Even the friendliest dog can turn vicious – when provoked. In fact, the majority of dog bite cases in the country involve dogs that belong to the victim or their loved ones. Just because your dog has always been gentle or is aging does not mean that they cannot harm someone. Typically, dogs will only bite when they are threatened or protecting something that is theirs (including their own food, water or family).
It is important to realize that you are liable for your dog’s actions; if your dog does attack someone, you could face a civil lawsuit for the damages and emotional trauma associated with the attack. To avoid such liability, you need to take extra precautions to keep your dog from biting someone.
Tips for Preventing Dog Bites
Obviously you cannot predict your dog’s every movement, but there are things you can do to limit the likelihood that he or she will attack someone. These things include:
- Training your dog properly. It is important that your dog is exposed to numerous people and situations at a young age. Known as “socialization,” this step could ensure that your dog doesn’t attack simply because he is unaware of the person whom is approaching him. You should also properly train your dog – which may mean paying for obedience classes.
- Do not let your dog run free. While dogs can run free in their own backyards, you should be cautious and make sure that they cannot get out of the backyard by having fences high enough, repairing holes and keeping gates closed.
- Always watch your dog around children. Children tend to be unaware of boundaries with dogs – and have no problem poking, jumping on and aggravating even the most docile dog. Most of the reported dog bites in the United States involve children under the age of 12. If your child or someone else’s child is around your dog, keep an eye on them while making sure that they know how to interact properly with the dog.
- Stay up on vaccinations. If your dog is not vaccinated, it could look more negligent than if your dog is up-to-date on the latest vaccines.
- Put warning signs up at your house. While these won’t stop your dog’s actions, they will stop trespassers. Those thinking of passing through your backyard will think twice when they realize that there is a dog on the premises. Make sure the sign is clear and states “Beware of Dog.” While cute signs are fun, they sometimes can be misleading – and people may assume you do not really have a dog.
Injured by a Dog Attack? Contact an Attorney
If you or a loved one was injured by a vicious dog, contact the dog bite attorneys at Van Sant Law. We understand how traumatic a dog attack can be and are here to ensure that you and your loved ones receive compensation for that attack. Schedule a consultation with an attorney today at 404-991-5950 or fill out our online contact form with your questions.