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Can you kick a dog if it bites you?

Arizona Law On A Dog Biting Another Dog

All dogs aren’t always well-behaved. Unfortunately, there are some things that the strongest leash and years of “good puppy” training can’t prevent. One of those things is instinctual aggression. Unless you have a dog whispering friend nearby, an aggressive dog can cause you and other animals a lot of trouble.

House Bill 2137, also known as Fabian’s Law, is a recent law passed by the Arizona state government regarding dog attacks. It was signed into law in 2011 and involves dog-on-dog assaults.

It states that a dog owner will hold legal responsibility for a dog-on-dog attack. Owners whose dogs bite other dogs can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor and pay up to $2500 in fines.

As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to know pet law in the state where you live. In Arizona, pet owners can even serve jail time for animal negligence. At the very least, you can have expensive fines to pay.

When another dog bites your dog, you need to know what to do and what legal actions to take.

What to Do During the Attack

When two dogs are fighting, or one is attacking another, you mustn’t intervene. Dogs can be vicious, especially when they feel threatened. Reaching a hand in or trying to separate the dogs will only put you in danger.

Punching or kicking the other dog will just make it more upset and tighten its grip. If your dog is attacked, the best thing you can do is detach the leash. This allows your dog to defend itself more freely. You can also try a dog whistle. This can temporarily disable the attacking dog.

In the worst-case scenario, if you feel your dog’s life is in danger and you can’t control your instinct to intervene, you should look for a strong object to hit the other dog. Strike its head or hindquarters. Hopefully, this will frighten the attacking dog and give you and your dog enough time to escape.

What to Do After the Attack

When a dog bites another dog, the attacking dog will be forced to quarantine for ten days while the attack is investigated. During this time, you should monitor your dog closely. Look for odd behavior and symptoms of rabies. If they end up being positive, you will be informed so you can get your dog treated.

If the dog is determined not to be vicious after the investigation, it will be returned to the owner after quarantine. If an aggressive dog is determined to be vicious, the owner may be forced to display a “dangerous dog” sign on their property or euthanize the dog. Arizona law states that anyone with a vicious dog needs to keep their animal in an enclosed area with warning signs.

Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, the dog owner is entirely responsible for all damages caused during the attack.

What to Do If You’ve Been Injured Trying to Stop the Attack

If you sustained injuries during the dog attack, then the owner will be liable for all of your injuries. You can seek compensation for medical bills by filing a lawsuit. If you received injuries in a dog attack, call us. A personal injury lawyer knows how to handle your case properly and ensure you get adequate compensation for your trouble.

How to Care for Your Dog After An Attack

After your dog has been attacked, their mental health should be your primary concern. Fights and attacks can be traumatic for dogs, especially small ones, and their recovery is long and challenging.

Take your dog to the vet immediately to address any physical injuries. Even if you don’t see any, there can be internal damage that you’re unaware of. Even if there are no physical injuries, the vet should be able to tell you if your dog is in shock or in a depressive state.

Dogs’ behavior can change after an attack. They can become fearful of other animals, defensive, and less energetic. If you feel your dog has been traumatized from an attack, then you can hire a trainer or behavior professional to help them recover and get back to normal.

How to Spot an Aggressive Dog

The best way to deal with a dog attack is to avoid them entirely. If you can identify an aggressive dog before it comes within striking distance, then you and your furry friend can escape before the trouble starts.

These are some of the most common signs of an aggressive dog:

  • Excessive staring at your dog
  • Barking in a low tone
  • Snarling
  • Growling
  • Snapping jaws
  • Ears held erect
  • Stiff tail moving slightly from side to side

If Your Dog Is Attacked, Seek Assistance Right Away

Dog attacks in Arizona can lead to criminal charges and should be taken very seriously. If you or your dog suffered any injuries, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Contact us today to learn about your options. Remember to stay safe and tell your furry friends we say “hello!”

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Surviving a Large Dog Attack

Dog attack

I’ll admit it. I’m afraid of big dogs. I have good reason to be. I’ve been attacked by them. Plus, as a former police officer I have seen firsthand the damage they can do to human flesh and bone. As a self-defense instructor the question that is asked from time to time in my courses, and I was just asked it again two weeks ago, is, «How do you defend yourself against a large dog that attacks you?»

t’s a good question because dog attacks are common. Approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten every year, 6,000 to 13, 000 result in hospitalization, and approximately 30 to 50 deaths. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, the breeds that cause the most damage each year are pit bulls, German Shepherds, terriers, and Rottweilers; in that order.

I’m no dog expert, and I haven’t had a dog since I was a kid, but I know from my own personal experience what I would do if a big dog were to attack me. However, before I give you my techniques and tactics, I’ll present my qualifications.

My first introduction to attack dogs was when I was a recruit in the police academy. During the course titled Use of K9s for Policing, a fellow recruit volunteered when the instructor, a police K9 handler, placed a bite sleeve on his right arm. Then, from some distance away the handler unhooked the leash and released his dog. The dog shot towards the «suspect» in mere seconds, leaped into the air, and clamped down on the bite sleeve. The dog had so much force that he wrestled the recruit to the ground. The K9 handler had to pull on the dog several times before it would let go.

Some years later, at my police department, a K9 officer asked me if I was willing to put on the bite suit and help him train his dog. Since I was able to wear an entire bite suit, I agreed. I would have never volunteered if it were just the sleeve. With greater protection I saw it as an opportunity to experience a dog attack for myself should I ever have to defend myself against a large dog.

The reason that K9 handlers tell those willing to put on a bite suit to offer an arm is because if they don’t, the dogs go straight for the groin or the throat. Of course, I did exactly that when I was attacked. As the K9 charged me I offered it my forearm. I held it out from my body as if holding an imaginary shield up. My next move, once the dog’s jaw clamped tightly onto the thick padding around my forearm, was to immediately pull my arm close to my body so it couldn’t yank my shoulder out of the socket as it thrashed about. It had the strength to do it.

After a couple more attacks I discovered what worked, and here’s the result of my «research.»

1. First, try to scare the dog with exaggerated aggressive hand gestures and shouting. I’ve had several big dogs back down by intimidating them in this manner when, as a police officer, I had to go into people’s backyards unannounced.

2. Pepper spray is a good weapon against dogs, but it doesn’t always work against the most aggressive ones. Even if a dog gets a good dose of pepper spray in its eyes, it could take a few seconds for the chemical agent to take effect, and there is a lot of damage a vicious dog can do to you in three to five seconds. Of course, the trick is to have the pepper spray deployed and ready to use before the attack. The same is true for any weapon.

3. If the dog continues to charge you, and you’re unarmed, you may be able to do a front kick to its nose, provided the conditions are right for a kick: non-slip surface, good foot ware, and a low kick that easy that’s easy to recover from. Of course, the kick had better land, or the dog may slip past your foot and latch onto your groin with its sharp teeth.

4. Offer your secondary arm (that should be shielding your body) so the dog will take it, because you don’t want it to go for your groin or throat.

5. Before the dog thrashes around, pull its head to your lowest rib of your chest, while maintaining a deep fighting stance to maintain balance. This puts the animal’s eyes right where you need them. Then shove your thumb or finger into the eye of the dog. I’m talking dig all the way into the eye socket! Any animal that gets an eye poke, even a shark for that matter, will let go to protect itself from further injury. Yes, you may lose some flesh on your arm, but it’s the only way line up the target and keep it within reach.

6. If the dog does not let go, and that’s always a possibility, then there is another eye on the other side of its head within reach, as long as you keep your forearm close to your torso and don’t panic because of the pain.

7. If the dog stops biting you, you can then kick it away if it is still within striking distance.

8. If the dog manages to take you to the ground, and it’s still biting down on your arm, you’ll still pull in your secondary arm close to your torso and go for an eyeball, but you had better do it fast before it releases, maneuvers, and then goes for your neck or throat. Attack dogs are extremely fast, and they are natural predators.

As a self-defense instructor I’ve heard many opinions from my students over the years, like, «I heard you make a fist and then ram it down the dog’s throat to make it stop,» or «you just keep slugging it in the side of the head until it lets go.» Of course, my question to these students is always, «Have you ever been in a bite suit and experienced an actual attack?»

Experience is always superior to theory.


Police dog

This police recruit keeps his secondary arm out, which the muzzled K9 wants to latch onto.

Police Dog Training

The dog has enough force to knock the recruit down to the ground, and the K9 handler must come to the rescue so that the recruit is not injured.

Police Dog Bite Injury

This is a police dog bite injury. The suspect was given a warning, he refused to surrender, and the K9 was released.

Pit Bull Mechanical Jaw

This is a mechanical jaw of a pit bull, which simulates the exact amount of pressure that can be exerted by this breed of dog, to demonstrate to citizens how they can crush the bones of an arm.

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What Do I Do If A Dog Attacks My Dog While Out Walking?

Dogs greeting one another in field

The majority of dog attacks happen during a dog-to-dog greeting. What causes one dog to become aggressive towards another is often unclear to us, and the reasons vary. Frequently, the attacking dog has a strong prey drive and views your dog as prey. This happens often when the aggressive dog attacks a smaller dog. Knowing what to do if a dog attacks your dog while walking can make a big difference in the situation.

The attack could also be due to fear or anxiety on the part of the aggressive dog. Usually, the fearful dog gives many warning signs before an attack. If the humans do not recognize the dog’s attempt to communicate its fear, the dog’s fight or flight instinct can take over. If the dog is on a leash, the fearful dog may perceive that its only option is to fight. In order to know what to do if a dog attacks your dog while walking, the following information will help you in the likelihood of an attack.

Minimize Likelihood of Attack

As a responsible owner, you should learn how to minimize the likelihood of an attack. Pay attention to your surroundings before you decide where to walk. A few things you can do to help ensure a polite greeting between your dog and an unknown dog are:

  • Do not allow your dog to race to the face of an unknown dog. This will many times cause the other dog to respond aggressively.
  • When approaching another dog, stop a reasonable distance from the other dog and redirect your dog’s attention. Have the dog sit. This should help to calm it down before meeting the other dog.
  • Recognize signs of fear in your own dog – looking away from the other dog, crouching, tail tucking, moving away from other dog or showing the whites of its eyes. When your dog shows this behavior, don’t force the dog to greet or interact with the other dog. Overstressing the dog can lead to aggression.
  • If your dog is interested in greeting the unknown dog, ask the other dog’s owner if it’s okay for them to meet. If so, do not let your dog go to the end of its leash for the greeting. You should shorten the leash so that the dog is directly in front of you, and insist the other dog meets your dog in front of you.
  • Allow the dogs to go nose to nose for a few seconds only. Then lead your dog away by turning toward your dog and keeping your body between the dogs.
  • If you notice any signs of aggression during the meeting, use your leg furthest from your dog to push them away from each other, putting your body between the two. Move quickly so that you avoid being bitten. Signs of aggression include growling (do not punish the dog for growling – this is the dog’s way of telling you something is wrong), baring teeth, stiff body posture, ear flattening, or hackles raised.
  • When exiting with your dog, always turn in the direction of your dog and keep the dogs in front of you, so that your body is between the two. This offers the maximum protection and avoids many unwanted attacks.

How To React

Dog attempting to attack

If things get out of control despite your best efforts and your dog is being attacked, here is what you should do:

Remain Calm

Staying calm and focused in the midst of an attack is important, though it might be the hardest thing to do.

Don’t Get in The Middle

You are likely to get hurt if you try to intervene while the dogs are engaged in a fight. Instead, try to distract them by making a loud noise – a sharp whistle, clapping your hands, squeaking a ball or toy or shaking a can of treats. Some trainers recommend carrying a dog whistle or a squeak toy with you to refocus the dog’s attention towards you and away from the other dog. You should know your dog well enough to know what object will get its attention in just about any circumstance.

Release the Leash

If your dog is on a leash, let it go. The dog needs to know that it has the unrestrained ability to defend itself and that flight is an option.

Report the Incident

Ask for the other dog owner’s contact information. Take a photo of the other dog and note any injuries your dog has sustained. You may also want the contact information of any witnesses. Report the attack to the police.

Go Directly to Your Veterinarian

Treat the attack as an emergency, even if the injuries seem minor. Dog bites can become infected. Also, the attack may have severely traumatized your dog. The trauma may mean your dog needs careful and professional training to psychologically recover from the incident.

Speak to the Dog Walking Experts

Dog holding leash in mouth

Keep yourself and your pup safe from dog attack incidents. Get advice on the right way to walk your dog and what to do when greeting unknown dogs during your walks. The dog walking experts at Paw Pals are available to answer your questions about what to do if a dog attacks your dog while walking. Their services include regular dog walking services for dog owners who work full time and dog-sitting services when their owners are traveling and cannot take their dogs with them. Contact Paw Pals for more information about dog walking and all of the services they can provide.

Contact Paw Pals for More Information

Paw Pals specializes in professional dog walking, dog sitting, and pet sitting services. One of our reliable, adult staff members will keep your pet safe, while providing your pet the love and care they need when you are away. Contact us to learn more!

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