The fundamental point to consider is that every dog owner has a legal responsibility to take steps to control their animal and prevent them from attacking another dog or injuring a person.
Given these basic parameters, if your dog is attacked by another dog, the owner will most likely have to reimburse you for medical and other expenses, provided they admit liability or have a case found against them.
If you are looking to have the dog bite laws explained, here are some key points that should cover most typical scenarios when a dog goes rogue and attacks another animal or a person.
Proving that the dog owner was negligent
A lot of dog bite situations will be covered by civil laws and a good starting point would be to explore civil liability laws in this regard.
A dog owner may be found liable in a civil lawsuit if it has bitten another animal or a person based on several typical scenarios that you would have to prove in a civil lawsuit if you are going to be able to claim compensation for injuries and medical costs.
In the first instance, you will have to prove that the dog owner was negligent and failed to keep proper control of their pet.
A typical example where you could prove the owner was negligent would be if the dog was allowed to run free despite a local law that states they should be on a leash. If violating that leash law led to the dog attacking its victim, that should be reasonable cause to consider that they have been negligent.
If a dog bite statute is in existence
Some areas have a dog bite statute in place and if that is the case in your area, that will often automatically apply and means the owner becomes financially responsible and for the damage the dog causes.
When a dog bite statute is in existence it often trumps other arguments and even the dog’s previous good behavior record is unlikely to be enough to get the owner off the hook.
The owner should have known better
If you know that your dog has the potential to attack if it is given the chance to do so, a responsible owner would take the necessary precautions to ensure that the dog was kept under strict control when out in public.
If you suspect that the owner of the dog that bit your pet or attacked you, knew that there was a chance it could happen because it wasn’t the first time it had happened, that would be a situation where you could reasonably argue that the owner should be found liable because they knew that their animal was likely to hurt someone.
There are some cases where the owner could offer a valid defense
Although it is invariably the case that a dog owner is going to be found liable when it has bitten someone there are certain circumstances where a legal defense could be offered.
Here are a couple of examples where the owner might offer a defense.
If they argue that their dog was unfairly provoked to attack by your dog or you.
If the person or dog attacked was trespassing or breaking the law at the time they incurred the injury.
It is argued that you were unreasonably careless and contributed to the injury being caused.
It should be noted that an owner can’t use these arguments in all cases and in some states, the law doesn’t allow certain defenses. These states tend to have strict liability dog-bite laws and that makes the owner liable if they didn’t have any idea that their dog was going to attack.
Dangerous dogs laws
A high percentage of dog bite claims will most likely be settled under civil liability laws but there is also the option of pursuing criminal liability if it is felt that the dog poses an ongoing threat to others.
Under the dangerous dog’s laws that exist, it is possible that a court might order an owner to take added precautions to prevent any further incidents.
In extreme cases, there is also the possibility that a judge might order the guilty dog to be euthanized if it is believed that the animal presents a risk of serious harm to others.
When your pooch is injured by another dog
The course of action you can take and compensation you might be able to claim if your dog is bitten by another will vary from state to state.
As already outlined, some states have strict liability laws that specifically deal with this situation by making the owner responsible for the damage caused by their dog, even if you could argue that they weren’t negligent and had no idea that their pet was going to attack.
In other states where these strict liability laws don’t exist, you might find that law makes an owner automatically responsible for the actions of their dog, only if can be reasonably argued that they should have known that their dog had the the potential to attack and bite.
Some of the laws relating to animal-on-animal injuries are antiquated and date back to a time when the primary concern was a dog killing livestock, however, some of these have recently been updated to cover more relevant claim situations.
You will need help
It should be noted that it has not always been that straightforward to be able to get the level of compensation you feel you deserve when you or your dog have been attacked by another owner’s dog.
Although the laws are changing and the claims procedure can be viewed as a work in progress, there are still improvements needed.
This is a very good reason for getting some professional legal assistance if you find yourself in a situation where you want to claim for an attack that has left you with medical bills and other expenses.
A new study suggests dogs can understand their owners’ language.
Using MRI scanner on dogs, researchers from Hungary found that the canine brain reacts to voices in the same way that the human brain does.
Emotionally charged sounds, such as crying or laughter, also prompted similar responses, perhaps explaining why dogs are attuned to human emotions.
The work is published in the journal Current Biology.
Lead author Attila Andics, from the Hungarian Academy of Science’s Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, said: “We think dogs and humans have a very similar mechanism to process emotional information.”
Eleven pet dogs took part in the study; training them took some time.
“We used positive reinforcement strategies – lots of praise,” said Dr. Attila Andics.
“There were 12 sessions of preparatory training, then seven sessions in the scanner room, then these dogs were able to lie motionless for as long as eight minutes. Once they were trained, they were so happy, I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it.”
For comparison, the team looked at the brains of 22 human volunteers in the same MRI scanners.
The scientists played the people and pooches 200 different sounds, ranging from environmental noises, such as car sounds and whistles, to human sounds (but not words) and dog vocalizations.
Using MRI scanner on dogs, researchers from Hungary found that the canine brain reacts to voices in the same way that the human brain does
The researchers found that a similar region – the temporal pole, which is the most anterior part of the temporal lobe – was activated when both the animals and people heard human voices.
“We do know there are voice areas in humans, areas that respond more strongly to human sounds that any other types of sounds,” Dr. Attila Andics explained.
“The location [of the activity] in the dog brain is very similar to where we found it in the human brain. The fact that we found these areas exist at all in the dog brain at all is a surprise – it is the first time we have seen this in a non-primate.”
Emotional sounds, such as crying and laughter also had a similar pattern of activity, with an area near the primary auditory cortex lighting up in dogs and humans.
Likewise, emotionally charged dog vocalizations – such as whimpering or angry barking – also caused a similar reaction in all volunteers,
Dr. Attila Andics said: “We know very well that dogs are very good at tuning into the feelings of their owners, and we know a good dog owner can detect emotional changes in his dog – but we now begin to understand why this can be.”
However, while the dogs responded to the human voice, their reactions were far stronger when it came to canine sounds.
They also seemed less able to distinguish between environmental sounds and vocal noises compared with humans.
About half of the whole auditory cortex lit up in dogs when listening to these noises, compared with 3% of the same area in humans.
Dr. Attila Andics said this would be the focus of his next set of experiments.
A new study suggests that dogs were domesticated in Europe.
The scientists have long argued over the precise timing and location for their emergence.
The new research, based on a genetic analysis of ancient and modern dog and wolf samples, points to a European origin at least 18,000 years ago.
Olaf Thalmann and colleagues report the investigation in Science magazine.
It adds a further layer of complexity to the story.
Earlier DNA studies have suggested the modern pooch – in all its shapes and sizes – could track its beginnings back to wolves that attached themselves to human societies in the Middle East or perhaps in East Asia as recently as 15,000 years ago.
The problem with these claims is that palaeontologists have found fossils of distinctly dog-looking animals that are 30,000 years old or more.
Dr. Olaf Thalmann, from Finland’s University of Turku, and his team, have had another go at trying to sort through the conflicting DNA evidence.
The new research, based on a genetic analysis of ancient and modern dog and wolf samples, points to a European origin at least 18,000 years ago
They compared genetic sequences from a wide range of ancient animals – both dogs and wolves – with material taken from living canines – again, from both dogs and wolves.
This analysis reveals modern dogs to be most closely related to ancient European wolves or dogs – not to any of the wolf groups from outside Europe, nor even to modern European wolves (suggesting the link is with old European wolves that are now extinct). And because the dog remains used in the research are dated to be more than 18,000 years old, it indicates a timing for domestication that is much older than some researchers have previously argued.
If correct, it means dogs started to diverge from wolf populations when humans had yet to settle into fixed, agricultural communities and were still hunting and gathering.
It is possible there were wolves that would follow these hunters, may be at a distance at first, living off the scraps and discards from the humans’ big-game kills such as mammoth, before eventually being incorporated into the human groups as they became less wary.
“You can see how wolves benefitted from living near humans because they got these carcases, but humans too would have benefitted,” said Dr. Olaf Thalmann.
The latest study is unlikely to be the last word on the subject, however.
Using DNA – and the subtle changes it undergoes over time – to examine animal origins and relationships is a very powerful tool, but far from fool-proof.
One of the problems scientists have is that dog populations have become very mixed over time, as a result of being moved around by their human owners. This complicates the genetic signal.
The difficulty is further amplified by the fact that some dogs have at times also clearly back-bred with wild wolves. Teasing all this apart is very difficult.
A resolution will require more sampling and more analysis, particularly of the core, or nuclear, DNA of ancient animals.
This and many of the previous studies have relied on so-called mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), a small sub-packet of genetic material in cells that, although incredibly useful, does not represent the fullest information possible.
The larger nuclear DNA material could provide the more compelling answers but it is much more difficult to retrieve, especially in very old bones or fossils. A number of research groups around the world are trying, though.
According to the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, Americans spend $300 million on costumes for their pets every Halloween.
On last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, creative dog groomer Catherine Opson showed off several dogs that were painted and groomed in interesting ways for Halloween. The five different dog designs shown included a zombie, a leopard, a koi pond, Sesame Street, and The Simpsons.
On last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, creative dog groomer Catherine Opson showed off several dogs that were painted and groomed in interesting ways for Halloween
However, the most amazing design was likely The Simpsons, which were actually displayed on two dogs. Jimmy Kimmel quipped they were the only dogs “to be sued by FOX for copyright infringement.”