What to Do When Your Dog Bites Someone

Updated on May 28, 2019
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. 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; 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 being 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

What to Do If Your Dog Bites Someone

  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 secure the dog 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 their dogs end up dead.)
  6. Purchase a muzzle for your dog so that if you are ordered to buy a muzzle, you will already have one.

Dog-Biting Tips for Dog Owners

  • 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.

What Is a One Bite Rule?

Some states have a rule that says that the dog owner will be held 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.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

  • The little boy next door jumped into my backyard my pitbull bit him on the thigh and now the city and the police department are asking for so many restrictions. Now I have to euthanize my dog because of the health department and police department don't want him around my children. They deemed him dangerous. Can I sue the neighbors because their son was a cause of this my dog never bit anyone before?

    I am not sure that you could win, but yes you could try to sue if you find a lawyer willing to represent you. For further information you need to contact a local lawyer.

  • My dog bit someone, but that was taken care of. Today, my dog was on a leash. We were hiking, and as a biker went by, he nipped the guy but barely cut through the skin. Will my dog be put down?

    This depends on the state you live in, so if you really want to know, you will have to consult with a local lawyer.

    If your dog has already bitten someone in the past, and now has bitten someone again (no matter how minor), he will likely be declared a dangerous dog even if he is not euthanized by animal control. If you are able to take him for a walk in the future, you need to walk your dog with a basket muzzle. A basket muzzle allows him to breathe normally, but he is not able to bite.

    This muzzle might save his life. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/dog-to-dog-aggression

  • I live in Georgia. I was parked in a public parking lot and had my 8-year-old Labrador with me that has never been aggressive before. He was in the back of my 4-runner. I left the window half down and ran to drop a package off at the UPS store. When I came out a gentleman told me my dog had bitten him. There was a small nic on his arm that was not bleeding. Should I be concerned?

    I do not think so. If the person reports that the dog was being aggressive you should have him reported since he was breaking into your truck. If this were my dog I would wait and see if anything happens, but if it does you will have to hire a local lawyer familiar with the laws in your area.

  • Will my service dog be traumatized by a ten-day quarantine? Will it affect his training?

    The training will be set back for ten days, but there is no reason to expect him to be traumatized.

  • My dog had a scuffle with another dog. Their owner put her foot between them, and got bit. She totally understood that it was an accident, and told me not to worry about anything, but I have a neighbor that just hates us that I believe called animal control. Now they're asking questions, and want a picture of my dog. What do I do?

    They are probably trying to put your dog on a dangerous dog list. I am not sure if you are legally required to allow them to come into your house and take a picture of your dog. If this were my dog, I would want to consult an attorney before letting them invade my house.

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    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Jeremiah, call your local animal shelter. If you cannot afford to euthanize your dog that is your best option.

    • profile image

      Jeremiah 

      2 weeks ago

      My dog is nine years old and has had a long history of biting people and recently my dog has been one of my family members and we want to put the dog down but we don’t have lots of money to euthanize. Is there a way for us to let the dog go or to be put down?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Nelly, since your dogs already have a history of biting there is not much you can do. If you are in an urban area I am surprised some animal control officer has not arrived and taken them away. I do not know there is anything you can do to help at the time since you already have warnings up.

    • profile image

      Nelly ponce 

      5 weeks ago

      Hello, I have two German Shepherds a girl and a boy, one of them is aggressive than the other. The boy dog has bit 2 people and attcked multiple people as well. One day my sister decided to bring her boyfriend to the house, both of the dogs were chained up, the guy wanted to pet them and the aggressive dog attcked him and bit his hand unfortunatley we had to take my sisters boyfriend to the ER because the wound was severe. This was the guys fault. My dad wants to put the dog down. This is really sad because they just want to protect us. They are super sweet and playful. We have multiple signs all over our house saying "BEWARE OF THE DOG" I'm honestly worried that someday my dog is going to bite someone and they are going to sue us. Other thing is that when our dogs need their shots we asked them if we can be last patients because of the dogs. Is there anything we can do? Please help

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Mrs Clark--if you want to try and save her you need to consult an animal behaviorist in your area. Call your regular vet and ask for a referral to someone who works locally.

    • profile image

      Mrs Clark0526 

      7 weeks ago

      Last week for the 2nd time my pittbull/german Sheppard bit my husband the first incident we were in the middle of an argument this time we were not my dog has recently become more aggressive and barks really load when we leave out of the house I took her to the local shelter of course my husband does not want her back in the house I'm not sure I even feel safe I visited her in the shelter for the third time today and she finally didn't growl at me. any suggestions would be really helpful.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Joshua, if you are a renter the landlord can make you get rid of the dog. If he has bitten twice you really are not going to be able to fight this. Yes, it is what a gaurd dog needs to do but, in our current legal system dogs are not allowed to defend their property from someone teasing them.

    • profile image

      Joshua Walker 

      2 months ago

      My dog has bitten 2 people so far on our side of the property. First one, that person was teasing multiple times before he finally got bit. Mind you my dog is usually chained or caged. He was chained for both incidents. Second incident, was the landlord who lives on property, he came from the back of the house, and was carrying a long large stick, I feel my dog reacted in defense to it. Now the landlord wants to get rid of my dog. He was only protecting himself and the property. Isn't that what guard dogs do and are for?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Jennifer, you need to call your homeowners agent and inform them that your dog has bitten a neighbor. Your rates will probably go up. You also need to contact a local attorney that deals with dog bites. Even if finances are tight (since you mentioned the cost of the fence) you must do this, as the potential is going to be much worse if you do not get an attorney.

      This is going to cost you a lot more than the fence would have. If the woman decides to sue, your lawyer can handle that immediately.

    • profile image

      Jennifer Schneider 

      7 months ago

      My dog was outside playing today the neighbor behind us was working on putting dead sod grass behind our fence that is rotting coming down what she knows about the last five years she reached in and my dog grabbed her hand supposedly I think she or her hand off of the fence instead of my dog biting her she can run a house with her husband ask for paperwork for my dog give it to him which we have everything rabies everything for him it was the hospital it came home and we have not heard back from them since 1 this morning and it's already told at night I'm very nervous and what's going to happen to my dog he's never bitten anybody before he is overprotective with me yes but these people have known about this fence and they're supposed to help us rebuild the fence but they did not want to spend the money do it the state of Colorado you share The Back Fence she did not want to help and see what happens I'm very worried about my dog please help me

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Karen, he can still have your dog declared dangerous.Depending on where you live, your dog can even be euthanized if the court declares against the dog. I would recommend you contact an attorney who deals with protecting dogs.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Karen, he can still have your dog declared dangerous.Depending on where you live, your dog can even be euthanized if the court declares against the dog. I would recommend you contact an attorney who deals with protecting dogs.

    • profile image

      Karen cuomo 

      8 months ago

      My mini Aussie bit a man on someone else’s property. He works for a air conditioning co. This was over a wk ago and now he’s claiming medical. We helped was it with peroxide and he said he was fine , hardly broke skin but bruised. The property is completely fenced . I’am not a homeowner ,what can happen?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Ciroc, if you took the dogs into the shelter to be put down, and signed a waiver, there is probably nothing you can do. All I can suggest is that you find a lawyer that practices in NM and would be willing to write the shelter and perhaps sue them for the value of the dog and emotional distress.

    • profile image

      Ciroc 

      9 months ago

      My pitbull killed a little dog that crossed into my yard she was very territorial and before I got her she was abused and was trained to kill little critters like mouses. They told me to put her down I had 24 hours to do so. But the shelter kept both of my pitbulls and instead of putting them down they adopted them out, I've been fighting them for years. How can I go about getting my pitbulls back? This happened in NM

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I cannot give you legal advice. If this were my dog, however, and my mom was nice enough to not report the bite, I would not report it to animal control and get sucked into that "dangerous dog" spiral. Please read this article and see if it helps.

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/proving-your-dog-is-no...

      If your dog has bitten before he will almost certainley be declared dangerous, unless the court orders him to be seized and euthanized immediately.

      There are many small dogs that bite and the bites are never reported. (Yorkies, Doxies, Cocker Spaniels, etc) I am not sure what kind of dog you have, but if you are willing to train him not to bite that is a good first step.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Texas mom, yes, he can still sue you. He probably would not win. Your state has the one bite rule but he could still be declared dangerous if animal control decides to pursue this.

      Here is a link to some more info that may be helpful

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/proving-your-dog-is-no...

    • profile image

      Texas mom 

      9 months ago

      A neighbors brother came into my fenced yard and said he forgot something and started to run towards the back (which is where the neighbor lives). My dog has bitten him before since he is a stranger, this time he bit him and broke skin. Could I be sued since it is private gated property and my husband was outside when it happened trying to get my dogs in?

    • profile image

      USMCMomAndWife 

      9 months ago

      You and this site have been amazingly helpful and have taken some of the stress off of me - thank you so much!!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Glad to hear that. Since you are in the US this is the best site I have found for looking for an attorney for animal law https://aldf.org/article/what-to-do-if-your-dog-is...

      Also in the US, dogs are considered property, so if you are looking for an attorney any of them that deal with property law can handle this (although personally I would want an attorney that is more familiar with dog bite law.)

    • profile image

      USMCMomAndWife 

      10 months ago

      Thank you so much! I got a call from Animal Control and they will not be declaring my pup a dangerous dog, so that is good news. Any tips on how to find an attorney who knows animal law? All I seem to able to find on internet searches are personal injury attorneys who want to represent human victims of dog bites.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      10 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      USMCwife--yes, you can be sued but that person will have little chance of winning. Unfortunately you will have to get an attorney, even if the dog was at a boarding facility. Your only alternative, if they were given damages, is to have your owner sue the boarding facility for those damages.

      A letter to that person, telling them to sue for damages to the boarding facility, might take care of it. It will not take care of the dangerous dog label, which I agree your dog does not need.

    • profile image

      USMCMomAndWife 

      10 months ago

      My 4yo pit mix was being boarded through a major in home referral service. According to the boarder, a small dog tripped up a larger dog, and the larger dogs reaction panicked my dog, who grabbed and threw the little dog. Because my dog is so strong, it killed the smaller dog instantly. The boarder said there was no blood, and no "attack" or aggression before or after the incident, but the owner's attorney is demanding our homeowners ins. info. The referral company paid all expenses, but the owner wants my dog declared a "dangerous animal" and $$ for pain and suffering/loss of work/therapy etc. I TOTALLY understand she is grieving, and my heart is still broken for her and her dog, but I don't want my sweet pup declared a dangerous animal (Animal Control said it sounds like a natural dog reaction, and not aggression, so they don't think this will happen) or for insurance rates to go up/lose coverage. I took our pup to our family vet, then made an appt with a veterinary behaviorist to help with his anxiety, and am searching for an attorney, but can't find online info on the legalities of this situation. Can I be sued for my dog's actions (our vet will testify there is NO history of aggression) while he was in a licensed and insured boarding facility and not under my control? I live in Maryland. Thank you so much for any help you can give me!

    • profile image

      Karen 

      10 months ago

      My dog bite someone one, I don’t know who it’s is and she’s being held at the shelter for 10 days. I can not find a copy of her rabies vaccine so they have to hold her. Has anyone experienced this?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      10 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Jennifer, it depends on where you are. Animal Control in some areas will not accept a home quarantine, even though it is as valid as being quarantined in a shelter.

      You would need to call your local animal control to get a definitive answer on this.

    • profile image

      Jennifer 

      10 months ago

      I was curious if I heard that if I were to leave town with my dog for duration of a pound quarantine about 14 days then and keep my dog with me and out of the pound that it would go away cuz the quarantine would have passed is this true

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      14 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Laurietta, personally I would not do what he wants. It sounds like he does not like your dog.

    • profile image

      Laurietta 

      14 months ago

      My neighbor said my dog bit him and if i get rid of my dog he will not report it .What should i do ?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      14 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Brenda, that one is probably going to have to be decided in a courtroom. I personally feel like the small dog on the lap was starting a fight, but a judge might decide differently. I would definitely recommend that you get a lawyer now before this proceeds any further. It would help if the lawyer wrote a letter to the woman offering to pay any of her medical bills.

    • profile image

      Brenda Dunlop 

      14 months ago

      I walked around a group of people and a woman had a dog on her lap and it was on a lead.

      My dog was also on a lead. The womans dog growled and was aggressive so my dog lunched towards it and dragged me under a table causing me to be injured and attacked the womans dog because I couldnt hold the lead because of the pain. Who is at fault? Also the woman got bitten trying to breake up the fight.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      15 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Zach, I cannot tell you if the Lab is just dog agressive, or worse. If you are interested in taking him you should consult with an animal behaviorist (get a reference from your vet). If you are not willing to do that take a pass.

    • profile image

      Zach 

      15 months ago

      Ive been offered a Chocolate Lab, 3 years old for free. The issue the owner says is that this dog was gotten from a home that had young kids who treated this dog horribly when he was a pup. The dog was removed and this man adopted it but he then bought another Lab Pup. A few weeks ago, the older dog he wants to give away, attacked the puppy and he said "violently". So he thinks that as long as the dog has a home where there is no other dog he will be OK. What do you think? Should I pass on this beautiful boy whom looks so gentle but has issues that is for sure. I thank you.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      15 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Tracey, little kids tend to do that when no one is looking. It is always those dogs that get blamed though!

      If the child did not need any medical attention, since the skin was not even broken, I do not think so. The bite was not reported to animal control? It would still be a good idea to call around and find an attorney you can call if the parents of the child do decide to sue. I doubt they would have any chance of winning but you would still need some help in court.

    • profile image

      Tracey 

      15 months ago

      My dog bit a child my daughter was babysitting,

      My dog was sleeping on the floor and the child jumped on my dog, and my dog raised his head and went to bit her

      When he relized it was her he pulled back leaving welts no broken skin, can we be sued?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      15 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Katrina, do you mean you want to claim on your own homeowners or renters insurance? You might be able to, but then later the insurance company is going to raise your rates or not renew your policy. I do not think it is worth it.

    • profile image

      Katrina Peter 

      15 months ago

      My dog accidentally bit my mouth while playing with a ball result 12stitchesand bad scaring dog fully insurance cover can I claims

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      17 months 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 

      17 months 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 

      17 months 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.

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      Kris 

      17 months 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 

      17 months 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 

      17 months 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 

      17 months 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 

      17 months 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 

      20 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 

      20 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 

      21 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 

      21 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 

      21 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 

      21 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 

      22 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 

      23 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 

      23 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 

      23 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 

      23 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 

      2 years ago

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

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      tinybuster2023@gmail.com 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years 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 

      2 years ago

      My dog cant stop biting what do i do

    • profile image

      lisa gadd 

      3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Kennedi 

      3 years ago

      What if it is a minor bite

    • profile image

      Dogwalker 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Great point Susie, thanks.

    • profile image

      Susie 

      3 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 years ago

      Is Texas a one bite state?

    • profile image

      Joyce cats 

      5 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 

      6 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 

      6 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!!!

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