Dogs are man’s best friend, but some are more friendly than others. Regardless of the breed, any dog is capable of biting their owner, other people or other dogs. This can be scary for owners and others, and traumatic if the animal causes injury.
All children and adults must learn that dogs are capable of biting. There are specific steps that they can take to reduce the chances of a bite. These include asking the owner if it is okay to pet the dog, stay away from stray dogs, and gently approaching the dog from the front.
What causes their reaction?
Nearly all animals have an instinct to protect themselves on some level, even people. This is more pronounced in animals, and it is still a powerful instinct in some dogs. There are different ways of triggering the urge to bite:
- Territory: Dogs are often quite territorial when it comes to a yard or home. They also protect members of their pack (other dogs, puppies or people) from perceived threats.
- Startling them: It is best not to wake up a sleeping dog, or approach them in a way that surprises them.
- Running away from them: It makes sense to run from danger, but it can trigger a dog’s instinct to chase, herd or hunt.
- Injury or illness: Animals of all kinds are often most dangerous when they are injured or sick.
- Fear: The dog may have been abused or abandoned, which leads to anxiety or fear of typically non-threatening actions.
Owners are responsible
Owners should train the dog not to bite. It is also smart if owners recognize any behavior by the dog that could lead to injury or trauma. They may have to keep the animal away from kids or strangers or safely secured on the owner’s property. The owner may also post signs warning others that there is a dog on the property.
Whatever the reason it happens, owners are always ultimately responsible for the behavior of their pets. If the dog does bite, causing injury, victims should seek medical help immediately and notify the authorities. It may be necessary to consult with a personal injury attorney who handles dog bites and animal attacks. They can assess the situation and help the client determine the best course of legal action for getting the compensation they deserve.