How to Prevent a Dog Bite Lawsuit

, , ,

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but it’s no secret that a dog with tendencies toward aggression can be a liability for their owner and family. When a dog bites someone, the owner is most often considered responsible for failing to prevent the attack. That being said, there are some clear and effective steps that dog owners can take to prevent the possibility of a dog bite lawsuit, as well as to improve their dog’s social health and wellbeing.

Tip #1: Be honest about your dog.

It can be hard to admit that a furry family member may have issues with aggression. However, recognizing that a dog may be aggressive in some situations is the first step to getting your dog the help it needs. If your dog has growled, nipped, chased, or tried to bite another animal, child, or adult at any point in time regardless of the circumstances of the situation, it’s a good idea to look into training programs. Dogs can become aggressive for many reasons; rather than try to puzzle out why your dog displays aggressive tendencies, invest the effort in joining a training program or hiring a private trainer experienced with helping retrain aggressive animals.

Tip #2: Socialize your dog from a young age.

It’s important to begin socializing a dog as soon as possible. While it can certainly be a hassle to transport a rambunctious puppy out and about, proper early socialization can do wonders for a dog’s social skills, and prevent aggressive behaviors from developing.

Not only is it important to make an active effort to socialize your puppy, but it is also important to make sure it is socialized in a diverse way. This means instead of only socializing your puppy with other small dogs, it should be socialized with large dogs, cats, children of all ages, and different kinds of adults. This can help a dog feel safe in any environment they may find themself in, snubbing the need for protective aggression in any situation.

Tip #3: Take precautions if your dog might be aggressive.

This is a simple one, but failure to take the necessary precautions with a potentially aggressive animal is one of the most common causes of animal attacks and dog bite lawsuits. If there is any chance your dog may bite or otherwise behave aggressively toward someone, they should never be off-leash outside of their home environment or around new people.

Additionally, it’s probably wise to refrain from taking your pet to a dog park or other public area where you cannot fully predict their behavior. If someone asks to pet your dog, don’t be afraid to say no; it’s probably in their best interest. If your dog runs free in a backyard or on a property, make sure the fencing is secure, well-maintained at all times, and consider posting a “beware of dog” sign in a place where visitors can see it. All of these precautions can be effective ways to prevent a dog from biting or injuring another party, and therefore may be vital to preventing a lawsuit.