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It’s Not Just About a Bite

My part-time job is being an obedience instructor for the club I belong to. I receive a lot of information that helps in keeping up with current methods as well as changes in the statutes of different states.

An article that I read was about the new case law that now deals with other-than-biting issues. The new issue is “dog fright.” This includes incidents in which the behavior of the dog causes a reasonable person to take defensive action which results in that person’s injury.

These types of “dog fright” cases are ones in which the dog displays aggressive action. An example is if your dog is at your fence or on a leash and appears aggressive toward another dog or anyone who is walking in the general area. Another example is if a person is riding a bike and the dog causes the rider to make a sudden movement that results in an injury to the bike rider.

As pet owners, we need to look into the statutes of our states to see what the wording is. Some states use the word “bite,” and other states use the word “injury.”

We know our dogs, and we know that they would not hurt anyone. But how our dogs are perceived by someone else is the issue. There are people who have a great fear of large dogs or specific breeds like German shepherds or Doberman pinschers, and then there are people who are afraid of little yappy, bouncy dogs.

If you would like to read more about this issue, go to

Barbara Adams
Senior Personal Lines Claim Representative

Call Toll-Free 1-800-322-0160