My Dog Bit Someone

Kelly Roper
Jaws

"My dog bit someone!" No owner ever wants to utter these words, but what do you do when the unthinkable happens?

Help, My Dog Bit Someone!

Hello there,

I am seeking your advice on an incident that occurred with my dog.

Sheila is a two-year old Shar Pei mix. I think she might be mixed with Pitbull, but I'm not sure. Anyway, she is a loving dog, and she likes to play, chew bones and do all the things dogs usually like to do.

Today, one of my co-workers needed to stop by and pick something up from my condo. I walked in first, and a few seconds later my co-worker walked in the door alone. Sheila began to growl and bark, and the next thing I knew she lunged at my co-worker and bit her!

I don't think it is ever really okay for a dog to bite someone, but could this have been normal protective behavior? Do I need to put her down? Please let me know.

Thanks~~ Jodi

Expert Reply

Hi Jodi,

I'm sorry to hear about the position you are in. I hope your co-worker wasn't seriously hurt.

Although Sheila's reaction was at first natural, most dogs would have stuck with barking and growling to defend the territory against a stranger. There should have been no reason for her to move into a full attack given the circumstances you've provided.

I do not know what the laws are in your municipality regarding dog bites. Some authorities require you to report them, others do not.

I think for the safety of all concerned, you need to discuss the event with your vet and get a professional opinion about your dog's temperament, which at this point is in question. You should also consult a lawyer about what happened, because your co-worker may choose to report the attack to the authorities. It's better to understand your rights as well as your options.

Thank you for your question, and I hope you are able to resolve the situation without having to put your dog down.

~~ Kelly

My Dog Bit Someone