If Your Dog Bites Someone On Your Property, What Happens?

Fido is a common pet in the US. They’re playful, loyal, fun to be around, and can also be entertaining. This is mostly only if they’re used to you.

Even though many pups don’t show any aggression, they’re prone to bite at one point or another. Some dog breeds tend to bite more and get more defensive than others.

You may condone them if they bite you since they’re yours, but what if they bite your friend, a salesperson, a relative, or even when a dog bites a kid? Things change, and the law has to apply to you and the victim. The post below explains more.

Why Does A Dog Bite?

Most homeowners keep dogs to offer them protection from unwanted visitors. Dogs often elevate this responsibility to biting, and here’s where the problems start.

As per a reliable site, there are many dog bites in the US alone, with mutts attacking over four million individuals every year. The Centers for Disease Control records that one in five injured people desperately requires medical help. It might sound logical to get mad at your furry companion or punish them, but it’s not. A better move would be to understand why a seemingly calm canine can go crazy the next moment and deliver some fatal and painful bites. Here are some common reasons:


  • To shield their territory or pack.
  • You’ve injured them, even if by accident.
  • They’re not feeling well or are in pain- dogs don’t like being approached when they’re feeling pain.
  • You’ve startled them- a dog will bite if you sneak up on it from behind like youngsters do if, for example, they’re sleeping.
  • Running away from a dog fast- even if you’re playing, Fido interprets this as suspicious behavior and will bite.Though you can regulate their behavior with professional training, avoiding any triggers, and learning their personality by consulting their vet, you can’t always predict when they’ll strike.

    What You Should Do After Your Mutt Bites Someone

    Here are some effective steps you should take immediately after your furry friend bites someone:

    • Get them away from the scene- be calm as you do this to avoid attracting unwanted attention. Take them indoors or put them in their crate. You could get some help if you’ve got a large canine.
    • Ensure that the victim is okay- comfort them; they tend to the bite whether it’s severe or not. First, treat the wound, then get some professional medical attention.
    • Exchange contacts with the victim- give them your number and insurance details, then request theirs.
    • Notify the authorities and your vet.

    What Happens After The Incident?

    The victim might file a dog bite lawsuit, and the law will handle it based on the circumstances. The following are some elements that the court will consider:

    Did You Have Prior Knowledge That Your Dog Was Dangerous?

    The law looks at whether you knew that your canine could cause such harm and whether you took the necessary precautions. For example, if your furry friend bit someone before, then it’s likely that you’ll be held accountable this time around.

    Standard of Care- people expect not to be harmed when they step onto your property. You must provide safe surroundings for them.

    Though you’re liable if the dog injures them on your property, the victim can be partially responsible if they put themselves in harm’s way either knowingly or accidentally by provoking the canine.

    Did You Try to Stop the Dog From Biting?

    You’ll be liable if it’s clear that you could have stopped the attack but didn’t. For example, if you saw that your dog was about to bite someone and then did nothing to prevent it, the law will be on the victim’s side.

    What Are The Dog Bite Laws In Your State?

    The dog bite rules differ from state to state. For example, in Georgia, the ‘one bite’ rule applies. This means that you’ll only be held strictly liable for any damages if your dog has bitten someone before and you knew about it.

    In other states like New Jersey, strict liability applies regardless of whether your dog has bitten someone before. This means that you’ll be held liable for any damage caused by your dog, even if it’s the first time.

    Negligence- you may be liable for compensation if you know your dog is dangerous but don’t make any effort to control it. You should put up a sign to warn visitors of a dangerous dog, put the animal on a leash, or keep it away all through the visit.

    Can Your Dog Be Taken Away For Biting Someone?

    Not at all. However, the court may order you to quarantine it, depending on your state. Quarantine may mean keeping them indoors or in the yard so they won’t reach anyone who visits. It may also mean keeping them in your vet’s office or a shelter in several states. The court may consider this decision if there’s limited shelter space and ask you to keep them at home- away from visitors.


    It’s best to avoid dog bite situations by being a responsible dog owner. Get the professional help if they’re aggressive and take the necessary precautions when someone visits your home. This way, you’ll protect yourself, your furry friend, and everyone else around you from unpleasant incidents.


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