Many would agree that dogs are man’s best friend. Our canine companions give us love, affection, friendship, and more. Dogs can be trained to perform many important tasks, including helping police and emergency responders, leading people who are visually impaired, guarding property, and assisting people with disabilities. Although many of us have mostly positive and rewarding interactions with our four-legged friends, everyone knows someone who has been bitten or attacked by a dog.
Dog bite injuries can be minor or severe, and some attacks can even be deadly. Findings by the Canadian Veterinary Journal concluded that one of two Canadians die each year from dog attack related injuries. Alarmingly, children under 12 are the demographic most likely to be bitten by a dog. To help keep you and your loved ones safe from a dog bite, you can follow a few simple guidelines.
First, do not approach a strange dog. Teach your children never to pet a dog without first checking with its owner. Many dogs are leery of children because young people move quickly and can be unpredictable. Because dogs don’t understand children, a dog may respond aggressively towards a child out of fear. It’s also important to never run from a dog. Running can initiate a dog’s prey drive.
Because dogs can’t verbalize their feelings, many people don’t know what’s going on in their heads. When a person doesn’t understand the signs and signals of a dog’s body language, he or she may be at risk for a dog bite. It’s important to know what a dog is trying to tell you with his body. A relaxed dog will hold her head high with his ears high and not forward, his tail will be low and relaxed, and his mouth may be slightly open with his tongue exposed. A dog exhibiting this body language is likely safe to approach.
A dog that may be dangerous is likely to be displaying either dominant aggressive or fearful aggressive body language. Dominant aggressive body language generally includes a dog holding his tail high and stiff, his tail may be bristled and hackles raised. His head will be thrust forward and his lips curled, exposing his teeth and or gums. A fearfully aggressive dog will lower his body and tuck his tail between his legs. His ears will be back and his face will be wrinkled with his lips curled and teeth exposed. A dog exhibiting any signs of fearful or dominant aggression may be dangerous, and you should keep your distance.
If you have been bitten by a dog, his owner or the owner of the property where the incident occurred may be liable for damages. After a dog bite, seek medical attention immediately. Call the police to report the incident.
Finally, contact a personal injury lawyer. If you wait to contact a lawyer, important evidence may be lost or the statute of limitations could expire and you may lose the opportunity to get the compensation you deserve. Call Diamond and Diamond Lawyers today on our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-567-HURT (4878) or use our contact form here for a free consultation.