What would you do if a neighbor's dog attacked/bit your kid?

Aliah - posted on 04/19/2011 ( 249 moms have responded )

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Long story short. My 5 year old son was playing near our home with a few other kids and saw the neighbor's pitbull come out of the house. So he got on his bike to go home since I warned him to stay away if he sees dogs outside. The dog jumped on him and bit him. I took him to the ER and the bite was not minor. He was bitten in his bum... about an 1 1/2" wound and pretty deep and bruised all around. He got stitched and stapled and is doing ok for now and will be seen again by a Dr. tomorrow for a follow up. What would you do if this happened to your kid and has anyone experienced something similar? Thanks in advance.

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Shawnn - posted on 04/20/2011

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The fact that it was a pitt bull does not have a whole lot of relevance here, other than to incite more unnecessary ill will towards what is mostly a good breed.

Now, to address your question, the dog in the situation was not under his owner's control, neither physically, nor vocally. In most US states, that is grounds for a citation against the owner. If there is more than one instance of biting from the same dog (regardless of breed), then different steps can be taken. If you have your medical records from the incident, you may be able to get financial compensation from the owners of the dog. It depends on the area you are in, and whether or not they require a police report in order to charge damages to the other party. The first thing you need to do is report the incident to animal control. Any photos, or witness statements you have will help you in this area.

I do pray that your son recovers and doesn't have an abnormal fear of dogs after this. Most are wonderful, loving animals. Unfortunately, when they act like this one did, the problem originates with the owner, and their treatment of the dog, not from the breed that the dog is.

Krista - posted on 04/20/2011

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The breed of the dog is irrelevant -- the fact of the matter is that this dog is not properly controlled, and is aggressive without having been provoked.

I would report it to the authorities.

Stacey - posted on 04/20/2011

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The breed of dog IS relevant if your area has breed restrictive laws. So are the conditions under which the animal was being kept. Cruelty can contribute to an animal's likeliness to bite. My daughter was bitten by a dog last year. The hospital was required to contact animal control and have the animal picked up and observed for 72 hours at a veterinary clinic. If the owners are not willing to take measures to restrain the animal or put it down, you can file a civil suit against them requesting that the animal be euthanized and that your child be compensated pain and suffering and that you be compensated for medical bills. You need to file a claim with the home owner's insurance or renter's insurance. make sure you have everything from the hospital and doctor visits and take photographs on a regular basis during the healing process. If your child is exhibiting signs of fear or emotional trauma, see to it that they are seen by a child counselor recommended by your pediatrician. Do NOT allow irresponsible dog owners to get away with harming your child. An animal is just an animal. The owner is responsible. Hold them to it.

Kate CP - posted on 04/20/2011

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"Thanks everyone for your help. I took my son to the dr. today and he said it is healing well. They should remove the staples in a week. My son definately notices dogs everywhere now so i can sure see a change in him. We are considering getting a puppy to help him get over the fear of dogs... definately not a pitbull ;) I live in California and i did call animal control and report it... they said it will take 3-4 days for someone to come out. I have heard from other neighbors that this is the dogs 3rd incident, but i am not sure if it was ever reported to animal control or if it was recorded. I am looking into hiring a lawyer but am not sure if this is something worth persuing. Has anyone had an experice like this?"

Be a squeaky wheel. Call animal control again and tell them this is the 3rd time the animal has attacked a human. Have neighbors call and submit reports, too. 3-4 days is unacceptable. In that amount of time the dog could get loose and attack again and do serious damage. Call them EVERY DAY until they come out and remove the animal. If they give you a hard time, call the local TV station. They LOVE these kinds of stories.

That being said...I am an advocate for pitbulls. I am a dog trainer and I love bullies. But this dog is dangerous...it doesn't MATTER that he's a pit. He could be a German Shepherd or a Miniature Schnauzer and I would STILL feel that this dog is dangerous and needs to be removed from the neighborhood, perhaps even destroyed.

DO NOT GET A PUPPY TO CALM YOUR SON'S ANXIETY!!! This is NOT a good reason to get a dog! Go to PetSmart and talk to the trainer there and ask if your son can interact with child-safe dogs there. Ask your vet if they have child-safe dogs he can pet and interact with. DO NOT get a pet to help your son get over a trauma. Because if it doesn't work you're stuck with a dog that your son will be terrified of. And NO, just "getting rid of the dog" is NOT an acceptable option. Don't even get your family in that situation.

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249 Comments

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Peggy - posted on 04/24/2011

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Oh my! You should call animal control and report this A.S.A.P. You should also call the owner of the dog and tell him/her what happened. Make sure you have all the bills because they are responsible and need to pay them. It also wouldn't hurt to file a police report. The dog should have been on a leash or in a fenced yard. Bottom line is your son did nothing wrong and these people are negligent. You have to file a report otherwise if the dog harms or maims another child it will then have a history. Oh, and take pictures of the wounds if there is any doubt of or belittling of the injury. No matter how minor the injury may be. Keep us informed of what happens.

Lori - posted on 04/24/2011

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I'd call Animal control on them. That is a dangerous dog to have around if it's going around biting people, especially kids! Next time the next kid or adult might not be so lucky!

Meaghan - posted on 04/24/2011

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most hospitals are supposed to report dog attacks to the animal control people so the animal can be picked up and quarenteened (sp? lol) then they decide if it's a vicious dog or can be released. you also need to inform your neighbors the incident has to be reported to their homeowners insurance company because they are liable for any medical bills resulting from the incident. there are leash laws-why was this dog outside? complain to your HOA if you have one. what if it was worse?? who's kid is next? they're irresponsible pet owners. pit bulls can be amazing animals if trained and handled properly but they are vicious and capable of death.

Valkyrie - posted on 04/24/2011

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Go to the police department and make a report.so if it happens again they are aware. Have u confronted the people did they. Say sorry or anything

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Contact the police and tell them about it and which neighbors own the dog, they don't take kindly to that, they give the dog three strikes.

Mimi - posted on 04/24/2011

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I would talk to my neighbor and ask him to put down the dog. I would do this verbally and through e mail. If he keeps the pit bull, call a lawyer and sue to have the dog removed as well as damages!

Helen - posted on 04/24/2011

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I'd go light!!! Report it and the owner to the police and council, and insist it's put down and the owners prosecuted. It's lucky it wasn't worse/a younger child involved. It was unsupervised and should not of been out of the house alone (no matter what breed of dog it was), especially when children are out playing. Must admit I'm gettingsick of irrisponsible ownwers not taking proper responsibility for their dogs. I've had a run in a few times at our local park when people are taking dogs into the the kids play area and when you tell them to take the dogs out theylook at you as if you stupid and say it's "okay they good with kids"!! Makes no difference they shouldn't be there! you never know how a dog is going to react around ANYONE it dosn't know especially when there's lots of running around and noise going on.

Nicole - posted on 04/24/2011

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First and foremost I'm so sorry that this happened uo your son and I hope he gets better soon and that he is okay emotionally. I would suggest like many others did call the authorities file a complaint and get all the evidence you can and file for monetary compensation for any bills and pain and suffering for your son. I love dogs but never is a situation like this is reprehensible and never should've happened to begin with. make sure you get all the evidence required for where you live.

Shana - posted on 04/24/2011

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Report it to animal care and control. You are lucky that it was only stitches this time!

Dee - posted on 04/24/2011

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The attack should have been reported to the police immediately. Consult a lawyer. I don't know what the laws are in your state, but in NJ you have two years to file a suit against the owner of the dog. Why do I know this? I was bit by a bull mastiff a year ago, The dog had bit someone before, but my town has a two bite rule. You should not be bearing the cost of this yourself, and your son may need therapy to help him overcome this attack. Report it and get a lawyer that is experienced in dog bite cases. The homeowner should have insurance to cover his dog injuring others.

Rhonda - posted on 04/24/2011

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One more horror story for you. A young boy who lives up the road from me has a neighbor who had a pit bull. Got it as a puppy, treated it like it was his kid. The boy had played with that dog every day for a year. Then one day, Tyler was coming down the hill out of the ore cuts on his bike and the pit bull chased him down, drug him off of his bike, and tried to kill him. The only reason his throat wasn't torn out is Tyler somehow knew to keep his arms over his face and neck. The dog went for the next best target and ripped half of his armpit and most of his chest nearly OFF. That 7 year old child had to have 350 staples, after hours of surgery to reattach everything. If another neighbor hadn't come out on the porch while talking on the phone, Tyler would have died that day. As it was, by the time she got to them, the dog was trying to drag him under it's owners house, into the crawl space. She repeatedly hit the dog in the head with a huge rock until it let go. It's a wonder Tyler didn't bleed to death. She said he was so covered in blood, he kept slipping out of her arms. She's a hero for doing what she did. I do think this is a case of the dog's chase response being triggered by Tyler going by so fast on his bike, but still. That dog KNEW Tyler. It was put down the next day, but only after Tyler's grandfather told the owner if he didn't do it, he would shoot the dog himself.

Yes, any dog can be aggressive, become aggressive, and bite. My Dad had a mutt when I was little that grew meaner every year and finally had to be put down. But pits are the only ones I've ever seen that can go from completely easygoing, laid back, and calm, to attack mode in seconds with no prior warning. Ironically, the lady who saved Tyler owned an aggressive Rottweiler at the time. But Chelsea was aggressive ALL the time. And to the poster about Poodles, you are so right. They're mean. I've never met a nice Poodle, lol.

Lacey - posted on 04/24/2011

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First, the dog breed is considered viscious. The police need to be notified, as does the dog warden. The dog needs to be quaranteened to ensure it doesn't have rabies or any other diseases that can pass to your child. However, you should not teach your child to fear dogs as they can sense fear and attack on that premise. I've been attacked by a dog not 3 houses from my grandma's when I was 10. I don't fear dogs, and never have, but I'm more careful around them than before.

Cara - posted on 04/24/2011

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I have had a wonderful family pit bull mix for 16 years. She is part of my family. But, God forbid, if my dog bit anyone I would not hesitate to put it down because I would never be able to trust it. That goes for ANY breed of dog, though. You need to file a report with the police and demand that the dog be put down. I hope your son heals quickly.

Christina - posted on 04/24/2011

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I would have the dog spend time at the humane society so that they can check him for agressive actions... No matter what breed it is NO DOG SHOULD BITE A HUMAN (sorry not yelling at you). Any breed will bite. even though you probably think that, Please just keep this in mind.

Julie - posted on 04/24/2011

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Years ago before my old english bull terrier dies she jumped at a neighbours child and tore and scratched down his leg jumping up at him, he was sat on a wall and startled her as i walking her on a lead, luckily his dad was very understanding and we replaced the pants, I felt awful though, she was never a nasty dog but very capable and you really can't ever trust a dog.
was this dog on a leash or in his own home? if he was on the street then you really need to get the police involved if only to get the owners to be responsible before it does some real damage (not that your sons botty isn't !)
julie

Brittany - posted on 04/24/2011

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You have to report it. They'll put the dog to sleep, but this is something that needs to be done because the dog is dangerous. What if it was your sons face? Which happens.

Jenna - posted on 04/24/2011

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I was bit twice by dogs as a kid. they where both serious with many many stitches. I'm sorry but there dog should have been under control. I would definitely talk to them about paying the medical bills. I would find it really hard not to get a lawyer though. I was tromitized by this as a child as I'm sure your son will be. I hope he is ok. sending lots of gentle hugs his way and if you ever need to talk to someone feel free to contact me.

Rhonda - posted on 04/24/2011

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While I do understand that how an animal is raised is the best indicator of how it will act, I HAVE seen a pit bull who was raised like it was my friend's baby. I even babysat that dog for 5 months while the owner had to work out of town. His name was Playboy and he was the sweetest, most gentle dog I had ever met. Until I saw with my own eyes what happens when something triggers a response in it's brain and it attacks. Completely unprovoked.

Thank God it wasn't my stepson or one of his 4 friends that were there that day. Let me just say, every one of those kids were riding their bikes in the yard, so that's not always a trigger. This dog was sitting next to me, being petted, when it looked out into our field at the horses he'd seen every day for 3 months, and he just spazzed. For no apparent reason, something about the mare grazing in the field triggered it's "kill" instinct and he tore across the yard at full speed, flattened himself out and slid under the barb wire fence, and went after that horse. She kicked that pit bull SIX times full on, 4 times in his face and twice in his chest. He kept going for her throat to kill her. The last kick was the one that slowed him down enough for my husband and his coworker to catch him. As soon as they grabbed him, the dog went completely limp. It was the most terrifying thing I have ever seen. Something in his brain just came unglued. He had to be heavily chained after that until we could get a "maximum security" kennel built for him. If he had went after one of the kids, he would have killed them that day. I have NEVER trusted a pit bull since. I've seen what happens when the kill response gets triggered and that dog had never, ever been physically disciplined. He was babied from the day he was brought home at 6 weeks old. He was easygoing, laid back, and sweet until that day.

Renata - posted on 04/24/2011

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I would be so upset, and report this....
this is so dangerous
I could have been worse
I can be bad with other people
this cannot happen again with anyone else

Brittani - posted on 04/24/2011

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i would call the police and have the dog put to sleep thats not ok if he did it once hed do it again and im not just saying cuz its a pit any dog even if it was a chiwawa id have it put to sleep

Jenni - posted on 04/24/2011

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I currently live in a court of selfish, self-centred, irresponsible dog owners! No matter how big or small or well trained a dog is they all bite!! Lucky for me most times I had inncidents it was prior to my child being born. Under no circumstance REPORT THEM REPORT THEM REPORT THEM! Your neighbour has great disrespect for you, your family and their dog. I notified the police which informed me to report it to the council/ranger who found out the dog was not registered and they didn't comply to certain laws. I constantly report the dog (or any dog) roaming the street to the ranger and they do act on it quickly. A responsible dog owner would be making sure their dog is safe just like their child. We have a dog and I make sure her environment is safe for her at all times and that we watch her all the time with our child. It is NEVER TOO LATE TO REPORT ATTACK, at least there is record of the incident that if it happens to someone else the owner is forced to be responible. THE BIGGEST LOSER IS THE DOG - who ended up in a careless family which resulted in your child suffering for the consequences of a irresponsilbe selfish person. Make sure ALL neighbours are aware of what happened if nothing else they might feel some shame and become responsible - yeah right!! Our neighbours every did lol

Kelli - posted on 04/24/2011

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Call and have the bite documented with Animal Control, and they will document it with the Health Department. The dog, by law, must be quarantined to prove that it does not have Rabies unless they can prove it's been vaccinated. This is definitely negligence on the part of the dog's owner, but not many places have leash laws or any laws that require an animal to be confined to a property. I would urge you, though, not the be mad at the dog based on its breed. Pits can definitely be just as wonderful as other breeds. It's all in how they're raised. BUT, to say that this was unprovoked is sadly not true. Though your son was rightfully trying to go home as he had been told, hopping on a bike turned it into a game for the dog. I agree with one of the responses above that suggested your son walk next time or leave in a manner that may not be so attention-grabbing for the dog.

Now, of course, if this dog has a history of biting, that's another story, and his temperament should definitely be evaluated by the authorities.

Claire - posted on 04/24/2011

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I cant believe someone said that pi tbulls dont belong in neighborhoods along with tigers and orangutans. Get real chick. I have met more nice pits than mean ones. Not saying that no pits are mean, but all dogs can be mean. Especially poodles. Once again, NOT all. But did you know the pit came in 2nd to the golden retriever on their behaviors with humans. They are not always dog friendly, but for the most part are VERY people friendly

Amy - posted on 04/24/2011

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Not to blame your kid here, but when you meet a strange dog, you are not supposed to run from them. that just kicks in thier chase instinct. I hate that your son got bitten, but honestly the dog probably was just "playing". Now, if this is not the case and the dog has been agressive before with other ppl and especially children, then the city needs to be notified, and the dog quarantined to make sure he is not carrying rabies. You need to see if you city or town has a "dangerous dog" ordinance. If so, then the owners of the dog can be held financially and legally responsible for the dogs actions.
Hope that helps a little, and please, dont hate the breed, hate the ppl that train them to be that way!

Claire - posted on 04/24/2011

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First, before pit bulls get a bad rap, I am gonna say that most of that has to do with the owner. I have a pit bull who follows my son around like a nanny. She actually prefers children to adults and would never bite them. But seeing that this one did, obviously the owners are irresponsible and maybe neglectful. They should have a way of containing the dog. Cause that is just ridiculous. Which is why you should find out from the police department who you need to call about this. But honestly, the breed is usually much better with people than with other dogs, so I would say this is more of an owners fault, but that doesnt make the dog any less dangerous considering

IsabElla - posted on 04/24/2011

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im an owner of a few pit bulls.. and i don't believe that its just this breed as my kids dad had his face bit off by an over protective German Shepard... though what the dog did was wrong and should be put down there's more to it.. was your son in there yard? even just in a driveway can spark a dog to protect its home.. also has your son or the children he was with ever teased the dog.. this can spark the dog to go after him later...not to be rude or anything but why would you even let a 5 yr old with or without other children weather older or not go unsupervised by an adult out of your own yard? i would be grateful all he got was a bite on the bum rather then kidnapped by a child molester...

Sonja - posted on 04/24/2011

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Kristine, pitbulls were never bred to be aggressive towards humans. In fact, they were once called the "Nanny Dog" because of their disposition with children. Pitbulls were bred to take down large animals and yes, to fight other dogs. They, as a breed, have a tendency to be dog-aggressive - which is completely different than being human aggressive. Do you know how many of Mike Vick's dogs were put down for being human aggressive? 1. There was also one put down for health reasons. All the others are living among humans... and several are now therapy dogs.
I'm not saying that there aren't bad pitbulls out there - there are... some dogs are just aggressive.. but it's not based on breed. And a pitbull is less likely to do as much damage as many other breeds - because they tend to chomp and hold on - which is what is required for taking down large game. Other dogs will bite and release and bite and release... which causes much more damage.

Kendra - posted on 04/24/2011

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Please note that this could have happened with ANY dog, please do not profile it because it was a pitbull. BUT take the documents from the hospital to the neighbors and ask to see shot records and have them pay for the visit. That's what home owners insurance is for. You may have to file a police report. I am sorry your child had to go thru this. I was bitten TWICE at when I was young. The first time was I was 4 or 5 and my grandparents "hot dog" dog bit my face and it tore the skin off my eye. Because they lived in the country and it was the early 80s my grandfather "just took care of it". That's a polite way of saying it. Next I was 12 my neighbors beautiful Chow got loose I tried to grab the dragging chain and return her home and she bit straight thru my hand. The neighbors would not supply my parents with rabbies shot records and such. Police were called and frankly we found that that chow had bitten all the children in that home. The police made a safety decree and made the owners put it to sleep and have it tested for rabies because I needed to knwo if I needed these shots. I try to think that its not the dogs fault but sometimes they are crazy like humans they just can't talk.

Sara - posted on 04/24/2011

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I would definitely report the dog and the owner. There is no reason that the dog should have been out running around. Especially since your son was not messing with the dog or anything. He was basically attacked. I am not against breeds of dogs by any means, but if people can not control their dogs or if they are violent they have no use being in a neighborhood with kids around. I would want to run over and kill the dog personally, but I wouldn't. I would contact animal control or the police office and find out the way you are supposed to handle something like this for your area. Hope this helps, and hope your son is ok.

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Can't say that happened to me but I was walking up to my house with my 3 year old and a neighbor a few doors down was walking his st. bernard. he continued towards my house. she went running for the dog, me with groceries in hand, telling her to stop. his expression made me so mad. as if i were letting her attack the dog, letting her take the risk. i think he should have turned around with that huge dog when he saw us getting out of the van. others with dogs should BE AWARE OF CHILDREN. we need them to think of us at all times too.

Frances - posted on 04/24/2011

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I'm so sorry to hear that about your child....but If a pitbull bit my child my first thought would be to kill the dog...but I think I'd file a complaint,and demand that the owner is to either keep the dog chained or put him to sleep.I can't understand why anyone would want one of the dogs, they are so dangerous.

Kristine - posted on 04/24/2011

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Hound animal control....everytime you see the dog not fenced in or indoors call and report an aggressive dog wandering the neighborhood. If the dog reportedly has a past and has bitten your child dont wait for someone to have a toddler snatched up and killed because the dog is not properly restrained.

As far as the whole pitbull and those who are against the breed or defend the breed, the pitbull was created and bred for fighting and aggression. No matter how you raise a dog it still has those instincts it was bred for. You can take an English Shepherd, a hearding dog, from pup and raise it in the city with your family but put that dog in a yard full of children and it will try to herd them and may nip at them hurting them because it is what they are made for. You can take a Labrador pup and raise it in a city the same and if you take it out bird hunting it will still instinctively run out to retrieve. So yes if you take a pitbull and raise it all lovey and sweetly if in a situation where it is annoyed in any way or feels threatened or challenged it will react aggressively. The breed is bred to be dangerous and no matter how you raise it it is still going to have dangerous instincts and that is not safe around children. There are so many who say "but she was such a loving gentle pitbull and has been around kids since she was a pup, I dont know why she snatched that baby up and shook it untill it was dead" but the answer is that the dog has aggression bred deep into its being and will always be capable of doing so. Yes some breeds of dogs were bred for fighting and that makes them dangerous reguardless if they are pit or a bull terrier or a shar pei or any other of the many fighting breeds. You cant say a dog wont be agressive if it is raised not to be, it is born to be and given the right chance or circumstance it will be.

Jessika - posted on 04/24/2011

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You file a police report, pit bulls can kill children, people period. Not all are bad but obviously this one is not friendly. This is a serious matter and shouldn't be handled lightly.

Mary Kay - posted on 04/24/2011

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It does not matter the breed of the dog or the size of the dog. Probably about 7 years ago dachshund bit a baby boys genitals. He was asleep on the couch and the parents were in another room the family dog got up on the couch and attacked him. Apparently the diaper was wet and the dog smell it and went after it. So the size or breed makes no difference dogs were once wild animals. They have become domesticated by us and we need to control them if we have them. There are many cases of all kinds of dogs attacking people. Yes in most reported/publicized cases they are pit bulls. It is my understanding once a dog has tasted blood they will want more or become more aggressive. So if the authorities have not been contacted do it sooner rather then later. Another child may depend on it.

Timeka - posted on 04/24/2011

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First off I am sorry that your son got bite. My daughter is 1 and lives with pitbulls.. ITs how the owners raise them not the breed themselfs. But o answer your question.. Getting on a bike and riding away is probly the worse thing ya son could of done.. Most dogs will attack when someone is afaird and rides/runs away.. Another question.. Are you sure your son didnt do nothing to him.. You havent said if you were outside with him or anything.. and I would go to the owners about it.

Jennifer - posted on 04/24/2011

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Call the Animal Control in your area and the police. Make a statement. You need to know that the dog doesn't have rabies and if the dog has done it to others it needs to be taken care of. Also, sue the neighbor for the cost of medical care. They were negligent by letting their dog out and should be financially responsible for your loss of work, cost of meds, mileage, harm caused by their NEGLIGENCE.

Chaveevah - posted on 04/24/2011

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that happened here where I live, and a 3 yr old girl was killed...I don't care for large breed dogs for that reason. you should report the dog & owner immediately. I won't say the dog should be put down, but it obviously must stay restrained or it is a danger to children...your report could prevent a more serious tragedy--best wishes for your son's recovery from such a traumatic incident

Narelle - posted on 04/24/2011

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hello there sorry maybe the dog was just chasing the wheel of the bike & missed & bit him on the bum i would approach the people in the neighbourhood to see who owne dthre dog & go & see the owner not all pitbull owners are nasty people hey cheers narelle

Brandi - posted on 04/24/2011

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honey make sure you report it and sue the neighbor for pain and suffereing it will be a nice payoff for ur child when he hits 18 people get these dogs and say how sweet they are until something happens, hell they are sweet with them cuz they know them what would they have said if ur child need more than stiches or even a coffin!!! they can get a grip andu can still be their neighbor and sue them they would do it to you in a heartbeat!! how dare they be irresponsible by letting that dog out and not having a proper fence (tall) so the dog could not jump the fence.. im glad ur child is ok

MaryAnne - posted on 04/24/2011

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As a parent and an adult who survived a VERY serious dog attack from my next door neighbor's dogs, I say do whatever it takes to make sure that it does not happen to another child or adult for that matter! I am in my late 40's with 3 children of my own with ages ranging from 9 to 5 and I am very passionate about doing anything you can to protect children from the fear of dogs that I still live with to this day!!!!!!!! Pursue any avenue you can to make sure that this dog does not ever do that again to anyone!!!!!!!!!

Kim - posted on 04/24/2011

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The ER at the hospital is required to report the incident. Didn't they tell you this?

Sonja - posted on 04/24/2011

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First, I am sorry that your son was bitten. As a mom and dog owner, I understand your anger. I believe that the owners should be held accountable for not properly restraining their dog.
Now... I'm about to blow everyone's minds... I share my home with 5 dogs. 2 pitbulls, a weimaraner, a beagle/golden mix and a pekingnese. All of my dogs are rescues and came from bad situations. One of the pitbulls was an abused dog and the other was neglected. The Weimaraner was neglected. The Beagle/Golden was found as a stray at 16 weeks old. The Pekingnese is 11 years old and was taken in when his owners died. I've been bitten by 2 of these dogs. Anyone want to guess which ones? The beagle/golden and the Pekingnese. Both times I was bitten, it was my fault... the beagle/golden bit me when I got in between him and another dog who were arguing over a ball... I went to reach for his collar and put my hand right in his mouth... he was too agitated by that point and I shouldn't have touched him. In the case of the Pekingnese - I wasn't aware that he had hip dysplasia and when I went to pick him up he snapped.
My pitbulls, despite having lived in terrible circumstances and having every reason in the world not to trust humans - are the most even keeled, sweet and trustworthy dogs I know. In fact, one of them ruptured her ACL last week and has been in terrible pain - and not once has she growled, bitten or snapped. She remains her sweet, loving self.
I believe myself to be a good pet owner. I have a fenced in yard, my dogs are never outside unattended and I make sure that they get the exercise, the attention and the supervision that they need.
For those who want to site "bite reports" - let me explain, MOST PEOPLE couldn't pick a pitbull out of a lineup. If they see a big, muscular looking dog bite someone - they will more than likely report it as a pitbull. I have had people loving on my dogs and guessing that they were anything from a boxer to a puggle. It's kind of comical actually. Pitbulls are some of the most forgiving animals I know. Because of their high tolerance for pain and their desire to have their owners approval... they are generally very easy going.
My guess is that in this situation the pitbull thought that he was protecting his yard and when the boy tried to ride off it triggered a natural "chase" intinct. This is NOT the dogs fault. In my opinion it is the fault of all adults involved. Both the 5 year old and the dog should have been supervised. Unfortunately both the child and the dog will be the ones who pay the price for a mistake that was not theirs.

Amber - posted on 04/24/2011

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I would let the owners know, and pass the er bill on to them! I was driving home after picking my daughter up from school. The neighbors have a very sweet dog(not sure of breed) he was chained to the tree outside and I saw to pitbulls on him. I didn't know they were pits until I got close. I thought oh cool those dogs are all playing, then I got closer and saw the two pits were attacking the neighbors dd. I honked and drove at them, they didn't budge, I had my daughter and told her to get low and cover her eyes. Other neighbors looked at the commotion that I was making after 10 minutes we got the pits off of Logan. He required many stitches on his neck, back, and side as well as staples. The owner came got the pits and left didn't even check to see the damage the dogs had done. It was winter and there was so much blood in the snow. Logan survived the attack and the neighbors petitioned for the dogs to be taken.

Mary Kay - posted on 04/24/2011

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If you went to the ER then the police should have been contacted by them. It is my understanding that all animal bites are to be reported. Then they should have followed up and contacted you then the owner of the dog. DO NOT go to the owners by yourself. Let the police handle it and lawyers if needed. They need to get on touch with the owners and make sure the dog is up to date on its shots and record the bite. They should also take the dog from the residence for a period of time to watch the dogs behavior. You should not have to do anything but take care of you poor little boy. Good luck to you. I will pray for you and your son.

Jessica - posted on 04/24/2011

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this thing happened to me.. almost exactly a year ago.. it was a bull mastiff and it shoot my eight year old like he was a ragdoll.. he had over 200 stitches on the top of his head, his face and his butt.. it is terrifying.. the dog jumped the neighbors fence and attacked my little boy who was playing in my own driveway. What i did? i went to a lawyer to maker sure the neighbors insurance would actually pay.. and it sitll isnt' over yet.. and we are all scared of dogs.. still

Carly - posted on 04/24/2011

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Let me first start out by sayi g that it is not the dog breed, it is the dog owner at fault! I would sue for the cost of all bills and I would make sue that the dog is no longer in the neighborhood or around children anymore!!

Carol - posted on 04/24/2011

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Were the police called? I am glad that he is ok, but that could have been his throat or face, people who have pets need to keep them leashed or fenced...this is uncalled for!

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