·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

What Are the Risks Associated with Owning a Dog in Nevada?

— October 15, 2021

If you’re uncertain that you can keep your dog from biting others, consider taking them to obedience school.

While owning a dog can be a rewarding experience, it also comes with a great deal of responsibility. In addition to ensuring you provide the care your dog needs, you will also have to take steps to ensure your dog doesn’t attack others. In doing so, you’ll protect your visitors, your dog, and yourself from disastrous consequences.

What Does Nevada Law Say About Dog Bites? 

The state of Nevada employs the “one bite rule” when it comes to dog bites, but the name of this law can be misleading. It gets its name because dogs were permitted one “free” bite before the 20th century. This meant a dog owner wouldn’t be held liable for the first time their dog bit someone, but they could face legal consequences upon a second bite.

More recently, the one-bite law has been updated to mean something entirely different. In the modern era, a dog owner might escape liability for a bite if the owner didn’t suspect their dog might bite or didn’t know the dog was a part of an aggressive breed. However, if there is a reason for the owner to believe the dog might bite, they could be held liable for the injuries caused by a first bite.

What to Do Right After Your Dog Bites 

Your actions immediately following a dog bite might prevent the victim from contacting a Nevada dog bite attorney. The first thing you should do is confine the dog in a safe area. Once the dog has been separated from the victim, help the victim clean and dress their wounds. You should also help the individual get medical attention. This may involve driving them to a hospital, or you may need to call an ambulance for a more severe injury.

What to Know About Insurance Protection

Your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover you for dog bites, but you should check your policy to be sure. Most companies provide liability coverage that will apply if your dog bites someone. The coverage will usually provide a predetermined amount for the injured victim’s medical expenses. You may also have coverage to pay your legal fees if you need to hire a lawyer. If your dog does bite someone, you should expect your insurer to raise your premiums. Some insurance companies will drop the policy after a dog bite.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

There are many reasons a dog may bite, so you shouldn’t assume your dog won’t bite just because they’re not a part of an aggressive breed. You can take extra steps to protect others from your dog if you know the signs and risks related to your dog being in an aggressive mood.

Dog Owner Gives His Pit Bill a Driving Lesson
Photo by Vitor Fontes on Unsplash

Here are a few reasons your dog may bite someone:

  • Defending their territory against a perceived threat
  • Feeling afraid or cornered
  • They are sick or in pain
  • They mistake someone running in fear for someone being playful. 

How to Break Your Dog of the Biting Habit

You can avoid having to hire a Nevada dog bite attorney by taking steps to reduce the risks of a dog bite. This primarily involves socializing your dog to help them feel more comfortable in mixed company. This can involve going to dog parks and other areas where they can interact with people and other dogs. You should also get your dog used to being around machinery and equipment they might find scary or intimidating.

You should also know the signs that your dog is feeling aggressive. Typically, this will involve raised fur. They will also growl, so you should be familiar with the difference in tone when your dog is playfully growling versus when they’re seriously growling. Their stance may change as well. When you see these signs, remove your dog from the situation as quickly and calmly as possible.

If you’re uncertain that you can keep your dog from biting others, consider taking them to obedience school. This is a great way to help your dog feel more comfortable around others in addition to using behavioral modification training. In the end, a thoroughly trained dog makes for a happier and better-behaved pet.

Join the conversation!