Can You Trust A Dog That Has Bitten?

Can You Trust A Dog That Has Bitten?

Each and every year millions of people are bitten by a dog.  In fact, according to one source over 2 million children are bitten annually. 

This is a topic I, unfortunately, know all too well.  I've shared the story of my dog, Frisbee in prior posts if you want to find it (it's 8 separate blog posts and has a ton of information).  

Some dog owners that feel they can never trust a dog after it has bitten while others feel the dog may be able to be rehabilitated.

What is the correct answer? 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a right answer because both groups are right. 

For me personally, I think it took a couple situations for me to realize this was a real problem with our dog.  Can he be rehabilitated?  I don't think so.  Can he do well with training?  Maybe.

You see we've had two different trainers and a behavior specialist and while I learned a lot about his body language and was taught to teach him to sit and sit stay and down and down stay and leave it and recently worked on the recall command, none of that has changed the fact that we can never allow him around people.

But, we are hoping that might changed as just today, August 13th, we've taken a completely different route with Frisbee.  I will be sharing this decision we made and how its progressing for Frisbee in my upcoming posts so stay tuned.

So what should you do if your dog has bitten? do you have it put to sleep?  That is one option.  As a responsible dog

Do you have it put to sleep?  That is one option.  As a responsible dog

That is one option.  In fact, that's an option I was forced into considering 18 months ago for Frisbee, but I just couldn't do it.

As a responsible dog owner, you need to realize that a dog bite can create a huge liability situation for you.  Yes, lawsuits are very common when it comes to dog bites.  Of course your homeowner's insurance gets involved and most times they will simply settle with the person that has been bitten in order to save money involved with a trial. 

So your home owners insurance helped out but guess what?  Your chances are pretty high they will now cancel you.  Your mortgage company requires insurance to protect their interests which means you will have to go to a high-risk insurance company at probably 3 – 4 times what you were paying before.  They may also stipulate that you get rid of the dog.

Again, this is something I am far too familiar with.  One of our bite situations did lead to a lawsuit and a settlement with our homeowners' insurance.  I talk about this situation in the prior blog posts I did that I mentioned earlier. In fairness, I don't blame the party who sued us.  I am guessing I probably would have done the same thing.  

You see, the person who got bit was a 2-year little girl who I love dearly.  Most people are going to sue if their child gets bit by a dog.  Lucky for us our insurance paid the settlement as so far, knock on wood, we weren't canceled and our insurance didn't go up.  I feel sometimes like we may have slipped through the cracks and dodged a bullet on this one.

Back to the original question, can you trust a dog that has bitten?  

Some dog owners will just put their dog to sleep because they feel they can't trust their dog which could be for a variety of reasons and other dog owners will hire a canine behavior specialist or trainer to help solve the problem and rehabilitate the dog. 

I've heard it said that some dogs can be rehabilitated while other can not.  I'm not sure I believe a dog can ever be "rehabilitated".  It's an animal after all.  And I've also been told that every time a dog bites it is learning that this is a behavior he/she can rely on when needed and get away with it.  So the more bites, the more likely to bite again? Maybe.

The real question might be how do we know which one can be fixed and which can not?  You don’t until you start doing some serious obedience training as well as a

You don’t until you start doing some serious obedience training as well as a well-planned behavior modification program.

The best thing you can do is handle your dog properly from the beginning to try to stay out of any situation where you end up with a dog that bites.

Here is something to consider if you have a dog and before your dog bites.  Socialization of your puppy before 20 weeks is critical and obedience training is also very important.  Stop and think for a minute.  Very seldom do you see a

Socialization of your puppy before 20 weeks is critical and obedience training is also very important.  Stop and think for a minute.  Very seldom do you see a

Stop and think for a minute.  Very seldom do you see a

Very seldom do you see a well-trained dog that bites.  A well-trained dog that has also been socialized will understand that biting is not allowed.

Here are a few very basic tips to help avoid bites.  Socialize your puppy,  train your dog and make sure your dog always gets the appropriate amount of exercise for its age and breed.

And finally, the more quality time you can spend with your dog, the better.  That won't necessarily stop a dog from biting but remember why you got the dog in the first place.

I hope you got value from this post.  Remember to watch for my posts in the near future as I share what corners we've turned with Frisbee and what steps we decided to take to get him some much-needed help (and to help us as well).  

The images associated with this post are of Frisbee.  He is my handsome, man dog, friend as I call him and I love him like a son.

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1 comment

  • We had a dog that suddenly became aggressive to us and then bit me long story short our vet gave us behavioral techniques explaining that at age two he was trying to be alpha dog and he had to learn he wasn’t it worked and he was a wonderful companion for fourteen years

    Janet

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