There are millions of dogs in the United States. They are arguably the most popular pet in the nation. With so many dogs residing in households, it should come as no surprise that thousands of people are bitten every year. No one wants to believe that their beloved dog could ever bite someone, but the truth is that any dog can bite given the “right” circumstances. Knowing why dogs tend to bite can go a long way toward preventing these injuries.
When any animal is cornered, the fight or flight response kicks in. A dog will typically give several warning signs before it strikes out. In most situations, a friendly pet will prefer flight to fight. A dog that has found itself cornered with no option for flight may lash out.
If a dog feels trapped or cornered, it may lower its head, growl, pin its ears back or even tuck its tail. If you notice any of these signals, back away and give the dog space.
2. Resource Guarding
A dog, like people, enjoys its possessions. This may include toys, food and even beds. Some dogs will guard their possessions more aggressively than others. Puppies should be taught that when a human takes their “things,” they will be returned. If a dog has something, don’t take it unless you are sure that you can do so safely. This is especially important when the dog is not your own.
Some dogs like hugs, and some don’t. Some dogs like having their ears stroked and some find it to be irritating. Always ask a pet owner what their dog prefers and dislikes before you reach out to pet it. You may provoke a dog unknowingly and receive a bite.
Have you heard the old adage “Let sleeping dogs lie”? This is true. Don’t disturb a sleeping dog. This can startle the animal, and the dog may jump up and bite before it even realizes what it is doing. If you need to wake up a dog for some reason, clap your hands, call its name or shake the bed. Don’t reach out with your hand wake the dog.
5. Health Issues
In some cases, a dog may become aggressive due to underlying health issues. If an otherwise friendly dog becomes aggressive or has mood changes, a trip to the vet is in order. Some dogs experience mood changes when they are ill or injured. If your dog is experiencing these changes, a veterinarian can either diagnose or rule out a health issue.
Dog bites can result in serious injury including lacerations, punctures and contusions. If you have been bitten by someone’s dog in West Palm Beach, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call our experienced team of dog bite attorneys for a free case evaluation. We will speak to you and help you determine your best course of action. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your consultation.