How to Avoid Dangerous Dogs

July 9, 2020

Man’s best friend? Maybe. But not necessarily your best friend. Dogs can be dangerous, and the statistics are startling. According to Petpedia, over 4.5M people are bitten by dogs every year, resulting in 36 fatalities in the U.S. in 2018. You have a one in 112,400 chance of dying from a dog bite or attack. If you have been injured in a dog attack, an Allentown dog bite lawyer can help.

Still, the statistics don’t change the fact that pet dogs provide comfort, companionship, and protection for millions of people. 38.4% of the overall households in the U.S. have a pet dog. Dogs are also valuable contributors to our society as a whole, used for everything from guidance for the handicapped, to companionship for wounded veterans, to sniffing out contraband, explosives, and even missing people.

Identifying Dogs That May Be Dangerous

Recognizing that a particular dog may be dangerous is the key to avoiding dog attacks. Most people understand that certain breeds, like pit bulls or Dobermans, are often dangerous and should be avoided. However, mixed breeds are second only to pit bulls in causing dog-related fatalities.

Most dogs will provide signals that they do not wish to be bothered, including:

  • Raised hair. When a dog is in an aggressive mood, its hair and sometimes its tail will be raised. This can be seen from a distance, so it is a good clue to be aware of.
  • Exposed teeth. Dogs that are showing their teeth are telling you they are protecting their territory and are ready to fight. Always back away slowly when you see this.
  • Growling. Dogs that are growling are again telling you they are aggressive and are ready to fight. Again, back away slowly.
  • Nipping. Dogs may nip playfully, but they may also be warning you that play has gone far enough. Immediately stop playing with a dog before the nips become bites.
  • Barking. Dogs bark for many reasons, some quite harmless. However, when a dog is barking constantly, it may be a signal that they are protecting their territory.

Avoiding Dangerous Dogs

There are certain acts that you should avoid, even if a dog doesn’t appear to be dangerous or aggressive:

  • Never approach an unfamiliar dog. If a dog wants contact with you, it will approach you in a friendly manner.
  • Never disturb a dog that is caring for puppies.
  • Never disturb a dog that is eating.
  • Never bother, or especially startle, a dog that is sleeping.
  • Never lean your face in within less than a few feet of a dog.
  • Never pet a dog without letting it see and smell you first.
  • Never tease a dog, especially a chained dog.
  • Never turn your back on a dog and run away; rather, back away slowly.

Contact an Allentown Dog Bite Lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis

Domesticated dogs are generally friendly, loyal, and fun-loving. However, avoiding dangerous dogs is your responsibility, and the consequences can be severe: not only injury and even death, but also euthanasia for the dog, who’s not really at fault.

If you or a loved one have been bitten or mauled by a dog, you need the help of an Allentown dog bite lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis. Our attorneys understand the complexity of the issues surrounding dog attacks and can help you sort through your options and assist you with any insurance or legal claims you may have. If you need our help contact us online.