Contrary to popular belief, all sizes and breeds of dogs can and do bite. Some might think that a dog’s breed is predisposed to how likely it will bite, but this is inaccurate, as often whether or not a dog will bite depends on its history and behavior. More than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten every year, and approximately 80,000 of those injured need to seek medical attention. Moreover, statistically, about 42 percent of dog bite victims are children.
Fortunately, most dog bite attacks are preventable, and there are ways that dog owners can prevent their dogs from biting. If an animal is not prevented from biting and attacking, serious consequences could result for the pet owner.
Reasons Why Dogs Bite
Besides a dog’s history, most will bite when they are anxious or afraid of the environment they are in, and some dogs will also bite when they feel threatened. Additionally, there are dogs who have behavioral issues or training that lead to them being more prone to attack. Before you can learn to prevent a dog attack, it’s essential to know why dogs bite.
- Running away from a dog in jest or fear could lead to a dog bite. Often when a person runs away from a dog, it triggers a herding behavior or predatory pursuit.
- Startling a dog from sleep or from quietly and unexpectedly creeping up on the animal can provoke a bite because the dog is often disorientated or scared at that moment.
- Should a dog be ill or sick, it will likely be more prone to attacks. Sick or injured dogs in pain don’t want to be touched or disturbed.
In many situations, however, dogs seem to bite for no known reason and due to no actions on the part of the dog bite victim.
How to Prevent Dogs from Biting
There are a few critical ways dog owners can prevent dogs from biting family members, handlers, and strangers.
- Enlist The Help Of A Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist: You don’t have to wait for an accident to occur, and you can take preventative measures as soon as you realize your dog displays aggressive tendencies. Dog owners can seek out and hire a professional certified applied animal behaviorist or a qualified dog trainer to assist in rectifying a dog’s aggressive behavior before they bite anyone.
- Avoid Risky Behavior and Situations: A fundamental way to prevent your dog from biting someone is to avoid risky situations altogether. Examples of dangerous situations include leaving your animal with a stranger, recklessly taking a toy away, disturbing an animal trying to be alone, and ignoring body language.
- Expose Your Dog to Social Interactions: Often, one of the best ways to prevent a dog from biting someone is to expose them to frequent socialization with people and other dogs. Suppose you allow your dog to meet and interact with an assortment of people, including children and older people. In that case, your dog is less likely to become pressurized and bite during social situations. Importantly, remember to supervise your dog and admonish them correctly for bad behavior, as leaving them to their own devices can initiate the perfect circumstances for them to bite.
Does the State Of California Utilize the One-Bite Rule for Dog Attacks?
The State of California does not use the one-bite rule, but instead makes use of the strict liability rule. Ultimately this means that if your dog bites someone, regardless of whether the dog has never bitten anyone before, you would be liable in a personal injury case for the victim’s injuries and losses.
If your dog bites someone, the victim has the right to hold you responsible for one or more of the damages listed below:
- Applicable medical bills.
- Lost wages from the plaintiff being unable to work due to the attack.
- Loss of a limb or injuries that limit movement.
- The victim’s pain and suffering.
- Psychological counseling due to the trauma associated with the dog bite.
As you now know, failing to prevent your dog from biting someone can lead to dire legal consequences. If you suffered injuries from a dog bite, you should not hesitate to contact a California personal injury attorney right away.