What to Do to Prevent Future Dog Bites

The greatest predictor of a dog bite is the dog’s history and past behavior. This holds true even more than popular beliefs about certain breeds and their aggression. Most dog bites occur from familiar dogs or even household pets. The more dogs in a house, the more likely one of the dogs is to bite. Avoiding a bite requires taking precautions to minimize risk, and several common-sense ways exist to avoid a bite in the future.

Never approach an unfamiliar dog and start petting it. Ask permission from owners first, and make sure the dog does not have a history of aggression. When approached by an unfamiliar or stray dog, keep your distance, do not make eye contact, and do not pet unless they sniff you and do not show signs of backing away.

Monitor a dog’s behavior – often a dog will attack not because they are aggressive in nature, but because a person fails to understand the dog’s limitations and needs. Stressed dogs are more likely to attack, so do not corner an animal at any time and do not disturb them while sleeping. As an owner, make sure to warn guests about your dog’s limitations – particularly if they have a history of not getting along with groups like men or children.

Kansas City Dog Bite Laws

Missouri statutes do not make exceptions for liability if a dog attacks for the first time. Statute 273.036 assigns liability for a dog bite to the owner, regardless of history. Unlike many states with “dangerous dog” laws that can declare a dog with a history of attacks dangerous, Missouri requires strict control over a dog’s behavior – meaning courts hold owners responsible for protecting guests or visitors to their property, even for trespassers.

In many cases, the authorities can’t do much after a dog bite, especially if it’s the animal’s first offense. However, talking with a dog bite injury attorney may help you get fair compensation and prevent future attacks from others in the area and allow you to determine your next steps to seek justice for your injuries.

Robert Norfleet
Helping Kansas City area medical malpractice, car accident, wrongful death and personal injury clients.