When people think of dog bites, they often think that the worst offenders are big, mean, snarling dogs that look like they want to attack even before they do. This is a misconception, likely linked to the natural fear of dogs that simply appear more predatory.
While big, aggressive-looking dogs that are poorly trained certainly can and do bite, the truth is that plenty of nice, well-raised dogs do the same.
DOGS OFTEN BITE FOR REASONS OTHER THAN AGGRESSION
What you must remember is that dogs do not always bite because they’re being aggressive. Common reasons for dog attacks include:
- The dog was startled and did not know someone was there, then reacted instinctively.
- The dog was injured and felt more unsteady and insecure.
- The dog was eating and felt that it had to protect its food.
- The person had entered what the dog thought of as its territory and the dog was just trying to protect it.
- The person was acting in a way that made the dog nervous or that seemed aggressive, even if it was not.
- The dog was in pain and reacted out of instinct to protect itself from further harm.
This is why children are often bitten. A child may love dogs and run up to an unknown dog to pet it or play with it. The dog can misinterpret this quick action as a threat and lash out, even though it’s a nice pet under normal circumstances. Children also don’t realize that it can be dangerous to approach a dog that’s sleeping or eating.
HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED BY A DOG?
If you have been injured by a dog, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills and many other costs. It’s often in your best interest to speak to an attorney before you speak to the insurance company involved.