Helpful Dog Related Tips Archives

Tips For Pitbull Owners: Go The Extra Mile For Love

Personal injury lawyers on both sides of dog bite injury cases have seen an enormous amount of grief and tragedy.  As litigators specializing in these types of incidents, we feel very strongly that human beings deserve protection from, and remuneration for, dog attacks where an owner is liable and responsible.

A Misunderstood Breed

We also feel enormous compassion for both the owner of a beloved pet and for the animal itself.  No one wants to see any cruelty come to a living creature.  Unfortunately, the world is filled with people who think nothing of breeding, torturing and conditioning dogs to violence for their own selfish entertainment and aggrandizement.  Human safety then becomes increasingly compromised, and the ultimate result can be injury, death and the euthanizing of the animal.

No breed of dog has received more attention for this brutal practice than the pitbull.  But for every horrible attack you hear about on the news, there will be pitbull owners and activist who will stand by their dogs.  They will tell you without hesitation that pitbulls can be the most loving, sweet and gentle companions a person could have.

Making A Change

Our mission is to represent and protect people who have suffered horrible attacks.  We want to see the day where our services on this front are no longer needed.  We encourage and celebrate the people who adopt pitbulls and other dogs from cruel backgrounds and environments.  We know that it isn’t easy and requires great amounts of patience and love.  But the work you do to train, rehabilitate and care for the breed will go a long way towards preventing future tragedies on all sides.

Tips For Training

In case you are thinking of adopting a pitbull or animal with a questionable past or temperament, here are some tips for promoting safety and model behavior.  It should go without saying that you need to make sure that the dog is properly vaccinated, neutered and registered.

Educate Yourself

Many shelters specializing in abused animals will keep case files on the dogs they take in, and they will also have resources available to help you train the dog and keep yourself and others safe.  Often times, when you know what the problem was you can help the pitbull avoid triggers that could set him or her off.

Be a Pitbull Whisperer

Catch up on your Cesar Milan!  There are ways to recognize agitation, aggression and other behavior you want to monitor by observing the dog’s body language.  You might be able to see potential trouble and avoid the situation altogether.

Keep the Dog Secure

Pitbulls like to wander off and make their way out of cages and fences.  Make sure this doesn’t occur by checking the fenced area or yard where they spend time and fixing any potential escape points.  When in public, pitbull owners HAVE to go the extra mile and keep their dog leashed to curb aggression.  Unfortunately, the public will fear and mistrust your pitbull, and the more you personally ensure your dog’s good behavior in public, the more you contribute towards changing perceptions

Exercise and Attention

Pitbulls have extra strength and extra energy.  They will want companionship and require at least an hour of vigorous exercise every day.  If you drain their energy, they will be happier, calmer and much easier to manage.

Socialize your Pitbull

Make very careful, selective introductions of people and other dogs to your pitbull.  Note his or her reaction, and when you feel confident, perhaps establish a play group of dogs that he or she gets along with.  Always consult abused-dog experts before you do this.

Remember: if you choose not to adopt a pitbull but want to be involved in their well-being, many dog shelters specializing in abused animals have plenty of opportunities for volunteers who want to help train and socialize them.  Invest some time, some resources and a lot of love in your pitbull and put us out of the dog injury litigation business for good!

Alex is a writer at The McMinn Law Firm, a personal injury firm located in Austin, Texas.  He has been to many dog parks and played with many different breeds of dogs, all with different attitudes.

Tips For Coping With An Angry Dog

A dog bite can forever scar you or your child physically and psychologically.  There are more than four million dog bites that take place in the US.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost a million of those bites require medical care.

Who Responsible for a Dog Bite?

Dog owners are most often responsible if their pet bites someone even if it does not take place on their property.  If the owner has a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, they may be able to file a claim to cover the expenses.

There are several standards of liability when it comes to dog bites.  The few discussed in this article are not meant to be an all-inclusive list, but just some helpful areas of discussion regarding standards of aggresive dog incidents.

The One Bite Rule

One standard is called a “one bite rule.”  With this standard, the victim must be able to prove that the owner of the dog knew that the dog posed a threat.  If a dog owner knows that their pet has the habit of jumping on people, they have the responsibility to make sure that the dog doesn’t continue to do that.  A large dog can easily knock someone over and cause an injury…even if the dog wasn’t intending to hurt someone.

A second standard that exists is taken from dog-bite statutes.  State dog-bite statutes make owners responsible for close to any injury caused by their pet.  In Texas, dog bite victims may be eligible to recover compensation on grounds of negligence.  Violating an animal control law, including leash laws, can make a person liable for a dog bite if their dog is roaming free.  Texas also allows causes of action for failing to stop a dog attack after it is started.

The third standard that exists involves carelessness of the dog’s owner.  When an injury is caused by a dog that the owner could have prevented, the owner may be liable for negligence.  If someone puts their dog in the backyard, but forgets to close their gate and their dog leaves the yard and bites someone, the owner could be liable.

A fourth standard is strict liability.  In certain states, when a dog bites someone the owner will definitely be liable.  There are certain requirements and responsibilities that come along with dog ownership.  The court and society expect those with dogs to be responsible pet owners and control their pets.

Sometimes a person can be held legally liable if their dog bites someone who trespasses on to their land or into their home.  First, it has to be determined whether or not the legal standard of trespassing exists.  Second, it must be determined what the standard of care that the homeowner had for that particular situation.

If a dog has shown dangerous behavior in the past toward people, the usual standards are thrown out.  The dog owner is automatically liable for the injuries caused by the dog.  The dangerous behavior is sometimes referred to as “dangerous propensities.”  Dogs are considered dangerous if that behavior is exhibited toward humans.  Dogs are not necessarily considered dangerous if they only show those characteristics toward other animals.  Simply put, just because a dog gets into a fight with another dog does not mean the dog is dangerous.  That is not necessarily a sign that the dog would bite a person.

What to do in Case of a Dog Bite?

Dog bites are very serious and a person who is bitten should first receive any medical care needed.  Next, call the police and animal control to file a report.  Finally, contact an attorney with experience in the area of personal injury and dog bites to find out your rights.

Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at Colley and Colley, LLP, a personal injury law firm in Austin, Texas. Zane is glad he's never been bitten by a dog.