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What leads to a dog bite?

After a dog bite attack, it is easy to look back and dissect what happened. However, the goal should be to avoid such a situation if at all possible.

It can help to understand why a dog may react by biting. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, biting is a reaction dogs have to some type of stimuli.

Provocation

If you tease the dog or get it worked up, this could cause the dog to bite you. The temperament of the dog does not matter in these situations because it becomes a way to protect itself. It can happen with no warning.

Stress

If a dog feels upset, it may bite. A dog that is stressed will act differently. It will usually tuck its tail or pace. It may bark also. This is a reaction of protection. It is defending itself or its property.

Fear

If a dog is afraid, it really has limited options for how to respond. It wants to protect itself, and biting is often the easiest way to do that. A dog that is afraid may cower and tuck its tail. It may try to leave the situation. Some dogs may become aggressive and bark a lot or become confrontational if they feel fear.

Sickness

An ill dog may bite as a way to react to the pain or the discomfort it feels. This can happen with any dog and may not even be something it can control as it is reflex.

Stopping the bite

The best way to help prevent dog bites is to stay away from a dog you do not know. With dogs you know, watch body language. Pay attention to the dog’s cues. You can often tell when a dog is not feeling playful or happy.

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