas

      Well, first off, here in Mouskin and nearby Amarillo Texas, there is a death penalty for dogs who are or resemble pit bulls. When the animal control folks pick up a pit, they put it down. They are not adopted out or returned to owners, as I understand it.

      And humans have been cutting off cats' claws for years.

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