Training Pit Bulls to Avoid Dog Bites

Guest post contributed by Carlos Santiago*

 

Depending on the source, statistics regarding the likelihood of a pit bull attack vary widely. For example, the website DogsBite.org released a 2009 report claiming pit bulls were responsible for 59% of all dog attack deaths, equal to killing a U.S. citizen every 21 days over a three year period. On the other hand, a study from the American Veterinary Medical Association looked at dog bites statistics over the past 20 years and found that no breed is more likely to attack humans than others.

For many years, pit bulls, Dobermans, and other large dogs have been accused of being overly aggressive and more likely to attack and bite humans. Although some people and communities respond to dog attacks by enacting breed-specific legislation to prohibit ownership of pit bulls and other dog breeds, many experts claim you can reduce dog bite cases through owner education and dog training.

The Case for Dog Training

There are a number of ways people can take action to reduce the risk of a pit bull attack. Along with parents educating their children on how to act around dogs, dog owners can also take steps to train their pit bulls and other dogs to not bite humans.

Pit bull owners need to make sure to expose pit bull puppies to a number of different people and other dogs while they are eight to sixteen weeks old. This kind of exposure will help dogs to be more comfortable in a variety of situations.  

Another example of effective pit bull training that could reduce the risk of a pit bull attack is avoiding confrontation that could promote your dog to act aggressively. When the dog is constantly put in a position where he or she feels the need to defend himself or herself, it may learn to be combative.

Additionally, if your dog has a tendency to guard his or her food or toys, it is important to not allow this behavior to persist. If you back down, your dog may learn that aggression is effective. Instead, simply move the rawhide or chew toy so your dog understands that aggression does not work.

Training a pit bull can be a great way to show that these strong, intelligent animals are not dangerous to humans. This can help you avoid the need for a dog bite lawyer in the future.

 

 

*Carlos Santiago is a legal blogger with experience writing about various personal injury topics including car accidents and premises liability. He is currently interested in sharing information about how a dog bite lawyer can help you. Mr. Santiago’s work is currently being featured on www.petbite.com.

 

 

 

South Carolina Dog Bite Law: Landlords and Common Areas

South Carolina dog bite law adheres to strict liability when it comes to dogs biting or harming people, S.C. Code Ann. § 47-3-110:. The only defense would be if the dog was provoked in some way by the person that it attacked.

Recently the South Carolina Supreme Court rendered an opinion that helps in better illustrating the specific phrase of the dog bite law, "other person having the dog in his care or keeping." In Clea v. Odom Opinion No. 27029, the court determined that claims for strict liability and common law negligence could move forward against the landlord for a tenant's dog that attacked a child in the common area of the apartment complex. Citing Harris v. Anderson County Sheriff's Office, 381 S.C. 357, 364, 673 S.E.2d 423, 427 (2009) the court stated, the presence or absence of a duty determines liability in situations that involve a statutory claim against a person having the dog in his care or keeping.  Id. at 365, 673 S.E.2d at 427.  There are three scenarios under § 47-3-110 when the attack is unprovoked and the injured party is lawfully on the premises:

First, the dog owner is strictly liable and common law principles are not implicated.  Second, a property owner is liable when he exercises control over, and assumes responsibility for, the care and keeping of the dog.  Third, a property owner is not liable under the statute when he has no control of the premises and provides no care or keeping of the dog.

Although each set of facts in a case are unique to that particular case, the SC Supreme Court helps limit the dark corners for the at fault owner or keeper's liability insurance company to hide.

 If you know liability insurance companies trying to hide from their duties to pay a fair and reasonable amount for the negligence of their insured, let me know.

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

 

Dogs Bite, Owners Pay: South Carolina Dog Bite Law

 

 

2009 South Carolina Personal Injury Articles in Review

I started blogging back in November of 2008 therefore with the closing of the 2009 calendar year, this will be my first (1st) full year in review.

There is little doubt from my background, occupation, and particular writing style that I hate insurance companies. I have highlighted those articles I wrote throughout the 2009 year that provide the biggest return on investment for my readers. I hope that you have enjoyed reading my blog, regardless of your own personal beliefs and opinions, as there are always two sides to any issue.  

South Carolina Foreclosure Sale: My Personal Experience

Given the current economic climate and the many more foreclosures I feel will be coming on the market in the first quarter of 2010, this is a good read for those of you thinking houses are bought for $1.

What Can I Do About Property Damage to my Car After a Wreck?

Numbers speak for themselves and more than likely you will be involved in a wreck. If the wreck is bad enough to cause any property damage you do not necessarily need a lawyer.

South Carolina Property Arbitration for Depreciation, Loss of Use, & Actual Damages

This article goes into more depth than the one above when the insurance company jerks you around over something so easy to determine value such as property.

Dogs Bite, Owners Pay: South Carolina Dog Bite Law

There is no one bite rule in South Carolina. This is strict liability and if your dog bites someone else anticipate some insurance payout.

Insurance Companies Don't Care About You: They Care About Your Premiums

I say what others think and know. This is no different and you should understand the logistics.

Allstate Insurance's "Good Hands" are Wrapped Around Your Throat!

They are awful. The worst insurance company you could possibly use in my personal opinion. I can tell war stories against Allstate for days on cases I had just in 2009. Please stop letting such blatant insurance abuse happen by using the worst insurance company out there.

Insurance Claim Game: 10 Tips to Follow

When you are injured in an automobile wreck these tips may help you avoid having to hire an attorney on a smaller case. 

Tips for Young Lawyers on Being Trial Lawyers

After four full years of practicing and being thrown into a trial the first couple months as a lawyer, I guess I have learned some things. I am just excited to still call myself a young lawyer at 31.

Graduation Speech for Mid-Carolina High School 2009

I was blessed and honored to come back to my high school and give the commencement speech.

F___ You If You Have Never Had Cancer!

After my uncle was diagnosed with cancer and started his battle earlier in the year a flow of emotions and memories were brought back from my experience some 14 years ago. Sorry for the language but it was what I was feeling at the time.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Dog Bites Against Postal Workers on the Rise in South Carolina

The Greenville News reported on the alarming rise in dog bites against US Postal Carriers

The postal service’s Greater South Carolina District, which has 995 city carriers and 1,448 rural carriers, has had a “shocking” increase in dog bites in recent months, the agency said......

Harry Spratlin, spokesman for the USPS Greater South Carolina Performance Cluster, said it’s difficult to pinpoint a cause for the rise in dog bites to letter carriers.........

“Even small breed dogs have the potential to inflict injuries that can threaten a carrier’s career. Our best approach is to issue an appeal to all dog lovers: please, be responsible owners: control your pets.”

If you have been attacked by a dog, either on the job or off the job, you may have a cause of action against the dog's owner or keeper.  South Carolina's law on dog bites is clear:

S.C. Code Ann. § 47-3-110: Liability of owner or person having dog in his care or keeping.

Whenever any person is bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog while the person is in a public place or is lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping, the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping is liable for the damages suffered by the person bitten or otherwise attacked. .... If a person provokes a dog into attacking him then the owner of the dog is not liable.  (emphasis added).

I have covered this topic in a previous post in more depth. Please click on the link below to learn more about South Carolina's law on dog bite incidents.

Dogs Bite, Owners Pay: South Carolina Dog Bite Law

Lassie: "Woof" "Woof"

Cully Wilson: "What's that? Timmy's in the well? "

Lassie: "Woof" "Woof"

Trey Mills: "You just took a hunk out of Timmy's butt totally unprovoked. Who's your owner OR keeper?"

S.C. Code Ann. § 47-3-110: Liability of owner or person having dog in his care or keeping.

Whenever any person is bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog while the person is in a public place or is lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping, the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping is liable for the damages suffered by the person bitten or otherwise attacked. .... If a person provokes a dog into attacking him then the owner of the dog is not liable.  (emphasis added). 

In Harris v. Anderson Cty. Sheriff's Office, No. 26596, the Supreme Court of South Carolina recently discussed this statute, more specifically the "or" in between "owner of the dog" and "other person having the dog in his care or keeping".  The Court held:

 

In construing the term “or” consistent with its common understanding as a disjunctive, we hold section 47-3-110 allows a plaintiff to pursue a statutory claim against the owner of the dog “or other person having the dog in his care or keeping.”  Because of the plain language in this statute, we conclude that the Legislature intended to allow a claim against the owner of the dog when another person has the dog in his care or keeping.  (emphasis added).

For lawyers the Court provided an interesting analysis of statutory and common law issues that could arise from an unprovoked dog bite. The Court stated:

[Nesbitt v. Lewis, 335 S.C. 441, 517 S.E.2d 11 (Ct. App. 1999)], presents three scenarios under section 47-3-110 when the attack is unprovoked and the injured party is lawfully on the premises.  First, the dog owner is strictly liable and common law principles are not implicated.  Second, a property owner is liable when he exercises control over, and assumes responsibility for, the care and keeping of the dog.  Third, a property owner is not liable under the statute when he has no control of the premises and provides no care or keeping of the dog.  It is the presence or absence of a duty that determines liability in the latter two situations that involve a statutory claim against the “other person having the dog in his care or keeping.”  To this degree, section 47-3-110 implicates the common law. Our Legislature has spoken clearly in section 47-3-110 that, as concerns a dog owner’s liability, negligence principles in general and fault in particular have no place.  
 

BOTTOM LINE:   IF YOUR DOG BITES SOMEONE UNPROVOKED YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HARM, OR INJURIES.