Breed-Specific Considerations After Suffering a Dog Attack
Dogs are known for being man’s best friend. Dogs are incredible companions, offering unwavering loyalty, unconditional love, and unending joy. Despite their diverse roles as loyal friends, protectors, and even therapy animals, any dog can bite and cause injury. However, studies have shown that certain dog breeds are more highly represented in biting incidents than other breeds, as reported by the AVMA. It is important to understand the potential risks of certain dog breeds, factors that influence dog behavior, and the need for responsible ownership.
What Factors Influence Dog Behavior?
Most commonly, dogs bite as a reaction to something. They can bite in stressful situations to defend themselves or their territory when startled or feeling threatened or protect puppies or possessions such as food or toys. Dogs can bite when ill or injured or even during play. Although genetics can play a role in aggression, so can environmental factors.
- Genetics: Some dog breeds have been bred intentionally to have stronger instincts for hunting, guarding, or fighting. Others may have been inadvertently bred to be more aggressive, for example, by mating two dogs for a particular desirable physical trait when both breeds have aggressive tendencies.
- Environment: Environmental influence can make dogs more aggressive. For instance, owners of ratting dogs encourage them to attack and kill small animals. Dog owners can train a dog to be more or less aggressive. In attack dog training, for example, dogs are taught to viciously bite, shake, and hold the arm or leg of an “agitator,” who wears heavy padding for protection.
How Should Dog Owners Socialize and Train Their Animals?
Dog owners have a responsibility to socialize and train their pets to prevent harm to others. They should begin socializing when the dog is a puppy by introducing it to people and other animals so the dog is more comfortable in different situations as it gets older.
Dog owners should supervise when the dog interacts with unfamiliar people, particularly children. If the dog becomes anxious or agitated or starts behaving inappropriately, the owner should put the dog somewhere safe and quiet to interrupt the bad behavior. Owners should use a sturdy leash, train their dogs to sit quietly, and keep them from approaching other people unless the interaction is invited.
What Dog Breeds Have Potential Risk Factors?
Although most dog bites are preventable and each individual dog is different, statistically, certain risk factors are associated with certain breeds:
- Dog breeds known for aggressive tendencies include Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds.
- Breeds with size and strength considerations include Mastiffs, Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes.
- Territorial and guarding breeds include Doberman Pinschers, Bullmastiffs, and Chow Chows.
Common Factors Involving Dog-Related Injuries
When dogs attack and injure children or adults, certain factors commonly contribute to the incidents. These factors include lack of supervision, unfamiliar people or surroundings, and provocation or misinterpretation of behavior. Dogs may bite as a way to communicate boundaries or defend themselves in uncomfortable situations. With so many dogs among us, it is important to educate the public about dog behavior, encourage safe interaction with dogs, and address aggressive behavior promptly.
Legal Considerations for Dog Bite Injuries in Florida
Florida is a strict liability State for dog bites. If you or your child has been bitten by someone else’s dog, the owner may be held liable, even if they were not previously aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies. After sustaining a dog bite injury, your Personal Injury Lawyer can help you navigate the delicate legal process of pursuing a claim for compensation.
Your personal injury claim may include damages such as medical expenses, missed time from work, and pain and suffering. The Personal Injury Attorneys at Justin Morgan Law are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve. We’ll file a lawsuit on your behalf if you don’t receive a fair settlement and fight for your case in court if necessary.