Dogs can be excellent companions, valuable service dogs and a joy to befriend. Be that as it may, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. every year, and one in every five victims requires medical attention as a result, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Why do so many dogs bite and attack humans?
Sometimes, a dog simply hasn’t been trained properly or has been mistreated, which causes it to lash out. Field experts believe that there are usually stressors or triggers that cause a dog to attack. “Dogs don’t bite out of blue. Sometimes, nice dogs have just been subjected to one too many stressors, and the result is a bite,” explains Doggone Safe, a dog bite prevention nonprofit organization.
Common Causes Dogs Attack
There are lots of reasons a dog might lash out and bite or attack. In some cases, it’s because they were provoked. They also can bite when they feel scared, startled or threatened, or because they are protecting something, such as their owner, food or property. Dogs can be more apt to attack if they have a medical condition or aren’t feeling well.
The Humane Society explains that dogs’ aggressive behavior usually falls into one of the following three categories.
- Fear — Dogs can feel like they need to protect themselves if they are in danger. They may bite or attack as a defense mechanism if they perceive a threat. If a larger dog comes along, for example, the dog may attack anyone nearby out of fear. Or if a passerby throws a ball, the dog may mistakenly think it was going to be hit and lash out in fear.
- Territorial response — Dogs can be extremely protective and possessive. They have been known to attack when they are defending something valuable to them. If someone gets near their food or toy, they may bite. Likewise, they may try to attack anyone that enters their “territory,” such as the backyard.
- Misdirected anger — Some dogs may harbor anger, frustration or aggression and misdirect it on the unsuspecting victim. For example, if a cat came along and provoked a chained dog, the dog, while unable to attack the cat, later may redirect the aggression on a passerby who gets close enough.
Attacked by a dog? Get legal advice on recovering damages.
If you or a loved one were attacked by a dog, you might be able to file a claim to recover your damages. We can help. Call our dog bite injury lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC in Pennsylvania for a free legal consultation. Contact us today at 215-642-2335 to schedule a meeting.