Many were overjoyed when dogs returned to the White House with the inauguration of Joe Biden. President Biden owns two German Shepherds, Champ and Major. Major made history as the first rescue dog to live in the White House, but like many dogs from shelters, it seems he has some behavioral problems. Major initiated his second biting incident when he bit a Secret Service agent, leaving them with extremely minor injuries. According to President Biden, the bite did not break the skin.  Dogs that have been raised in an unsafe environment or without proper obedience training can be difficult to manage. These kinds of dogs are often involved in attacks, whether it’s against adults, children, or other dogs. Younger dogs, like Major, have a lot of energy, which manifests itself into playing too hard at times.  Understanding why dogs bite is the key to avoiding these situations altogether. Surprisingly to some, dogs become aggressive when they are scared. If a dog feels like a stranger is invading their space or like their meal is about to be taken away, they may lash out. This can be through snarling and barking, but it can also be snapping and even biting.  A dog’s likelihood to bite is largely depending on its upbringing, but certain breeds are also more prone to biting. It seems that the President’s German Shepherd makes that list. Dogs that are known for biting are:
  • Chihuahuas
  • English Bulldogs
  • Pit Bulls
  • German Shepherds
  • Australian Shepherds
  • Jack Russell Terriers
By identifying when a dog is about to bite, dog owners can protect themselves from a potential lawsuit. Dogs give off warning signs before biting, such as raising the fur on its back, cowering or tucking its tail, and standing erect with a rigid body posture.  While the bite Major left was nowhere near serious enough to warrant medical attention or any kind of damages, it’s unlikely that someone in the agent’s position would press charges. Many Newport Beach dog bite attorneys can tell you that these small nips can easily escalate to more severe bites, especially if the dog sees there are no consequences for its actions.  Major has been taken away from the White House for additional obedience training, which is the right move if you have a large dog that is prone to over excitement or aggressive behavior. In California, dog owners can be sued for the first incident where their dog bites someone, as long as the other person was not provoking the dog. That’s why dog owners should take steps to discipline their animals so that they can protect themselves from any potential lawsuits. Steps you can take to modify your pet’s aggressive behavior are:
  1. Thoroughly document the kind of situations where your dog bites. Even the smallest thing, like someone standing up too quickly or picking up a certain object can set a dog off. By knowing what freaks your dog out, you can pull them away from these situations.
  2. If the situation is unavoidable, such as grooming, you can work to train your dog through desensitization and counter-conditioning. This can be through quelling it with treats during grooming or whichever situation turns your dog aggressive. 
  3. You may need to seek out a professional dog trainer if your dog is large enough to do serious damage, like a German shepherd or pit bull. 
If your pet has bitten someone and they are trying to sue you for damages or even get your dog euthanized, you should reach out to an injury attorney in LA. Accident Lawyers Firm offers free case reviews so that you can get an idea of your chances in court at no cost to your wallet.