My Dog Was Attacked by a Pit Bull – What Should I Do?

Any dog can become aggressive towards other dogs if they are afraid, threatened, or may feel no way out. It can be due to currently perceived triggers or experience making the pit bull uncomfortable.

My dog was attacked by a pit bull – what should I do? First, get your dog and bring it to a safer area out of the pit bull’s reach. To do that, you must remain calm and try to distract the pit bull so that you can call your dog away. Then, report the incident immediately and bring your dog to the veterinarian.

Pit bulls exhibit traits of aggressiveness, especially to other dogs. These tendencies can be a nuisance. Worse, it can be a danger.

It can be distressing at some point, for your primary concern is the welfare of your paw friend. But here are few essential things you need to do and know if your dog gets attacked by a pit bull.

What Do You Do If Your Dog Gets Attacked By A Pit Bull?

Signals that dogs, specifically pit bulls, are about to attack another dog is not one size fits all. Sometimes, a pit bull growling, snarling, baring teeth, and lunging is a sign that they are about to attack another dog.

However, there are instances where dogs may be subtle, and with that small freeze, you will not expect them to cause violence against the other dog at that moment.

When your dog gets attacked by a pit bull, the first thing to do in situations like this is to stay calm. Try not to panic because it might just make your dog get worse.

By being calm and focused, you can quickly think of the best ways to deal with the situation. Sometimes, screaming or yelling can escalate the problem between your dog and its attacker, the pit bull.

Call your dog away and bring your pet to a safe place that is out of reach from the pit bull. If your dog gets injured, report it immediately to the police or local animal control.

Avoid getting in between your dog and the pit bull. Although pulling your dog immediately while in a fight with another dog is a common impulse to do, it can be risky.

It will be dangerous for you to try to separate them by yourself. It will only end up hurting yourself and, at the same time, getting your dog much injured significantly if the pit bull has not let go.

However, if you insist on doing, there are options to do that.

First, hold your dog’s leash without getting near its jaws. Then pull them apart. Coldwater or spray from a hose will shock them out of the battle.

Make sure to gather information about the pit bull’s owner. Then, record the injuries your dog got from the attack. It will serve as evidence and help you cover the required veterinary care costs.

Once the situation subsided. Bring your dog immediately to the veterinarian to check them over. Whether it is severe or not, injuries may worsen if not properly treated.

There are also instances where bite injuries can damage the muscles and tissues underneath your pet’s skin.

Related: How To Deal With Neighbors Aggressive Dog?

How Do I Help My Dog After Being Attacked?

Right after being attacked, check first your dog’s wounds, blood, or bite marks. The presence of any puncture, laceration, or other injury has the possibility of getting infected.

So if you have spotted one, then be sure to thoroughly clean and wash the area. If the injury is severe enough, take your pet to the veterinarian.

But, you can still opt to bring your dog to the vet even if the injuries seem to be minor only. Let its scrapes and puncture wounds get first aid treatment.

The moment its physical wound has been handled, it is recommended to give your pet a rest, relaxation, and affection.

Next to their physical wounds, it’s also time for you to attend to the dog’s emotional impact after being attacked.

It is still related to their physical body. Thus, a negative impact on your dog’s emotional aspect can significantly affect its physical functioning.

Keep your dog away from the pit bull for at least two days. If that dog does not live near your area, try to keep your dog away from any other animals that have the potential to harm them.

There are cases of using medication such as anti-anxiety to help your dog relax following an attack. Hence, it will help your dog recuperate faster.

Can A Dog Be Traumatized After Being Attacked?

Yes, dogs, after being attacked, can experience trauma. Like human beings, dogs can develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when exposed to a traumatic event, such as being attacked by another dog.

Sometimes, it’s easy to say that the attack is just a minor event and nothing to worry about. But little did you know that the dog victim can experience ongoing repercussions that can last for years.

It is an aversive experience for dogs that can be an onset of negative conditioned emotional response when associating it with the place the incident occurred or other dogs’ mere presence.

These dogs may act out because of something that happened to them.

Common signs of this emotional problem to dog involve the following:

  • Peeing or pooping in the house
  • Howling, barking, or whining
  • Destructive behavior
  • Tucked tailor pinned back ears
  • Panting or crouches low on the ground
  • Sudden aggression
  • Depression or lethargic
  • Hypersensitivity to its surroundings

Your dog may have experienced trauma accompanied by fear and anxiety right after the incident. In the worst case, your dog may develop aggression in return.

Also, observe other behavioral changes that can either be too much or lesser than their everyday actions.

Your dog may need your extra effort and affection to help them surpass this. You may also look for behavior professionals using humane and positive-based behavior modification methods.

It will help assess your dogs’ particular needs after experiencing emotional trauma. This can also help your dogs out to return to their normal behavior. But, your dog’s recovery varies and highly depends on its owner’s commitment.

injured dog

Why Did A Pit Bull Attack My Dog?

Pitbull is a loving and gentle pet. However, it is crucial to handle these dog breeds as an owner. There are instances where pit bulls get too wary when around other dogs.

Experts say that this tendency does not apply to all pit bulls. They are known to be unapproachable to other dogs at home or in public. Some people believe that Pit Bull can Attack and Fight Lions.

A pit bull may have attacked your dog because of their behavior resulting from fear or outright aggression. The dog doesn’t find it essential to play or socialize with other pets.

They may also attack dogs because of the assumption that pit bulls must be vicious by nature. These dogs were selectively bred to fight bulls, bears, kill rats, and fight other dogs in the past.

Studies show that a pit bull and its crossbreed have caused many dog-bite fatalities.

But pit bull advocates said that aggression to dogs is not inherent. Most of the time, these incidents are rooted in the hands of irresponsible dog owners who encourage their pets to be aggressive as a way of fighting and protecting.

However, a pit bull can learn to tolerate others calmly and reasonably with enough work. That is why it is recommended to train them to socialize as young as a puppy to carry it throughout their life.

You Might Also Read: Why Is My Dog Yelping In Pain When Picked Up?

My Dog Was Attacked By A Pit Bull – What Are My Rights?

The bond we form with our dogs is built with trust and love. Unfortunately, some dog owners are so irresponsible that they can’t keep their dog behave well around others. This negligence is at the expense of other pet owners.

Thus, its aggressive tendencies get triggered and then attack other dogs. 

When your dog gets injured or, worse, gets killed by a pit bull, you have to keep in mind the rights you have.

Since a pit bull is listed as a “dangerous dog,” then the owner is accountable for harboring an aggressive or violent animal. Hence, the pit bull owner is held liable for any damages it caused and veterinary costs.

The pit bull owner will also be held legally responsible for paying you back the original amount you paid for your dog if it has to be put down due to the attack. 

Moreover, there are various ways to compensate you for your dog’s loss due to another dog’s attack.

Although rules may differ from every state, if proven that your dog was harmed or killed by another man’s dog, you may sue the owner.

You might file a civil or criminal lawsuit if your dog was attacked unnecessarily, intentionally, or maliciously. It can be filed both at the same time.

It needs to have enough proof or some degree of negligence on the owner’s part to recover any costs.

On the other hand, if the action itself was malicious and purposeful, the person responsible may be accountable for breaking animal cruelty laws. Thus, the owner may be sentenced to jail.

But things like these highly depend on the state’s rule. The type of compensation you will receive, how much is allowed, and any additional return for emotional damages may vary. It’s better to consult with your lawyer.

Some courts may order the pit bull owner who attacked another dog to pay for economic losses.

There are strict liability laws that make owners responsible for the damage caused by their dogs, even if they were not negligent or have no idea about their dog’s aggressive tendencies.

Others might be held liable automatically if they already knew their dog’s dangerous trait. If not, they are still not an excuse to the law as owners. They should have known that their dog is likely to cause such damage.

Each case may have been different. But if your dog has been wrongfully injured, it is worth a legal fight.


In summary, if your dog gets attacked by a pit bull, perhaps its prey drive got triggered. However, it is not a general rule that applies to all. They are not naturally inclined to attack other dogs unless they feel a threat to themselves or their territory.

Once your pet gets attacked, you have to observe changes to your dog. It could alter their physical, social, or emotional aspect.

Dogs can experience trauma, too. Note its symptoms and know what positive techniques are best for them.

Most of the time, it is the owner’s negligence to be blamed. It may have led to this learned aggressive behavior of dogs. Thus, you can sue the owner of that dog.

Several states have different laws that make dog owners criminally and civilly liable when their pets attack and injure other animals. The law treats all animals like property that anyone who may deliberately or carelessly hurt their pet will be responsible for.

As pet owners, you should be responsible enough to handle your dog. Having a pit bull dog is a challenge. Hence, before having one be sure to yourself that you will be held accountable no matter what.

For other pet owners, take good care of your pets. As much as possible, keep them away from potential dangers.

Check out the other Interesting Dog Related Articles that will help you learn more about various Dogs.


Image credits – Canva

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