Credits to: Jose Rocha from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil – Flickr Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Dogs come in different shapes, sizes, fur colors and breeds but regardless, humans have learned to love and live with these animal companions. It’s common to see a human holding a dog on a leash – strolling around the park and enjoying their day. However, it’s also a common sight to hear about or even witness dog attacks in your community because on average, 4.5 million Americans are being bitten by dogs every year.

Although the serious and fatal dog bites are rare, most of the victims are children, which is why this issue is still very alarming. In case of dog bites done by another person’s dog, your best course of action is to know your legal options by contacting a personal injury lawyer.

Regardless if you’re a dog owner or not, you need to know the circumstances and scenarios which can make dogs go in attack mode. Read on and learn because after all, you would want to avoid getting bit, right?

The Dog is Protecting Something

Other than companionship and help (like in the case of working dogs), us humans usually get dogs for protection, for themselves or a property. Canines are pack animals they will do anything to protect their territory or the “alpha”, which happens to be their owner. Here are several examples:
• The dog is protecting its food bowl and water dish. Obviously, it will attack if you try to take those items while it is eating.

• The dog is acting aggressively against an unknown home intruder. There are a lot of stories involving dogs taking a chunk out of robbers and home invaders, thereby protecting both the property and its owners.

• The dog is protecting its owners. There are numerous stories involving dogs biting attackers. One famous story involves a Great Dane and Pitbull mix taking a chunk out of an armed robber’s thigh when it entered a family home in the wee hours of the morning.

Sometimes, a change in the human owners will drive dogs to protect their owners. For example, a boxer named Tebow became overprotective of his human companion’s 7th month baby bump, with full knowledge that his owner is undergoing pregnancy. The same can be said to female dogs protecting their puppies.

Remember though, a dog owner can still be sued even if the dog was in the act of protecting someone or a property.

The Dog is Injured or Sick

In the wild, sick and injured animals are vulnerable to attacks rendering them alert and feeling the need to defend themselves. This attitude transcended unto pet dogs – sickly canines will most likely act aggressive if approached by an untrusted or unknown human being.

The Dog is Provoked

Personal injury lawsuits involving provoked dogs are quite complicated – acts like hugging (which you should NOT do), patting and even approaching can be perceived by our canine companions as provocations. That being said, justified provocations will always leave the dog owner off the hook, but then again, it depends on the overall situation, so as your personal injury lawyer about it.

Overall, dogs are faithful companions but we should all be aware that a dog attack can be triggered in a matter of seconds. Be vigilant, be watchful.

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