The next time you see a cute dog that you want to pet or cuddle with, remember that every dog has the potential to bite you, no matter how harmless they may appear. The Center For Disease Control (CDC) reports that roughly 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Of those bites, 800,000 required medical care. According to statistics, one out of 69 Americans suffer dog bites every year.

Why Do Dog Bites Occur?

Dogs often attack people for the following reasons:

  • Overreaction to a stressful situation
  • The animal is scared or feels threatened
  • The animal might be playing when they nip or bite you
  • The animal is trying to protect its young
  • The animal is startled or sick

The following dog breeds are known to bite most frequently:

  • Pit Bull
  • German Shepherd
  • Chihuahua
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Bulldog
  • Bull Terrier
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Papillion
  • Pekingese

What Are the Warning Signs of a Dog Bite?

The best way to avoid a dog bite is to learn how to read the animal’s body language to determine if it is afraid, or anxious. The following signs might indicate that a dog is aggressive:

  • It keeps staring intensely at you
  • The animal keeps licking its lips
  • Its tail suddenly stiffens
  • It constantly shows its teeth
  • The animal keeps growling
  • The animal’s body looks tense
  • Its ears are flattened back

If you encounter a dog that you think might attack you, slowly take a few steps back and look for a safe area that will create a barrier between you and the dog. Do not run away! The dog’s natural instinct will be to chase you down, so to avoid triggering this instinct, remain calm and move slowly until you find safety or help arrives.

Have you or someone you know suffered a serious injury due to a dog bite? If so, call to schedule your case consultation with a lawyer at The Law Office of Michael R. Green, PLLC.