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what duties does a dog owner have to prevent bites?

Obey Leash Laws

Enforcement may be lax in less populated areas of the state, but populated areas such as Boise are more strict about requiring dogs to be on leash. In addition, the parks in Boise and surrounding Ada County require dogs to be on leashes except in designated areas.

Secure Property

A dog owner must make sure his or her dog can’t escape the property. This is because an owner must take reasonable steps to prevent the dog from biting someone.

Control Dog

Idaho law requires dogs to be under the control of their owners at all times. This is generally interpreted to mean that dogs are either kept indoors, in a fenced yard, or on a leash. This also includes controlling the dog around guests invited to the owner’s home.

Remove Dog

The dog owner must remove his or her dog from any situation where it has become agitated.

Proper Training

If the dog owner hasn’t taken reasonable steps including providing proper training, then he or she is liable for the dog’s actions.

Professional Help

If a dog has acted aggressively in the past, the dog’s owner has a duty to seek professional help.
* While these are not the only duties of a dog owner, these are required by law.

Why hire an attorney?


Serious Injury & Disfigurement

Some dogs do not waste time on legs; they go straight for throats or faces. While this is the nature of territorial animals, this can cause serious and long-lasting consequences for those who are bitten.


A dog bite can lead to serious injuries from skin tearing, muscle damage, and infection. But dog owners may not recognize the severity of the situation; they find it hard to believe that their beloved pet could behave in a vicious way. However, dog owners are responsible for controlling their dogs at all times and providing compensation for any harm a dog may cause, including dog bites.

Get Medical Bills Paid

The dog owner should have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance that will cover your injury if you need to see a medical professional. If the dog belongs to Aunt Betty, you may need to kindly mention that you do not intend to sue her but that having a lawyer is helpful to avoid the headaches involved with resistant claims managers. Some dog owners would rather pay out of pocket than file a claim. Your attorney can help you make sure this is the best course of action. He or she can also ensure you get as much as possible without the insurance company keeping as much as they can and leaving you with little or no compensation for your pain and suffering.


Work Loss Reimbursement

Your attorney will get official copies of documents to prove lost income. These documents are important evidence on related points such as causation, work reviews, and fringe benefits. Future earning capacity is also a serious consideration. Proving lost earning capacity is a specialized topic among attorneys and completely beyond the comprehension of common accident victims. An experienced attorney can help you receive this, which is often the largest portion of a settlement.



Full Investigation

Retaining a lawyer as soon as possible after an incident enables him or her to investigate and get a clearer picture of what happened. Insurance companies know that attorneys are experienced in compiling all necessary data for a lawsuit. Thus, companies will often make reasonable settlement offers when they know you have a professional on your side.

Also, attorneys often use their own money for private investigations, gathering medical evidence and billings, photographers, and summarizing medical evidence. In addition, they know how to deal effectively with third-party claims against the settlement, including medical bills, and other expenses you have accrued since the incident.

How to recover for injuries suffered from a dog bite


Seeking Compensation

If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, the usual course of action is to seek compensation directly from its owner.

Often, the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy will cover dog bites as part of the liability portion. Renters are also likely to have liability coverage from their renter’s insurance policy that many Boise landlords are now requiring. Of course, these insurance companies may not pay without a fight since paying a claim reduces their profits.



This could include a lawsuit if the other party won’t agree to pay your medical bills and other expenses, or if he or she disagrees with the amount.


You may also find that the dog owner claims that you provoked the dog by startling it or entering its space. These are sometimes valid defenses, but when a dog is too easily frightened or gets territorial around people who have permission to be on the property, the owner bears responsibility for not taking preventive action.

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Idaho lacks extensive laws for dog-bite cases and is thus a “one bite” state by default.


Even in the case of a dog’s first bite, you must prove its owner’s negligence. Evidence may include a previous complaint about the dog or proof that the owner knew the dog was likely to bite.


The owner could also be found at fault for failing to control the dog. In any case, you must share no more than 50 percent of the fault to receive damages.