Do You Know Your Aggressive Dog Breeds?
Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they can be a danger in the right circumstances. Sadly, as a result of rampant animal abuse and social bias, some breeds are more likely to bite or harm a person than others. While most people do not wish to demonize dogs, it is important to understand the statistical risks associated with each dog breed. Being keenly aware of these dangers can help a potential owner identify dangerous behavior and curb it through proper training and guidance. In addition, victims of dog bite attacks will have a better understanding of the larger problem when preparing a personal injury claim.
Which Breeds Are Most Likely to Bite?
In a 15 year study of 240 patients who suffered from dog bite facial trauma, researchers identified specific physical traits in dogs that are common in dog bite attacks, as reported by the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. This thorough review found that, if a dog weighs anywhere between 66 and 100 pounds and has a short, wide head, then they are more likely to be involved in a dog bite incident. While many dog breeds were classified as “unknown” in the study, there were three other breeds that were likely to bite, including:
- Pit bulls (22.5%)
- Mixed breeds (21.2%)
- German shepherds (17.8%)
What Types of Injuries Do Dog Bites Cause?
Dogs that attack and bite can cause a range of injuries. Severity can depend on the age and size of the victim, as well as the size of the dog, specifically its jaw. Common dog-bite injuries include:
- Facial injuries
- Muscle tears
- Bone fractures
- Puncture wounds
Can Dog Bites Be Prevented?
Dogs bite when they feel threatened, in reaction to stressful situations, or when they are startled or ill. They will also bite to protect themselves, their owners, or their pups. Some dogs will snap when they are playing, though these injuries are often less severe and can be dissuaded with proper training. Maintaining a confident but cautious approach can help reduce your risk of being bitten. The following tips can help you prevent dog bites:
- Train your dog to obey commands and avoid roughhousing.
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog.
- If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, remain motionless and avoid direct eye contact.
- Do not panic, run away, or make loud noises.
- Before you pet a dog, let it sniff you, then scratch it under the chin, not on the head.
- If a dog appears aggressive, either by barking or snapping at you, firmly state, “No,” “Obey, and “Go home”. Keeping the dog at your side at all times and keep your arms out of its reach to minimize potential injuries.
- During a dog attack, protect your ears and necks with your arms, drop into a fetal position, and keep as still as possible. Avoid eye contact and remain calm.
- Report dogs displaying aggressive behavior and strays to animal control.
Steps to Take After a Dog Bite
If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, get the dog owner’s name and contact information, and seek medical attention right away for your injuries. Left untreated, dog bites that puncture the skin can lead to serious infections. The next step is to speak with an experienced lawyer about a claim for compensation for your medical bills and other related damages.
The state of Texas does not have a specific dog bite statute but does treat incidents with a “one bite rule.” This means that the dog’s owner can be held liable for any damages or injuries if they either knew their dog was aggressive or they did nothing to prevent the injuries. If you bring your case to the Longview dog bite attorneys at Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP, we will thoroughly investigate the incident to determine the extent of your damages and where liability lies. Call us at (903) 207-5526 to find out how we can help if you or your child has suffered dog bite injuries.