What To Do If Your Dog Bites Someone

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What To Do If Your Dog Bites Someone?So many questions come to mind when you think about what would happen if your dog bit someone. What do I do to stop my dog? Is everyone ok? Do I need to call for help? Do I report the incident to someone? Could I get sued? Your dog biting someone could possibly be one of the worst things you could imagine. Not only could someone get seriously injured but your beloved pup could be taken away from you. It’s important that you know what to do should your dog bite someone.

What To Do at the Scene

Stay Calm

First thing to remember is to remain calm. It’s important that you don’t begin to argue because it may cause your dog to attack the victim again. Not only is this for the well-being of both the victim and your dog but also because the victim has to make the decision as to whether or not they will want to hire a lawyer and sue you for damages. Being polite and nice is always the route to go because the victim may decide to be nice back and not involve a lawyer.

Seek Medical Help

Get the victim medical attention. Be mindful and take them to the hospital immediately. It’s important that they get the bite mark checked and tended to. If you’re going along with the polite and nice route, you should offer to pay for the victim’s medical bills. This was not their fault and remember, you do not want to involve lawyers.

Swap Contact Information

Give your contact information to the victim. In some jurisdictions this is required. So be sure to give your name, address, phone number, etc. to the victim. Going along with this, you should also get the victim’s information as well as any witnesses.

What Do I Do If My Dog Was Defending Me?

Dog barking with teethIt’s quite possible that your dog was protecting you.Dogs attack because they feel their property or loved ones are threatened so their owner is assaulted, they are likely to go into defense mode. Perhaps you were being mugged or attacked and your dog was trying to help you which resulted in biting as a form of saving you from harm. In this case, it’s important that you leave the area immediately. You don’t want yourself or your dog to be harmed and hopefully the criminal involved is scared off. You’ll also want to contact the police and file a report. Make sure you are honest about the situation and try to be as descriptive as possible so you can help prevent others from being attacked by this criminal.

What To Do After Your Dog Bites Someone

A few days or weeks after the attack reach out to the victim and check in to see how they are doing. Show that you genuinely care about their recovery. However, be careful of what you say because it could come back to bite you in the rear (pun intended)! Remember that there is still a chance that you and your dog will face criminal charges or a civil lawsuit. There are actually three places where you might end up.

  1. Civil Court – Dog owners are responsible for injuries from bites in most states.
  2. Criminal Court – This is rare, but if the attack was serious enough or if the dog has a rap sheet you could be accused of a number of crimes.
  3. Dog Court – Animal control may pay you a visit and take action against you and/or your dog. If you are cited – you need to prepare a defense.

Now, back to being careful about what you say, express your sympathy and show compassion for the victim. These types of remarks won’t be used against you in court because they are acts of kindness. If court is not the route for you (and hopefully it isn’t) there is still a chance that your dog may be quarantined. Quarantine can be done at your own home, so ask if this is an option for your situation.

Locate Your Dog’s Medical Records

Make a copy of your dog’s medical records including rabies shots and give it to the victim. This will put their mind at ease knowing that they are not at risk for rabies.

Seek Legal Advice

There are many reasons why you may want to seek legal advice.

  • The victim has asked you for money
  • The bite drew blood or was a significant bite
  • You think your dog could have an illness/disease or perhaps rabies
  • Your gut is telling you that the victim has intentions to press charges
  • The police contact you
  • You think you might be facing criminal consequences

Contact Your Insurance Company

If you felt that it was necessary to seek legal advice you may want to contact your insurance company. Check with your insurance company to see if they cover dog attacks (aka dog liability). If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance there is fair chance that you have coverage but it depends on the state and, commonly, whether the bite happened on your property or elsewhere. Some insurance companies even offer medical payments coverage which you can offer the victim.

Dog Bite Insurance

InsureMyCanine logoIf you are interested in protecting yourself with dog liability insurance, visit our partner at InsureMyCanine.com to learn more and get a free quote.

Don’t Lie, Be Honest!

We know you’ll want to protect yourself and your dog, but lying is never a good solution. Many dog owners give false information or make untruthful statements about the dog’s history of biting, which can end up hurting you and your dog. Because this incident can lead to criminal charges you should avoid discussing the following things.

  • Who owns the dog
  • What happened
  • Where it happened
  • Other things involving the incident

We know this sounds ridiculous and that there are times where you’ll need to discuss the incident. For example, when you take the victim to the hospital. But when discussing it, try not to go into too much detail and blab on about it. Try to be brief but also make sure it’s the truth.

A Recap On What to Expect if your Dog Bites Someone [Video]

The video below from the Paw Report has a good summary of what will happen if your dog bites someone and also provides tips on how to prevent bite situations.

The Future for You and Your Dog

Your dog is now considered dangerous. You may know the loving, sweet side of your dog and may have an explanation as to why your dog bit that person but the sad truth is that those things don’t matter in this situation. The fact is, your dog attacked someone, and because of that, your dog is considered dangerous by the local government authorities. There are now precautions that you must take.

Because your dog has a rap sheet, you both could face serious charges in one of the three courts should there be a second incident. Unfortunately, you must look at your dog differently now. You must protect your family, friends and strangers from your dog. Consider taking your dog to an animal behaviorist certified by the Animal Behavior Society to help deter aggressive behavior in the future.

Does your dog have a history of biting?

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new pet health insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.
Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She and her husband adopted Sally, a four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and she has brought so much joy into their lives. Life as pet parents has been very rewarding.

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83 Comments on "What To Do If Your Dog Bites Someone"

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Emily D
My son-in-law got bit by a pit bull while doing a quote on kitchen cabinets at the homeowners home. She said she just got him two days before and didn’t know if he had rabies shots so he is having to go through all those shots. And now, the homeowner’s insurance policy says it doesn’t cover dog bites. What action can he take now? He does have a court date for the ticket the homeowner received at that time but don’t know if that will result in them paying his medical bills. Any thoughts?
My dog just bite my 1 year old nephew and im so sad. I scared that my dog might be taken away and put down. He has all his shots. He did it because he was scared i know this. We were all sitting on my bed and my dog was at the end of the bed. While my nephew sat on my lap he crawled off and then hopped up and grabbed my dog. My dog in return bite him because he was scared. I just looked away for second. And it happen he was biten underneath his right eye . And it is bruised and red. Looks like a huge scratch. My sister is so mad at me and my poor Mister Pickles. I dont know what is going to happen now. I dont know what i should do.
Leah Cox
My roommate has her first dog and can be pretty irresponsible with him. today she told me she was going to put him on his yard chord for a bit while she did homework. I was cleaning the bathroom and thought she meant she was going to do homework in her room or on the porch. she actually left the house without telling me and left him outside on his chord so I was the only one home without knowing it. A little while later like fifteen minutes I went downstairs and saw a package on the porch. While I was pulling it in the dog ran around the corner of the house (still on his chord ) , I was surprised to see him and even more surprised when he suddenly started barking at a man passing our house then he bit him on his bum ! I couldn’t see clearly a bush was blocking my vision but I dropped everything and grabbed his chord while apologizing . The guy was yelling at me about the dog and freaking out. I put the dogs inside and went and talked to the man to ask if I could do anything if he needed anything he said no but called animal control. I don’t want to be held liable for my roommates dog but I was told by animal control that I will be held responsible since I was the only one home. I’m at a loss I really am .
My dog was in another persons care for a week. During that time my dog bite a 8yr old while eating. The kid knows not to approach the dog while eating but did so anyways. Can they actually sue me and win if the dog was not in my care?
venessa Oliveira
I have a 3 year old pit bull< who has been like a brother to my two kids, and a therapist to me for my PTS. my last son born was when as a puppy we got the dog he slept with the boys and I. harmless in fact people say he is a chicken for a pit. now my boys play rough with the dog growing up 2010 we got the dog in 2014 my son was rough housing and gunner bit well it was more of a scratch on his nose, no stitches needed but hospital made a report. and in 2017 my friend child was over play with my son while her mom went to work, the kids played for 2 hours and the moment I step in the garage to put something away I heard a bark came in and my dog bite my friends child. now they took my dog quanintine 6 days cause I started the 4 but never gave him back took me to court the first hearing they judge agreed with pound to kill the dog. now my appeal is coming however its been one month my dog has been in a gaged no site of outside. this has been a real fight . they don't follow codes or ordinance of our county , the judge did not act bias or legal for he denied me a appeal said he was the appeal. he was the only judge would see at the appeal and his order would be the same. not true my the codes and guidelines to the state, it states that be a different judge
cebrina dosher
What if my chaweenie bit my 6 year old in the face just below the eye? They were relaxing on the recliner together then when my daughter tried to reposition the dog snapped at her, she has snapped before but never bitten her, just enough of a snap to say leave me alone, but today it was completely unprovoked. I am heart broken because I don’t want to give her up, but how can I trust her now….
Haley M Holm
Well, fist you have to watch his behavior as well as your 6 year old because sometimes it could be the dog or the child. Dogs can since things humans can’t so he was probably thinking and when she moved him he got scared and did the only thing he could. Which unfortunately is be protective and bite.
Christopher Lee Richardson I
I have a Service Animal who bit someone after a room full of people witnessed this person attack me. Dora,(Beagle Pit-Bull mix) did nothing until my wife pushed both me and the attacker away from each other,causing me and the attacker to fall to the ground. That’s when Dora bit both him 2x and me once. There was a police officer standing next to the owner of the establishment and witnessed the whole ordeal, and did not even question me after the ordeal, nor did he write a police report. However, he owner of the establishment has banned my Service Animal but not me. What do I do now? What precautions should I take? What recourse do I have?
Haley M Holm
Well, first you should always make sure your dog has his/her vaccines, next you have to train your dog, on how and when to attack on your command.
Jason Dolling
I’ve had my rescue dog for 9 years she is a jack Russel cross fox terrier. She is the most loyal and loving dog. I feel she is very well trained, she has one flaw which is she is not good with other dogs due to her being abused as a puppy. She has got better but it’s been hard. My dog was in my inlaws garden and someone walked in the garden and the dog barked at him then jump at him and nipped him, everyone made such a commotion that the dog got more frightened and kept barking and growling once I got to the situation with a stern command she sat down and was fine and even licked the guy she nipped. She has since had strangers walk into the house and she has been so nice and not done a thing. I’m am confused with this and my partner is scared as we are expecting a baby soon. Not sure what I can say or do so help the situation.
Haley M Holm
Your dog has suffered ptsd. Your dog got scared and wanted to provide protection for you. You have no reason to worry because your dog is loyal to you and will always come to your aid. Since he hasn’t done anything that means he’s scared your going to hurt him so he stays quiet. You need to slowly show him you love and care for him.
My Bear, 3 year old German Shepherd male bit a neighbor about two years ago. The neighbor walked into our back yard, the dog barked and growled , but the neighbor opened the gate and came in anyway. He was bitten in the arm, which required stitches. Animal control was called and Bear was quarantined for ten days. The neighbor felt awful, realizing he shouldn’t have come in the yard after Bear’s warning. After this happened, I got trainers and worked with Bear, doing everything suggested. Inside the house with me, he is the sweetest dog in the world. Fast forward two years, to today – Bear bit another neighbor in the arm. This time it was an elderly lady, who was talking to me over the fence. Bear lunged up and bit her for no reason. After talking to trainers again, they all think he is too protective/possessive of me, and there’s nothing I can do to correct this. They think if he was in a new home with me out of his life, he would be fine. Is this possible? Can I be his issue? And how on earth could I rehome him to anyone, knowing he could bite them as well?
I was as at the park yesterday sitting in a chair reading while my Aussie/Border Collie was laying on the ground next to me. She was on a leash. A little girl came running up to her to while making loud noises (kinda sounded like growling) and then proceeded to wrap both of her hands around my dog’s muzzle and put her face right up to my dog’s mouth. When she let go, my dog lunged at her and left a tooth mark just abouve her lip. Luckily, the mom doesn’t seem too upset. I gave her all of information, plus a copy of my dog’s rabies tags. I put my dog in the car while I was taking care of all of this. The whole time the little girl and her brother were going up to my window and telling my dog how bad and ugly it was. The mom also commented that the dog must not be used to children. I have four kids so the dog is around children most of the day. My dog has never acted aggressively toward anyone. It’s frustrating because I kinda feel like that girl attacked my dog. I didn’t say this to the mom. I apologized profusely and offered to pay for any medical bills. I was embarrassed, but also frustrated because people need to teach their kids how to act around dogs they don’t know. It has really upset me especially since I feel like I shouldn’t take my dog back to that park. Any advice? Thanks!
Crystal m
So please some one help me! My dog just bit someone that can take her in for the time being. And he claims she bit through his hand. Enough to go to the hospital. And she doesn’t have her shots yet. I’m trying to abide by what it says here by remaining calm and kind and nice. And hoping that he doesn’t press charges. I’m offering to pay his medical bills and all of that. But please someone help me. I’m at my wits end!
I have an 8 year old rescue dog named Zeus. He’s a Pit Bull mix. One day while I was not home, my roommate was sitting with my dog out on the front porch and out of nowhere attacked a dog being walked by her owner. The owner tried to force Zeus to let go by forcing her hands into his mouth and he bit her hand enough to draw blood. Eventually my neighbors broke up the fight. The owner took down my roommate’s contact info as well as our address but we did not get her contact info. Today an officer knocks on my door asking to speak with my roommate but he’s not home so I take down the officer’s contact info and relay that to my roommate. The officer also said that this was considered a dog bite. This incident happened 8 days ago and the 10 day quarantine period is almost up (even though no one has told me that Zeus needed to be quarantined). The police also said that they have made attempts to contact the owner but she has been unresponsive. The question I have is: is there a chance that Zeus may have to be put down. And, how do my roommate and I deal with a lawsuit if the owner decides to sue. We’re both poor college students and do not have the money to hire a good attorney.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Joyce Pippen
My dog bit someone 6mo. ago and now they have sent a letter from a lawyer. They never approached us about any medical. At the time he said that he didn’t know if my dog or his dog had bitten him because he was trying to break up the dog fight. Since then I have put our dog down.
My neighbors dog bit me and even though it scared me I said it was ok because I like the dog. It has all shots and that but I did go to the doctor and had to fill out a report for the state about the dog bite. I do t want anything to happen to the dog which now I feel aweful about going to the doctors. Why do they fill out those poets if you do t want to file a report. They said I had to.
My brother’s 2 year old aussie is quite territorial and has nipped at a visitor before, but nothing serious, usually just a lot of barking. The guy she nipped was a burly Marine so we just assumed she was scared of someone so much bigger and and trying to defend her territory. She herds our cows frequently and likes to chase things. A few days ago she bit our goat on the leg – but stopped when we called her off and the bite was not deep. Then today she bit a man walking on our road hard enough to draw blood and did not stop the first time we called. We live in a rural area without much traffic, is it possible she was confused and just trying to defend her home? I’m very upset this happened, she does not mind very well but for some reason listens to me better than my brother.
My daughter and son in law have a 2 year old Doberman, the dog has nipped once and bitten twice just enough to break the skin, also has bitten my granddaughter 2 days ago she lives with the dog as well, just enough to lightly break the skin around her ear she is walking an is 14 months old, what is a grandmother to do? I think that the dog has had enough chances and should be gone. Any one have a better answer
My dog bit a gentleman that was walking by the house. He thought he was protecting our four year old grandson. The bite was on this persons calf. It did not draw blood but it was abrasive to his skin. I offered to take him to he doctor and have offered to pay medical and prescriptions. I even gave him a ride home. The bite victim has informed me that he wants compensation above the medical. I asked what amount of compensation he wanted as I would be paying for it. He wanted my insurance information to sue them. And that he will be seeking legal. I am at a loss here. I feel that he is using this situation to futher his gains. What recourse do I have?
Kimberly Alt
If you have a homeowner’s or renter’s policy you should turn the information over to the insurance company and let them defend you (that’s what they’re there for). There are some states where insurance policies exclude dog bites from their coverage. Hopefully, your policy covers dog bites, though.
I really didn’t want to have to use my homeowners. But it looks like he isn’t going to give me a choice. Thanks for your help.
Abby how did this turn out? I have had something very similar just happen. The accident happened right by my mailbox, no blood, but the victim is an old man who is very scared of all dogs said he would puke just being by one.
Anna Meyer
I’ve got to say this because I am very angry after being attacked by an unprovoked german shepherd, unleashed while walking down a public sidewalk. I cannot even find out the owner’s name. Business next door to residence of german shepherd saw the attack and RESTRAINED the dog (They *knew* the dog, and their language left know doubt about it…a man had to get the dog OFF my leg) repeatedly witheld the owner’s name. I am beyond angry. Whoever owns a dog…DON’T EVER REPEAT this reprehensible behavior if you’re a respectful human being. I like dogs normally, by the way, but I was viciously attacked 2 weeks ago…lots of blood, puncture wounds and went to ER. These people in my case are cold hearted individuals.
Luka Baazovi
My dog (caucasian shepherd) is always chained except the part that i walk with him 3 times a day. there is one elderly man who was giving my dog some food around 4 months and today i dont know what happened. my dog went crazy jumped the fence and bit him on the arm. let me remind you: he was not only wearing 1 thing, he was wearing jacket and thick coat and when he bit him his teeth went right in his arm even tho he was wearing thick coat and when i saw his arm i almost fainted, his arm had that big scar because of my dog’s teeth. my family wont let me keep this dog anymore and nobody trusts this dog except me but i will call cops and they will deal with my dog maybe they will kill him, i will miss him but… i am sorry my doggie.
J Alm
How sad your dog was chained up all day. That was abusive.
Not if the dog jumps fences and bites people.
Kimberly Alt
I’m so sorry this is happening. Our thoughts are with you.
I have a 3 year old cockerspaniel and poodle mix. I’m a minor and i’m home alone so i’m not supposed to open the door for anyone. The UPS delivery man came and i waited for him to depart and i opened the door thinking he had already left but he was still there. I opened the door and my dog came out and jumped at the man, me thinking he hurt him said “oh my god i’m sorry” and i put my dog in the house. I waited for the UPS guy to say something but he walked to the UPS truck and drove off. The next thing i know is i hear loud banging and knocking on my front door. Me being a minor i was scared to open the door because i thought it couldn’t have been UPS because they had just come. I waited about 10 minutes for the person to go away and finally i went downstairs to see maybe who it was and i saw the UPS truck parked down the street and the guy getting in and i see a note on my door saying “We will file a police report for your dog biting UPS.” Mind you i’m a minor so I am very scared. What do i do?
Kimberly Alt
I’m sorry this has happened. Our tips are outlined in our article. If you think UPS is going to file charges, you should seek legal advice. We know this is no picnic and hope all is resolved. Please keep us posted and we wish you luck.
I have a shitzu pekingese for 7 years and my dog attacked this guy who was returning a baby carseat I let them borrow for over a year. I didn’t let him in as my dog is barking heavily and it’s his first time coming in my house so I decided to meet him in my front door but my dog is fast to sneak out. When I opened the door my dog attacked the guy right thru his legs but he’s wearing jeans, no blood, no cut skin but it leaves a bite mark. He was so mad that he didn’t accept my apologies and told me to report to the authorities…that day a bylaw officer came into my house getting my statements but because I am a friend of his wife no charges laid on, but the sad thing is he went to the office at my work and reported the incident. I am running a day home for over 2 years and my day home kids never bitten by my shitzu but then my dog attack so I have to choose to get rid of my dog or quit my day home. We gave our dog to our daughter on her 1st bday and now she’s 8 years old, she even asked me to quit the day home and let her dog stay and my heart was broken and I think the guy went too far that he has no right to report this at my work.
Araceli Medrano
I have a 4 year old chow I’ve had him since he was 6 months old. He’s not always the friendliest dog especially around strangers. About a month ago my best friend whom I’ve known for eight years, came over my house and when she got there apparently my dog was eating a sandwich and my friend tried taking it from him as he’s eating it and he bit her. I took her to the emergency she got her wounds cleaned up and had to take the rest of the week off from work. I was willing to pay for the medial bills but she said that her insurance covered everything no need to pay. I apologized many times and offered to compensate the hours of work she lost that week and she refused. I would text her at least once a week to check up on her recovery. Four weeks after the incident she gets a lawyer and makes a claim against me. My family has helped her financially, helped her family in any need for 8 years and we offered to compensate the damage, medical, and work and she refused, in the end she did this. I don’t know who’s right or wrong here in this situation but I’m more hurt that our 8 years friendship ended with this. I really don’t know what to do.
The Real Truth
A neighbor was caring for my 4 dogs while I was out of state (I live in Michigan). While she was in our barn to feed the dogs. The 2 male dogs began fighting and she attempted to pull them apart by the collar and was bitten. She is now blaming us for the bite. Do we have any legal liability?
Kimberly Alt
I’m so sorry this happened. We do not give legal advice to our readers because we could then get in trouble. We suggest speaking with a lawyer about your situation to make sure you are covering all your bases. Best of luck, we’re thinking of you!
I read a long time ago of a very old elderly woman who walked her small dog.

The dog wandered or leash dropped and dog went on front lawn of a home with a pitbull or rottweiler chained out from and not in the rear of the yard. The old woman’s dog was killed by them, and she tried to do what she could to save the dog and went up into the owners property to do so, in return she was severely bitten, scared and mauled by the attack dogs. The story lingered on in the papers and on tv news for weeks. She had no case against the owner of the property. The owners claimed the dog was defending his home. That her dog trespassed. That she knew the danger of breaking up a dog fight and should not have. That she had trespassed and caused the enter incident to infold. that if they had to shell out for anything, that she should have to reimburse them since she was the root cause of the overall incident. The District Attorney and no civil attorneys gave advice as this column news video did – that if your dog bites someone even though it’s on your property you have to pay for it even though they trespassed. In fact, states like Massachusetts have a clause in their law that all states should have – in that if some one deliberately and premeditatedly teases the animal so as to aggravate them into biting them a viable liability defense occurs. Thus when in other incidents the owner a dog is walking their dog down the street on a leash and finds that the dog is being pelted by fresh kids throwing small or large rocks at the dog so as to get the dog to act up, or in the city when they throw them at horses so as they will toss the rider off the back and cause back spine and paralyzing injury that off the animal bites or kicks or steps on the perpetrator then the owner will not be liable for their injuries.

Brittany O'Hara
I have a two year old German Shepard and my sister in law and I took her and my sister in law’s two dogs for a walk today on a public trail near her house. My dog can be very protective of me so my sister in law decided to walk her while I walk her dogs. We were watching a lady who was behind us so we can keep the dogs in check. A jogger came around a sorta blind corner and stopped which startled my dog and she jumped up and bit him. She did puncture the skin. Both my sister in law (she handled the situation) and him had no idea what to do so the man took pictures of her and they exchanged numbers. Now I worry for my dogs life. Is there any advice you can give us? It just happened today so we still are not sure what the man plans on doing.
Kimberly Alt
Sorry about your situation. We know how scary this must be for you and hope everything works out. The only advice we have is what we’ve written in the article and our comment section. In the mean time, it’s important to try to stop this behavior from your dog—you don’t want this to happen again and risk having your dog taken from your or someone getting hurt worse. Consider taking her to obedience classes and tell the trainer about her biting so they can help her be less aggressive. Best of luck and keep us posted on what happens!
I have a two year old brendal pit bull. My spouse bought her for our older child, her name is Lady. My spouse was our dogs best friend, master, and almost a year ago he was murdered so he is no longer around. Lady is a great dog, and so compassionate with our three children, ages 5, 2, and 7 months. I also have friends and their children come over quite frequently and Lady is very good with all of them. She’s great with people, she is just very protective over the kids and I along with our home. I feel like she’s confused as to why my spouse has not come home. Which leads her to be even more protective. My 5 year old and her friend were playing outside, her friend told her to open the gate and she did and did not close it in time and Lady got out. She has gotten out before, but has always stayed close to home. But this time, there was an older woman walking her small (very small) dog, and she reacted seeing the “vicious pitbull” by screaming and yelling. Instead of picking her dog up she just stood there yelling, so my dog ran over to her and attacked the dog (not her, just the dog) in the process of her wrestling the dogs, she was bit, I immediately ran over there and Lady stopped and looked at me and started shaking. I feel she was just being protective, she didn’t know any better. The older woman continued to scream at me telling me how vicious my dog was and how bad of an owner I was for not watching her. I proceeded to tell her it was an accident, that my young child accidentally let her out of our backyard. I asked if she was ok and she yelled at me telling me she was calling the police, I told her I live right down the street and I will be waiting. I took my dog home and once she was secure I walked back over to the house the woman went to, I asked, who I thought was her husband (found out they were just friends), if the dog was ok and if she was ok. He told me the bleeding stopped on the dog and that the woman was ok and that I was ok and needed to relax. Then the woman storms out the house and yells at me saying the cops are on the way. I explained I wasn’t going anywhere and I pointed to where I live and told her I’ll be right over there if they needed anything, I apologized and walked off. The police told me that no one needed medical assistance and that the dog was ok and the woman was ok. I explained the situation and told the cops about Lady, I also mentioned I contacted a couple trainers to help me train Lady to be nicer to other dogs, again, she is great with people. They reassured me they weren’t going to take my dog but that animal control will be by tomorrow (this happened on Sunday) to do more investigation in regards to my dog. The next day animal control came and said Lady needed to do a 10 day rabies quarantine, but I could pick her up on the 26th. I gave them her records on being spade and her up to date vaccine records. After dropping Lady off to the animal shelter the woman came with who I thought was her daughter and was bandaged up on both arms and one arm in a sling (mind you there was only one bite mark on her left arm, nothing else). The woman told me her dog needed emergency surgery because his intestines were coming out and wanted my insurance information so they could file a claim against me and my dog for their medical bills. I told her my situation and explained that Lady is a great dog but she told me how vicious my dog was and how scared she is for her life. I sympathized with her and told her “I’m so sorry, but so thankful you and your dog are ok, but Lady is not vicious, I know pit bulls have a bad rep, but my dog has been raised as a family dog.” She told me she will have so many medical bills and needs me to pay for them, I said I would gladly do so if she showed me the wounds on her and her dog, she declined. I then told her the police said no one needed medical attention and if the dog’s intestines were falling out how was he able to survive an entire night before being taken to the vet to get checked. She argued and said how much of a dog lover she was and now she is scared of dogs and wants my dog gone because she’s dangerous and a threat. (Mind you, other “nosey” neighbors came out and told the police – without my knowledge – that there has never been a problem with Lady – which I’m thankful for). I’m just unsure on how to act, she had all of my information but I have none of hers, I have not given her my insurance information, as I was planning to call them and report it so they can do an investigation. But, she knows where I live and has stopped by a few times and has been pressuring me for my insurance information. I have already lost so much and can’t handle having another thing taken from me. I don’t know what to do. Should I be scared that my dog can be taken from me?
I’ve heard this a million times about pit bulls, they are great with people but not so much with other dogs, that’s no excuse for your dangerous dogs behavior. I have owned labs, great danes, shnauzer’s all rescues w/ bad histories in my 25+ years of dog ownership & have never had any of them bite any living being even when they were provoked by stray dogs or children. To be honest, a dog attack is a dog attack, & the fact is your dog is dangerous. I’m sorry that your view is bias since she’s your dog, but the fact is, if she attacked that dog, who’s to say she won’t do it again. If she provides medical bills pertaining to injuries to her & her pup, I suggest you take care of that or you shouldn’t be owning a dog as that’s part of the responsibility.
Tell her to screw off and get a lawyer if she wants to play this game and I’ll see you in court. Tell her don’t step on my property ever again if your playing this game you old hag. make sure to belittle her ha.
Kimberly Alt
We are so sorry for this terrible situation you are in. It sounds like you have handled everything appropriately. From what you’ve stated, it sounds like the police are on your side for this and also think the woman is playing it up some to reap some benefits. While our optimistic side says you and your dog will be fine, our cautious side tells us that there’s always a chance for things to go differently. Continue to be respectful and helpful and hopefully that will help keep Lady with you and your family. Again we are so sorry this is happening to you. Please let us know how things go. You are in our thoughts.
I have a female chihuahua that just had puppies. My daughter’s friend came to visit, she is like 6 years old. I put my dog and the puppies in a closet, but the little girl went in the closet to get the puppies and then my dog bit her. Can I have any legal problems?
What should I do, my friends’ dog bit someone on the street today but I was walking the dog. I am sad because I am only 11 years old and I don’t want to go to jail or make my friend’s dog get put down. Has anyone got any comments about this? The dog only made a bruise though.
Kimberly Alt
It isn’t your fault that the dog bit someone. You are not the owner. It depends on the person who was bit and what actions they take. But you will not go to jail. Make sure you told the owner about what happened and be honest about the situation. They will help explain the situation to you. We are so sorry this happened.
My boxer just bit someone a few days ago at a dog park, but the victim is unwilling to give out any of his personal information – just first name. He’s asking for money and I’d like to write a cashiers check but he won’t give his full name.
Wendy Foreman
Sounds like a scam. Anyone truly hurt would be quick to answer any questions you asked. The guy could be running from the police as well. Good luck!
Cari Garcia
My dog bit a girl and now I have to take her to the vet and love her for 10 days! Any chance they won’t kill her?
jackie Mitchell
My female 4-year old English Pointer (75 pounds) bit our 15-year-old neighbor yesterday. He was in his yard and not provoking the dog. My husband was watching the dog off leash (as usual, though without the shock collar we usually have her wear and never rarely ever use and only on the lowest level) and was unable to call her back or control her. This isn’t the first time this dog has been aggressive with outsiders, and she’s even bit my husband twice (once when he intervened between a fight among her and another much 17-year-old smaller dog in our household and once when he was trying to clip her nails). I’m worried that we can’t trust her not to bite again, and that we are exposing our neighbors (the dog has backed down the mother of the injured boy before, and has run and barked aggressively at his 12-year-old sister as well, along with other aggressions towards strangers). I don’t know what to do. Obedience training? Electronic fence? I just don’t know if I’m going to be able to trust this dog. Any advice?
If you use a shock collar without proper training, you are creating a problem. Every dog should have basic obedience training. Owners need to learn to read their dogs and know what kind of corrections to use.
Kimberly Alt
It sounds like your dog could benefit from obedience training.
jackie Mitchell
We’ve actually talked with a few obedience trainers in our area and they don’t hold out much hope for a dog with a bite record like our Lucy’s. We are going to consult with our vet today. It is not looking good. :’/
Kimberly Alt
I’m so sorry Jackie. Keep us posted on what your vet says. Best of luck!
jackie Mitchell
The vet recommended euthanasia. I’m devastated, but after talking with the Humane Society, the ASPCA, and several obedience trainers and anti-aggression behaviorists we were at least prepared. Her record is not good and it’s getting worse. We want to be responsible owners and not wait until something truly devastating happens. Her last day is tomorrow. Heartbroken. We feel that we have failed our sweet companion. Thank you for your support.
I understand where you’re at. We have a 15 month old 110 lb Rottie and have had him since he was born. We bred mom knowing that all the puppies would have a good home. Long story short mom passed away in December from cancer at only 4 years old. We have the son still. He is a handful and knowing how young he still was I told my husband we need to get a handle on him. I hired Bark busters and the whole family agreed to train him. After about a week it was a struggle to get the kids to help with anything and needless to say the consistency wasn’t there. A few days ago I was again out with my husband trying a few of the trainings and he broke loose of his leash and bit a neighbor. The bite was nothing serious but it did break the skin with his big fang. We took this as a wake up call and feel this dog is too much for us to handle and are deciding to rehome to someone that is more experienced with big dogs. I too feel we have failed him and that I have failed as a dog owner. I hope you are able to find peace in knowing that your dog gave you some good memories and she can not hurt anyone else.
I can definitely make room for your pup and with obedience training from myself and fiance he might benefit from.
Thank you Emmanuel we did find a good home for our Rottie. He is in a home with an experienced Rottie owner who is on a farm with 2 other dogs and horses. It was a hard decision but the best thing for him. I have informed the new owner of the dog bite as well.
jackie Mitchell
Thanks for sharing your story. We are heartbroken over having to euthanize Lucy, a lovely and sweet dog with so much personality. It still seems so unreal, but the silence in our home echoes in our ears every moment. She left a huge hole in our hearts. We plan to have a little service to bury her ashes in our back yard on Memorial Day with our grand kids and will plant a pink dogwood tree there, so she’ll always be with us. What a hard thing this has been!

I hope things go well with your pup, and please don’t hide the fact that he has bitten someone from potential new owners. He will need a strong training program and his new owners need to know his background so they can help him especially while he’s still young. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. We try to do what’s best for them always, and sometimes there are hard things to deal with and it can be a lonely and painful job. I hope you find a good situation for him. All the best to you and your family.

Satveer Kaur
My American Akita collar broke and jumped on a kid the police have taken him away. They have interviewed my husband but still not said what’s going to happen to my dog. I’ve had him since he was a pup and now is 5yrs. Does anyone know how long it takes for the police to decide what happens?
jackie Mitchell
In our case, the law in this area requires at least 2 weeks of observation, even though we were able to provide current immunization records. I think it varies, but your Humane Society would have more information about it.
Kimberly Alt
Oh no Jackie, this saddens us greatly. You are in our thoughts today and we are so sorry this is happening.
Cari Garcia
I have a question! The police didn’t kill her after biting the girl? I’m so scared that can happen to my dog this is the first time that ever happen and there wasn’t blood.
jackie Mitchell
No, we haven’t been contacted by animal control or law enforcement as of yet. Our dog’s rabies tags were photographed and apparently the hospital will (or already has) report the bite and they may follow up with us later. If your dog’s bite didn’t draw blood and if the bite was provoked (teasing, trespassing, physically restraining, etc.), she or he will probably be put on probation (though each state has its own laws about this). Take the opportunity to strengthen any obedience training your dog has already had and be extra vigilant about keeping her or him on a leash or securely confined during outside time. I wish we’d seen this coming and could have prevented Lucy’s behavior from getting so out of control.
We have a black lab – border collie mix since he was 6 weeks old. He is now a year and a half old. He never ever showed any signs of aggression besides barking. My 7 year old daughter has always loved on the dog with hugs and such. The dog always accepted her love and gave it back. Today my daughter is laying on the couch, leans over the side to pet the dog that’s laying on the floor right beside her. She then tried to give him a hug when he just snapped at her face, give her a nasty gash under her eye. What should I do about the dog?
David Glickman
My dog Rusty, a GSD rescue has been with us for 2 1/2 years now. I guess he’s around 4 1/2. We live on 6 acres and have an electronic fence that he lives within. He is a very sweet, affectionate dog with my older GSD and my 3 girls. When we first got him, he had a little nipping problem and was a fence runner. He would run along the fence line for hours. It seemed like he was a bit institutionalized. Anyway, one of my girls had a friend sleep over. The mom came over unannounced and Rusty was outside and bit her. 5 punctures. She didn’t sue, and was ok. Flash forward to this weekend. The same girl was sleeping over and Rusty cuddled up with her and my daughter on the couch and slept all night. The next day, the mother comes over 2 hours before she’s supposed to, and guess what, Rusty is outside and takes a chunk out of her calf. 7 Stitches and an ambulance ride later, she’s ok. Yes, it was very stupid of her to show up again unannounced, but there’s nothing I can do about that now. We are going to install a driveway alarm to help with that issue. (We have a long driveway.) Rusty is a good dog, on Prozac to control his fence running and exhibits behaviors like pacing etc. Now I’m left to figure out if his biting this woman was out of neurological problems, which cannot be corrected or behavioral issues which I can have worked on by a professional. I will take him to the vet this week and will also call a professional behaviorist, but I am so saddened to possibly face the decision of PTS.
Deborah Massa
I care about my neighbors, but they have a dog that comes after me and my husband at times when we work in our garden, or walk to the mailbox. He acts very aggressive toward us and will not back off, and the only solution is when we walk away and head back to our home. The man who owns the dog knows he does this and has made the statement to me that he will tie him up. The dog is still untied and doing the same thing. The dog owner even told me that his dog doesn’t listen to him. I am concerned about the dogs aggression, but don’t want to get neighbors upset with me if I take action. I do care about them. Do I have legal right to use mace on the dog if I feel scared he is going to attack? We live in the country, and I believe there is no leash law here.
I was fostering a three legged Shepard mix. I have a chain link fence in my back yard. My neighbor is absolutely nuts and has violently yelled at me and multiple neighbors about dogs barking (screaming and cursing). Today after I got home from work and let my dogs out like I always do. I went to go get ready to take a shower and about 10 min after I walk out I hear his dogs yapping like he just let them outside. So both of our dogs are going crazy barking at each other. This is common and only lasted about 5 min so I wasn’t concerned about it I didn’t hear anything besides the barking. (No yelling or screaming.) 10 min later I let my dogs in like normal. (Don’t see any sign of my neighbor.) I go to take my shower. When I come back out and get dressed there’s a knock on my door that’s animal control and about 3 police officers saying that my dog bit my neighbor and left a “significant wound” on his wrist. I prodded him about it since I honestly wouldn’t put it past my neighbor to make it up and he described it as one puncture wound and because of course I didn’t hear or see anything. (Still not sure how this is a significant wound.) Animal control has to take him and quarantine him and he’s not allowed to come back to my house. My neighbor claims that my three legged 40lb Shepard mix lunged over my fence (they specifically clarified it wasn’t into my neighbors yard as my face surely showed how ridiculous this story sounded) and grabbed his wrist and bit him. This neighbor has previously been caught feeding my other dogs in my yard so it’s certainly not the first time this guy has been stupid enough to reach into someone’s yard. I think it’s extremely obvious this guy is lying about what happened and even the police officers were very surprised by my dog when he came out (proceeded to kiss their faces) and how small he was. I’ve looked up laws in my area and it seems that they say that I am not liable if it was trespassing. Most literature I’ve read have eluded to a person reaching over a fence as trespassing but I want to know since it’s just a “he said she said” situation since there were no witnesses besides him what the chances of my liability is and if I will have to pay any expenses to this lunatic. I’m not downplaying the fact that he was bit. There’s no situation where that is right. But I shouldn’t be liable for his incompetency and him trying to cover by lying about it.
I recently adopted a tripawd shepard mix. If you don’t mind, what state are you in?
Kimberly Alt
Wow, I’m so sorry this is happening. I hope you can get your dog back to you soon! Best of luck fighting this and keep us posted on how everything turns out. We’re rooting for ya!
They have already told me that my dog can’t come back to my house and I can’t afford a lawyer or anything if I do have to fight it.
Kimberly Alt
I am so sorry. This saddens us greatly. You are in our thoughts.
I have German Shepherd dog, who is about 2 years old. We were in the front lawn where my kids were playing and a lady with her daughter were passing by there on the side walk in front of my lawn, (I think it is called easement?). My dog started barking and started to pull her leash. She was tied to the tree. Some how the leash opened and she was able to reach the lady. She says that the dog bit her, but I did not see any visible marks on her selves like holes or such and no blood was drawn. My dog’s nails are long so I am thinking she most likely scratched her. We took control of the situation very quickly and no one got injured. We went to the lady’s home and made sure that no one got hurt and that her daughter is fine. Should I be worried as this happened near my property where the dog may have been defensive of its territory?
Kimberly Alt
I’m so sorry this happened. Be sure the read in the article, under the heading “What To Do After Your Dog Bites Someone”. This will give you a clear explanation of what to do.

Consider dog bite insurance. If this is a common place that you keep your dog she may have this behavior again. To keep yourself and your dog covered, dog bite insurance is a good option.

Get a sturdier leash, one that she cannot slip through.

If your dog isn’t the best with strangers try to keep her from them. That way all parties are as safe as possible. Dogs can be territorial and like you mentioned, it’s quite possible she thought she was protecting her territory.

I hope everything ends up ok and again, am so sorry this occurred.

Abigail Laciapag
Hi, my dog ran out, and a man wanted to help get him and gave me a call to let me know they had my dog. My husband called me and said that my dog bit the guy and it drew blood. The guy that left a message on my phone was a friend of the guy who got bit. I immediately called the guy and asked about his friend and he said he wasn’t aware of his friend getting bit. I said please let me know if he did and I’m very sorry if he did get bit.

If I don’t hear back, should I let it go, or should I follow up? A little worried right now. My dog is pretty wild. Any strangers or people walking by the house, he will bark at. He has never bit anyone, but he is very protective.

Alexis Towns
My dog was constantly harassed by my neighbors which are minors they would throw rocks, hit him with stick and poke him with brooms basically anything they could find and we have told the parents what was going on and they need to stop, one of the adults has tried challenging my dog and my dog acted aggressive toward him, the taunting has been going on for about a year and recently he bit one of the neighbors that taunt him, which was a 9 year old girl, on the leg. I know my dog is not malicious and aggressive just to be aggressive and now my father feels the only way to keep from being sued or being in trouble with the law is to put him down. My neighbors have a history of police visits so I highly doubt they are going to try to take it to court but I just want to save my dog but I do not know how? If you have any ways to help that would mean the world to me.
Kimberly Alt
We’re so sorry this is happening to your dog. For starters, try to barricade your neighbors from having access to your dog if possible. Build a higher fence, do not leave him unattended, etc. If they begin to harass your dog, kindly ask them to stop. If it continues, contact the police. Explain the situation to the police and they can hopefully keep your neighbors from harassing your dog. Since they have experience with the police they probably don’t want any more trouble with them. Best of luck and stay safe.
My husband & I were walking our dog earlier today & he ducked behind us to take a quick nip at an elderly woman who had walked past us. No provocation. She was fine & declined any assistance of any kind. However, this is definitely not the first time he’s done this. At what point to we admit this behavior isn’t improving? We are hypervigilant when people come by. 90% of the time, his barks immediately turn to joyful talking. He loves the children dearly, but can be overprotective. What do we do now? We do not feel we can completely trust him with anyone but us.
Kimberly Alt
Sign him up for classes with a trainer. This will help him learn good behaviors and hopefully stop the biting.
katrisha valenciano
My dog bit an elderly while my dad was walking her at the park just a few days ago. The elderly came from the blind side and must have startled my dog. The elderly got all of our contact information as well as my dog’s information but my dad had forgotten to ask for their’s. Hoping the elderly seek medical help as soon as he can and that he recovers with no other issues. He said he would file a case against us if something was to happen but I’m thinking positive and hoping for the best. Thank you for your help.
Kimberly Alt
So sorry this happened Katrisha. Yes, staying optimistic will help you feel better. As you said, hopefully the man recovers with no other issues. Best of luck to you and your dog.
My dog is 1 right now and he just bit the mail lady’s pant leg. He was barking at her and she walked into our garage to place a package in the middle of it. This is where he nipped at her. Is there any way we could possibly fix this bad behavior or would it be best just to shelter him from other people?
Kimberly Alt
You may want to take your dog to an animal behaviorist. Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like this was too serious of a situation but it could be next time. If your dog bites someone your world could be flipped upside down. It’s important that you stop this behavior as soon as possible. So if you can, take your dog to an animal behaviorist.
Pet Adoptee
We adopted a 7-month old pup. We went camping last weekend, and he bit someone. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but she did not have her dogs leashed and she was carrying a kayak. My pup pulled out of his tether/runner. I ran and grabbed him. The woman didn’t tell me that Newton had bit her. About 3 hours later, the sheriff came and took Newton to the animal control shelter. I felt horrible. Newton has all his shots and has visited the vet often. We did not have a lot of his history, but he was on the streets at a very young age. I will work with him and will probably get a shock collar.
Kimberly Alt
Oh no, I’m so sorry this happened to you. Hope everything gets better and you are able to train Newton. Best of luck!

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