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In most instances, people love dogs, and dogs love people in return. In fact, many scientific studies confirm that the bond dogs share with humans goes far beyond just begging for food – it’s true love. However,  this love doesn’t mean that a dog isn’t capable of biting when it feels provoked, especially if it’s trying to protect its food, owners or puppies.

According to the CDC, more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. each year, resulting in about 800,000 injuries that require medical attention. What’s more, is 50% of dog bites happen on the dog owner’s property, accounting for one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims.

If a dog bites you in Kentucky, the dog’s owner is strictly liable for any injuries you sustain. While some states have negligence laws in which the dog owner is only responsible for damages caused by their dog if they were unreasonably careless in controlling it, in Kentucky, the dog owner is automatically liable even without provocation.

How to be a responsible dog owner

If you have a dog as a member of your family, the responsibility falls on you to properly train, socialize and control your dog. After all, it ultimately isn’t the dog’s fault if they don’t receive the essential training and socialization they require from an owner. To help prevent the likelihood of your dog biting, you should also:

  • Get your dog spayed or neutered. Studies show that dogs that neutered dogs are three times less likely to bite than non-neutered dogs.
  • Socialize your dog with both other dogs and humans, including children.
  • Teach non-aggressive games to your dog, such as fetch. Aggressive games like tug-of-war can encourage aggressive or inappropriate behavior.
  • Avoid exposing your dog to new situations if you are unsure about how they will respond.
  • Get help from a professional veterinarian or animal behavioralist if your dog starts to develop anxious or aggressive behaviors.

Dogs may love us, but they are also capable of causing severe injuries when they feel provoked. Dog owners must adequately train their canines and ensure they are well-behaved. If you are a Kentucky dog owner, be sure to takes steps to prevent dog bites and help your dog be successful in society.