Dogs bite for a variety of reasons. A dog may bite for dominance, perhaps if someone takes something from the dog or otherwise disturbs the dog. A dog might attack in defense, should it feel threatened, scared or if it is being attacked by another animal or human. Dogs can also bite in the form of protection, or defense of territory or property. And in some cases, dogs can bite in predatory manners against other smaller animals or even children and young adults.
Dog Bite Statistics
Every year in the United States approximately 2 percent of people are bitten by a dog. Many times the fault lies with the owner as they contribute to some of the factors that lead to a dog biting. Unfortunately some dogs are bred to be aggressive. But other factors that can contribute to a dog biting include lack of socialization; dogs who are improperly trained or lack any training; poor health; and aggressive behavior from the owner.
Dog Attack Awareness
To practice dog bite safety it helps to know some of the danger signs that can be looked for. For instance, there are particular breeds of dogs that are more known for aggression. Pit bulls rank the highest, with them being most responsible for fatal dog attacks. Other breeds that are known for biting include: Rottweiler, Chow and Akita.
When a dog is in its own yard it becomes very territorial. Entering a dog’s yard or other personal space without the owner being around is never a good idea. Another danger sign to look for are packs of dogs. If you encounter two or more strange dogs there can many times be a pack mentality that develops. Even dogs that may normally be docile when alone can become vicious if with other dogs.
Additional Dog Handling Tips
- Never pet a dog that you don’t know. If a dog is with its owner ask permission before petting.
- Be especially careful when around a mother dog that has puppies. They are very protective of their puppies.
- Never run from a dog.
- Do not yell at a dog or flail your arms around. Instead, stand very still and cross your arms over your chest.
- Avoid eye contact.
Receiving Medical Attention
Dog bites need to be taken seriously because of the possibility of rabies or other medical problems that could arise. You may also be entitled to receive compensation. If you are bitten by a dog it is important to identify the dog if you are able to.
Seek immediate medical attention if you are bitten by a dog. An emergency room physician can also help you determine if plastic surgery is necessary, especially if you are bitten in the face. Make sure you take all medicine that is prescribed and follow any instructions that your doctor may give you. Your doctor will also be able to determine if it’s necessary to receive a rabies shot. They are not always necessary; however, a doctor can best make that determination.
Maintain Evidential Records
It’s also important that you take pictures of your wounds. Before they are bandaged or stitched, make sure that all wounds and any bloody clothing is photographed. If you know who the dog belongs to, it is important that you don’t make any deals without contacting a lawyer who is experienced in dog bite cases. Don’t discuss restitution, settlements or even accept money that is offered. If you can, get the owner’s name and address any other important information that you can about the dog. You don’t want to take a situation like this into your own hands.