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Reasons Why Dogs Bite

Dog bites are unfortunately common across the United States, including in Washington state. Many of these injuries require medical intervention, and some even result in permanent scarring or potentially dangerous infections. 

There are many reasons why dogs bite, including fear, possessiveness, and predatory aggression. By understanding these factors, you can protect yourself in case you encounter a potentially dangerous dog.

 #1: Fear

Many dogs bite because they are scared for their own safety. Dogs can feel fear during many types of situations, such as when they encounter a stranger or find themselves lost in an unfamiliar place. 

Dogs that are cornered or do not have room to escape are more likely to lash out. If you encounter a fearful dog, ensure that it has a route to escape. To avoid startling or scaring a dog, do not approach it from behind and ensure that the animal can see you. Above all, do not approach strange dogs.

#2: Possessiveness

Dogs are territorial animals and will instinctively protect their possessions. If a dog has its food taken away, cannot obtain a prized toy, or experiences any other losses, it could lash out and bite.

When engaging with a dog that you do not know, never take a possession away from it. Do not bother the animal while it is eating and ensure that it has enough space to be comfortable.

#3: Predatory Aggression

While dogs are popular pets, it is important to remember that they are also animals. Dogs have a predatory instinct, meaning that they have a natural inclination to chase and attack potential prey. Certain types of breeds have a stronger predatory instinct than others.

There are many situations that could trigger predatory aggression. A person jogging or riding a bike, a squirrel climbing up a tree, or a child running in a park could spark a dog to attack. 

If you notice a dog running in your direction, do not run away or make eye contact with the animal. These actions could further trigger the dog’s predatory instinct. Instead, stand still and try to make yourself seem as large as possible. 

#4: Pain

Some dogs lash out when they are in pain, both as a protective reflex and out of frustration. If you notice an unfamiliar dog that is licking a wound, limping, or is otherwise injured, avoid coming close to it. If you want to help the animal, find its owner or contact a local animal shelter for assistance.

Elderly animals may also have chronic conditions that cause significant discomfort. Be cautious when interacting with older dogs, and always speak to the animal’s owner about the animal’s temperament.

Contact a Washington Dog Bite Attorney

If you are bitten by a dog, you can suffer from painful injuries as well as devastating losses. In these situations, you have the right to hold the animal’s owner accountable and secure compensation to pay for these damages. 

A Washington dog bite attorney can represent you in your case against the dog’s owner and help you recover the settlement that you deserve. As soon as possible following the attack, contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options.