Dog bites can cause a variety of injuries ranging from cuts and minor nerve damage to amputation.
Dog bites may not seem like a common occurrence. But in reality, dog bites occur more frequently than you may think and by a variety of different dog breeds. 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, with 800,000 of those bites requiring medical care.
Often, people assume that only a few specific breeds are associated with dog bites and other aggressive behaviors. The most common being pit bulls, boxers, and other “mean looking” dogs. DogTime speaks about the fact that some dogs do have a “high prey drive, allowing them to excel in blood sports where they were encouraged to kill other animals.” However, with good training and proper care, an “aggressive” breed can grow up to be a sweetheart. In most cases, it’s all in the training, and if someone does have a more aggressive dog on your hands, it’s their responsibility to make sure that they don’t harm anyone.
Dog Breeds Most Often Associated with Dog Bite Injuries
The dog breeds that are most often associated with dog bites include Pit Bull, German shepherd, Rottweiler, Dachshund, Boxer, Great Dane, and Doberman Pinscher.
When someone thinks about aggressive dog breeds, the first one to come to mind is often the pit bull. Pit bulls are known for having the most dangerous dog bite and are often the highest on the list for causing fatalities with their bites.
German shepherds are known for being great at following commands, and are incredibly intelligent dogs. They’re often used in law enforcement for this exact reason. However, a poorly trained german shepherd may not know how to act around strangers, or may be overly defensive of their owner or property.
Rottweiler’s are often guard dogs. They often show medium aggressiveness toward their owners but are more aggressive than average toward strangers. They’re a very territorial breed of dog, and with their large size, they can be quite dangerous if their owner doesn’t keep them on a lease or in a fenced in property.
According to For My Dachshund, “Anxiety, stress and boredom can cause any dog to act out, but Dachshunds may become aggressive rather than destructive like other breeds if not given a proper outlet.”
Boxer’s are high energy dogs that can easily be trained to not be aggressive around strangers. However, an improperly trained boxer may exhibit fear-based aggression with both strangers and children.
Great Danes are known for guarding their homes and being very territorial. However, they are also very smart and easy to train. Great Danes may be aggressive with dogs they don’t know, so it’s best that they’re kept on a tight leash when walking around to prevent the harm of someone else or their dog.
The Doberman Pinscher is known for being a great guard dog as well as a great companion. Doberman Pinschers are much less aggressive than they used to be, due to the breeding out of these traits. Still, they can still be highly aggressive with people and other dogs they’re not familiar with.
Complications Associated with Dog Bites
Getting bitten by a dog can raise all sorts of complications, like infection, nerve and muscle damage, broken bones, rabies, tetanus, scarring, and death. Infections are most common, as lots of bacteria can live in a dog’s mouth. If the dog’s bite breaks your skin, you may be at risk for an infection. Bites from larger dogs can cause broken bones. These breaks often require surgery as they cause the splintering of the bone instead of a clean break.
Rabies is a more serious complication associated with a dog bite. Rabies affects the central nervous system. If left untreated, it can result in death within a few days of infection. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, it’s important to receive medical treatment immediately in case of a rabies infection.
Restriction on Ownership of Specific Breeds
In Minnesota, it’s not illegal to own any of the above listed dog breeds. However, in a few cities (such as Byron, Rochester, and Wayzata) wolf-dog hybrids are banned. Apartment complexes and rental communities may have more specific guidelines on breeds that are allowed. However, if someone owns their own home, there aren’t any restrictions on the above mentioned breeds, or any breeds aside from wolf-dog hybrids.
Dog Owner Negligence for Injuries Caused
Dog owners owe a duty of care to citizens who may come into contact with their pet. This means that they are required to make sure that either no one comes into contact with their dog or that their dog is safely trained in case someone does come into contact with their dog.
Dog owner negligence can look like the improper or lack of training in a dog or allowing an unsafe dog to be off-leash. If the owner has taken precautions, they may not be liable for the bite. These precautions include using chains, fences, warning signs, and more. It’s very possible for an owner to have a dog that is aggressive toward other people or other dogs that doesn’t hurt anyone because of the owner’s precautions.
Contact a Minnesota Dog Bite Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog bite accident, please contact our talented attorneys here at Sand Law. We have years of experience working on dog bite cases. And we are ready to help you get the compensation that you deserve. For more information, please contact us online by using our chat box option, or at 651-291-7263.