A dog growling outside.

What Should I Do If My Dog Bites Someone?

It is natural to want to forgive your beloved pups when they act out or misbehave then. However, if a dog bites someone in the course of this bad behavior, what legal consequences should be expected? What steps should the owner take next? In other words, what should you do if your dog bites someone?

If your dog ever finds itself in an unfortunate situation of biting someone, it’s essential to take immediate steps. Remove your dog from the equation and assess how serious the bite is and render first aid if required. Ensure you have exchanged contact information with the victim for further action or later communication. Most importantly, seek legal advice and notify your insurance company immediately after these initial actions!

Reasons Behind Canine Aggression: What Drives Dogs To Bite?

Canine aggression is a serious problem that can lead to injury or death. To better understand why dogs may become aggressive, looking at the root causes of such behavior is essential. 

Some of the most common reasons behind canine aggression include the following.


Just like humans, dogs may act out aggressively when they feel threatened. This can result from an unknown painful experience, such as being pinched or stepped on. Dogs may become aggressive out of fear or frustration if they are in pain and cannot escape the situation.


Dogs may also become aggressive if they feel overly frustrated or neglected. For example, a dog left alone for long periods without proper mental and physical stimulation may start acting out aggressively.


Fear-based aggression is a common behavioral issue among dogs. This type of aggression is usually triggered when a dog feels anxious or threatened by unfamiliar people, animals, objects, or environments. It can also be caused by changes in routine, such as a new family member or pet.

Guarding Or Protecting

Dogs, including family members, are born with an instinct to protect and guard their pack. If a dog feels that its territory is being infringed upon or threatened in some way, it may become aggressive as a defensive response.

What to Do Immediately After Your Dog Bites Someone?

A dog biting someone's hand.
Time to act quickly.

If your dog has bitten someone, it is important to respond quickly and appropriately. Here are the steps you should take.

Remove Your Dog From the Situation Immediately

When your dog bites someone, remaining as composed and collected as possible is essential.

Your priority should be to remove your dog from the incident scene. Move it away and secure it in a safe place such as its kennel, another room, or outside.

Assess The Victim’s Injuries For Severity

Once your dog is removed, assess the severity of the victim’s injuries. If their injuries do not require emergency care, then you should clean and disinfect the wound thoroughly. If the injuries are more serious, then contact emergency medical services immediately.

Provide Appropriate First Aid If Necessary

Assist the victim in washing the wound with warm soap and water, ensuring it is cleaned properly. Contact medical professionals for assistance or contact an ambulance if necessary. 

Even though a bite may not look too severe, it should still be attended to by healthcare experts as bites can quickly become more serious.

Exchange Contact Information With Those Affected By This Incident 

Exchange contact information with the victim so that you can follow up on their well-being and provide assistance if required. This will also allow for effective communication regarding any potential legal action that may be taken against you or your dog.

It is wise to seek legal advice from a knowledgeable attorney, especially if you fear your dog will be deemed a hazard. Laws vary from state to state, so it’s important to make sure that you know the laws in your area and how they apply in this situation.

Follow Up On Insurance Coverage As Applicable

Ensure you are covered in the event of a dog bite lawsuit by checking your insurance policy. If it is found that you have neglected to take reasonable precautions when handling your pet, then you may be held liable for any damages caused. 

It is important to review and update your policy as needed to remain protected.

How to Stop My Dog From Biting In The Future?

By taking the necessary precautions and training your pup correctly, you can prevent future biting incidents and ensure that you, your pup, and anyone else involved stay safe. Here are a few of them.

Train Them

Petting your dogs can result in them mouthing at your hands, yet if they’re weary or preoccupied, it won’t occur. To train them to be comfortable with cuddles without any nibbles, try using a distraction technique by giving treats, on the other hand. This will help them get used to being touched without reverting back to their old habits of nipping!

Play Appropriate Games With Them

Rather than engaging in wrestling or roughhousing with your hands, encourage interactive and noncontact forms of play like fetch and tug-of-war.

Give Them Their Space

Provide them with some peace and quiet by placing them in their crate to nap, then check if they need the bathroom, water, or food.

Know The Signs Of Aggression And Act

It is important to recognize the signs of aggression in your pup before any incidents occur. Watch out for body language such as raised hackles, ears flattened against its head, bared teeth, or growling. If you notice these signals, remove it from the situation and provide a distraction with toys or treats.

Practice Dealing With Strangers

Practice stranger-approaching exercises with your dog so that it doesn’t feel threatened when meeting people for the first time.

Provide Them With Plenty Of Socialization

Socialize your dog from an early age to ensure it doesn’t become fearful or aggressive around other people and animals. Introduce it to new sights, sounds, smells, and people so that it learns good manners in all kinds of environments!

In Conclusion: What Should I Do If My Dog Bites Someone?

If your dog has bitten someone, remain calm and assess the situation. Consider seeking legal advice as needed. To prevent future biting incidents, ensure adequate rest for your pup, distract it with toys or treats rather than hands, engage in noncontact play, and introduce it to new people and environments. With training, socialization, and the right precautions, your pup and others can remain safe.

So, are you concerned your dog is going to bite someone? Has it bitten someone? Let us know in the comments below.

Dr. Majid Tanveer (DVM)
Dr. Majid Tanveer (DVM)
Dr. Majid is a licensed veterinarian, writer, and animal welfare advocate. He obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan. He has been working as a senior veterinarian for five years. Over the last few years, Dr. Majid has worked extensively for the betterment of animal welfare and rights in his country. He is also a proud owner of a dog, which he loves dearly. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his dog and indulging in his hobby of writing.