If you are a dog owner, you may understand the universal truth that dogs bite. Even if your dog has never bitten, every dog has its limits. The most loyal, gentle pet can snap at someone if the dog is unwell or feels threatened. Not only can this mean devastating injuries for the person your dog bites, it can lead to serious legal issues for you.
Louisiana dog bite laws can hold you liable for the damage your dog causes if it bites or attacks. This can be very costly since dog bites can cause considerable injury that may require extensive medical care. Nevertheless, you can take every reasonable precaution for avoiding this tragic event with careful training and socialization of your dog.
Be a responsible dog owner
Dogs seldom bite for no reason, but it is not always easy to identify the tipping point for a particular animal. By providing your pet with a variety of experiences, you may desensitize your dog to common elements of fear that may incite an aggressive reaction. Since you are legally liable for your dog's behavior, it pays to be proactive. Not only can this make your pet more affable to be around, but it can provide evidence of your responsible pet ownership if that issue should come into question.
Some ways you can protect yourself and your dog include these and others:
- Beginning when your dog is very young to expose it to a variety of situations of varying intensity
- Training your dog and enrolling in refresher training courses frequently
- Taking your dog to places where it can interact with other animals and people of all ages
- Resisting the urge to use physical discipline or negative reinforcement
- Warning others if you suspect your dog may react aggressively
- Keeping your dog healthy and up to date on vaccinations
- Keeping your dog under control by having it leashed when in public and providing a fenced area to contain your dog on your property
However, even a leash or a fence around your property may not prevent people from teasing or provoking your dog to bite. Under Louisiana law, you may have a strong defense if your dog bites someone who antagonizes or provokes it. To build your case, you would be wise to contact an attorney who has experience and a history of success in premises liability defense.