While not incredibly common to come across, what would you do if you were suddenly in a position where you came upon an aggressive, threatening dog? Would you know what actions to take? And what if it proceeded to bite you? In today’s post, we will be going over some steps to keep in the back of your mind if you ever come across an aggressive dog in order to prevent the situation from escalating, and if it does escalate, what should be done after being bitten. For more information about being compensated for a dog attack, contact our personal injury lawyer at Woods & Thompson, P.A. today.
Why Dogs Bite
There are many different reasons why dogs become aggressive and bite, and many of those reasons have nothing to do with them being mean. Dogs, in fact, more often will bite out of fear rather than aggression. When a dog feels unsure, threatened, or challenged, their response to bite is a self-defense mechanism. Dogs are also very territorial creatures and will do what they can to protect their turf, as well as if someone or something is bothering their pups, toys, or food. Surprised dogs often bite as well. This is because, again, this is their self-defense mechanism and if they didn’t hear you coming, they might think you are a predator. Same goes for dogs that weren’t properly trained on their behavior or socialized.
Which Breeds are More Likely to Bite?
Many people associate certain breeds of dogs to be more aggressive than others, but the fact of the matter is that there is no one breed or type of dog that is more likely to bite than others. This is because biting has much more to do with behavior, training (or lack thereof), and ignorance on the part of the owner.
How to Approach an Unfamiliar Dog
- Be sure to first get the “OK” from the owner
- Hold out your hand with your fingers closed and your palm down while slowly moving toward the dog. Let the dog approach your hand and sniff it.
- Cue in to the dog and wait for the “OK.” You will be able to tell if he or she would like affection if they lower their head, perk their ears, or come closer to you. On the other hand, if the dog’s ears pull back, backs up, growls, or cowers, leave them alone and do not pet them.
- If the dog does give you the “OK,” give them a gentle pat on the top of their head or along their back. Avoid touching their belly, tail, ears, or paws, as these can be sensitive areas for them and they may not like them being touched.
What to Do If You Get Bitten
- If the bite is serious, call 911 right away.
- Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. If the wound is deep, swollen, or discolored, give your doctor a call.
- Confirm the dog’s rabies vaccination status, if possible.
- Report the bite to your local authorities and veterinarian.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer to receive compensation for your wounds.
While no one likes to think of this situation occurring to them, it is smart to be informed just in case you are put in this position. Always keep in mind that it is rarely ever the dogs fault for his aggressive behavior and almost always due to the negligence of the owner. If you or someone you know has experienced a dog bite and would like to receive compensation for your injuries, give our personal injury lawyer at Woods & Thompson, P.A. in Minneapolis a call today. We would be happy to assist you with your case and answer any questions you may have throughout the process.