The majority of dogs are friendly; certain breeds, however, pose a risk of harm to small children. As reported by Forbes magazine, pit bulls rank highest as the canine breed associated with fatalities. The Rottweiler came in second, followed by the German shepherd. 

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that during the years from 2005 to 2017, pit bulls accounted for 66% of the fatal dog attacks. In any type of attack, dog owners are responsible for medical expenses, damages or injuries caused to the victim or his or her family. Reportedly, harmful dog bites accounted for more than one-third of claims filed under homeowners’ insurance policies. 

Knowing the difference between dangerous and vicious dogs 

If a dog has a history of acting menacingly with two unprovoked bites within 18 months, the State of Nevada considers the animal “dangerous.” If the dog bit or attacked in self-defense or as a means to protect its owner from a crime, the dangerous classification may not apply. 

Classifying a canine as “vicious” occurs when a dangerous dog’s subsequent attack causes substantial harm or a fatality to a human or animal without provocation. Once a dog has the classification of vicious, its owner may face a category D felony charge when the canine’s bite or attack results in substantial bodily injuries. 

Reporting an encounter with a dangerous or vicious dog to animal control officials is a requirement whenever a bite or an attack occurs. An official may place the dog in quarantine for 10 days to determine whether it has rabies or poses a risk to the public. 

Seeking relief from a dog attack 

Certain pet owners may need to exercise caution when taking their dogs out in public. An owner generally has the duty of care to prevent his or her dog from biting or attacking children, humans or other animals and must leash it while in public places. When a dog bite requires medical treatment, victims have legal rights that may involve receiving compensation for pain and suffering, recovery care, and the loss of wages for taking time off from work.