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There are risks owning a untrained dog. These risks include injury to you, the dog, and others. There are precautions you should take if you have an unruly, excitable, and out of control dog.
YOUR RISK: Untrained dogs can get you in trouble. They can not only cause you to injure yourself, they can damage your property. Untrained dogs require more supervision and care than trained dogs. I see many people that are way too lax when it comes to their untrained dogs. Most people get away with it. But, some don’t, and then they wish they had been wiser. Untrained dogs need to be kept on leash outside the home. They need to be intensely supervised when loose, both in the home and in public. And they need to be properly confined in a crate or kennel when not supervised. In addition, untrained dogs are more likely to be destructive, so the home needs better rules for keeping valuables, chewing hazards and unsafe items away from the dog.
THE DOG’S RISK: Untrained dogs have no manners and no boundaries as to what they might or might not do. They can escape, destroy things, get injured, get in fights, and so forth. It is well known that untrained dogs cause more problems than trained dogs. Vet bills can run into the thousands.
THE RISK TO OTHERS: Untrained dogs can hurt other people and animals. An untrained, friendly dog can knock someone down and cause life threatening injuries. Imagine the risk if someone was to fall down a flight of stairs. Untrained dogs are more likely to bite people or other dogs. Untrained dogs are more likely to destroy the property of others, too. If a dog injures the neighbor’s prize race horse, guess who will be paying for the losses? You.
INSURANCE: It is wise to have property insurance if you own a dog. Homeowner’s insurance, if you own a house. Renter’s insurance if you are a tenant. But, you can’t rely on insurance to keep you out of hot water with an untrained dog. In some cases, the insurance won’t pay out. In some cases, what a dog might do could land you in jail. Insurance isn’t going to help you much as you sit in prison.
FAIR WARNING: I think if you have an untrained dog, it is important to warn others that you have a dog. Signs should be posted on your property: Dog On remises. Most people post those kinds of signs to ward off intruders. But, they are also useful to warn guests that they are entering a place that has dogs. There are even cute doormats and other things you can place at the entrance of your home as a warning. If you give someone fair warning that you have a dog, especially an untrained dog, then that could possibly be used in your defense in the event of a major accident and subsequent lawsuit. You should also tell guests and strangers to be more careful when being around your dog, for the same types of reasons. It is also important to remove as many hazards as you can in your dog’s environment. An untrained dog is not yet trustworthy with property, or around some people or other animals. Untrained dogs can also cause you problems at off leash parks, knocking down people or hurting other animals. revention is a big part of owning an untrained dog. And if your dog has been noted for being unruly, excitable, and out of control in the past… then that can and will be used against you in court. You should ALWAYS warn guests about your puppy or untrained dog. Even if your dog is trained, you should warn them about the dog.
GET TRAINING: Lastly, it is important to get your dog in training. The better trained your dog, the lower your potential liability. This isn’t a small deal. If someone fell and broke a hip because your dog jumped on them in front of the local supermarket, that could be a $100,000 operation. If your insurance didn’t cover the cost, and you were found liable for not managing your dog better, you’d be on the hook for that cost. If your dog ran out into the street, a car swerved, and a child was killed… guess who the police are arresting. You.
Many people train dogs for selfish reasons, just so the dog will walk nicely on a leash, and so the dog comes when called. That’s just not enough training, and there is more to it in the real world. You need to train your dog. And you need to minimize the risks in those situations where your dog isn’t trained and trustworthy.