If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you’re in quite a predicament with your pet. If your dog has bitten another dog, you’re probably panicking. Trust me when I tell you that your dog is going to be just as stressed out about the situation as you are. Find out what to do if your dog bites another dog, to make sure that you’ve covered all of your bases.
If you’re reading this article because your dog was bitten by another dog, that’s another story. Most states have laws about dogs that bite humans, but dogs that bite other dogs are completely different.
Depending on the situation, you may want to consult a lawyer for legal advice. Depending on the harm done to your pet, the location of the attack and the supervision at the time of the attack, you may or may not have a case that will hold up in court.
Aside from the possibility of contacting a lawyer, there are other things that need to be done to make sure that your dog is cared for, the other dog is cared for and both owners are protected as much as possible. It is important for EVERY pet owner to have this information, because even the most mellow dog could have an aggressive episode under the right circumstances.
What To Do If Your Dog Bites Another Dog
Aggression or a one time issue?
Dog bites aren’t something that can be addressed as a blanket issue. They need to be looked at on a case by case basis. If your dog has bitten a human or other animals in the past, it’s a problem that needs to be addressed immediately with a professional.
A veterinary behaviorist or dog trainer that deals specifically with aggression will help you analyze your dog’s history and the specific circumstances leading up to the aggressive episode. They will be able to help you determine why the biting incident occurred and help to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
It is important for a dog who bites to be assessed by a professional, both to evaluate ongoing risk of another bite and to determine training options. Medical issues should be ruled out first, as dogs who are in pain or are otherwise not feeling well may display aggression.
Typically, the best solution is an ongoing combination of strict training and avoiding situations that will aggravate aggressive behaviors. You will need to be consistent with your behavior modification plan throughout the rest of your dog’s life.
Creating a plan can be very overwhelming. This is why it’s best to work with a canine behavior specialist, or at the very least your veterinarian. They can help you choose a professional dog trainer to work with and come up with a plan for avoiding stressful situations.
If your dog shows a pattern of aggression, medication or supplements may need to be prescribed by your veterinarian.
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What to do if your dog bites another dog?
When talking about what to do if your dog bites another dog, there are a few rules that must be followed:
Do NOT try to break up the fight. Putting your hands or body in between two fighting dogs is incredibly dangerous. You could end up getting bitten yourself or seriously injured.
Take your dog to the vet immediately if any care is needed. Don't wait to take your dog in for medical attention. If he has any open wounds or seems sore/lame, call your veterinarian immediately. If you notice any changes in your pet's behavior, call your vet. Explain the situation and they will advise you on whether to bring your pet into the office or find emergency vet care at another clinic.
Get as much information as you can from the other owner. You should be sure to write down, take pictures or get documentation of some necessary information. This information may be needed by your vet, law enforcement officials or your legal advisor. The information that you should be sure to attain includes:
- names and contact information of other owner and witnesses
- description of attacking dog
- photos of other dog
- photos of other owner's license plate
- photos of both dogs’ injuries
- date, time and location of incident
Take all of this information, even if the other owner doesn’t want to make a big deal of the situation and offers to pay for any injury to your dog. If your dog injures the other dog, you should offer to pay for the vet bills. Offer to go to the vet with the other owner to pay for the bill and to get information on the dog’s injuries.
Contact the animal control officer in the area as soon as possible. They will be able to help you file an official report and gain information about the other dog if the owner will not willingly share it.
Do not get defensive of your dog. Canines are unpredictable creatures. We can never be sure what our dogs are going to do. Even if your pup is laid back and has never shown any aggression before, he could still have an aggressive episode at any time. We can never be too sure what our dog’s senses are picking up and what signals they are getting from other dogs.
Stay calm. Work with the other owner to get all of the information that you need. And, above all else, make sure that both dogs are getting the care that they need after the attack.