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Dog Attacks; How To Avoid Them And Proper Dog Training

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Fresno-dog-bite-attorney.jpgAccording to the Humane Society of the United States, there are more than 164 million dogs in the US today.   Over the past decade, both dog ownership and dog bite incidents have increased.  In the US, 4.5 million dog bites occur each year and more than 30,000 victims require reconstructive surgery.

Increasingly, dog owners are being held criminally responsible and liable in lawsuits for the attacks by their pet dogs. Dog bites now account for one-third of all homeowner insurance claims and payouts amount to more than $1 billion annually.  Most states, like Wisconsin, make dog owners automatically liable for all dog bites.


In extreme situations, being liable for a dog attack can mean much more than just financial liability. This past year, a California woman was attacked by four pit bulls while walking in her neighborhood. Even though passing motorist tried to help, the woman was bitten more than 150 times and died at the scene. In this instance, the owner was charged with murder.  When it comes to interacting with dogs, there are a number of steps that both dog owners and the general public can take to prevent dog bites.   A good, responsible owner is key to having a well-behaved dog.

  • One of the first steps for anyone thinking about becoming a dog owner is deciding what type of dog is best for their home.  Choosing a dog whose energy level and temperament align with your home is key, especially if you have a home with infants and small children.

  • Train and socialize your dog.  Basic training is as important for the owner as it is for the dog, and socialization is the key to a well-adjusted adult dog. It is essential that puppies between 8 and 16 weeks old be exposed to a variety of people, places, dogs and other animals. As dogs age, do your best to continue their exposure to these things to ensure that they are well socialized throughout their lives.

  • Spay or neuter your dog. Un-neutered dogs are more aggressive than neutered dogs. Approximately 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which were not neutered. Female dogs in heat and nursing moms are much more dangerous than spayed females, and their behavior can be unpredictable.

  • Supervise your dog.  Dogs left on their own may feel uncertain and defensive, or even overly confident, and this poses risks to your dog, as well as to other people and dogs.  Approximately two-thirds of bites occurred on or near the victim’s property, and most victims knew the dog

  • Restrain your dog.  Approximately 58% of human deaths involved unrestrained dogs on their owners’ property. Dogs that are allowed to roam loose outside the yard may perceive your entire neighborhood as their “territory