Most dogs are wonderful, friendly companions but some can also be very dangerous. According to the CDC, there are about 4.5 million dog bites each year. In 2015, there were 34 U.S. dog bite-related deaths. The following information is intended to help you identify a potentially dangerous dog.
Physically Aggressive Towards Other Animals or People
Examples of physically aggressive behavior could include charging, lunging, or snapping at other people or animals. In the dog world, this behavior means “back off!” Other behaviors that are associated with aggressive dogs are:
- Exposing teeth
- Locking eye contact
- Blocking your path
- Looking up and staring at you (if the dog is eating)
- Demanding people’s attention
- Refusal to obey or pay attention to owner
- Tucked back ears
- Dominant posture (shoulders back, head lowered)
Be aware that some dogs may attack without warning, attack out of fear or to show dominance.
Size and Breed of a dog
The larger a dog is, the more likely it is to cause injury. In fact, some dog breeds have been outlawed in specific countries because those breeds have been associated with a high number of deadly attacks. That’s not to say that a dog of a certain breed is automatically aggressive, but you should still be cautious around them.
Legislation in many states focuses on Pit Bulls (which were responsible 28 of the 34 dog bite-related deaths in 2015) for and Rottweilers as they are often associated with fatal dog attacks. Other breeds like German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Dalmatians, St. Bernards, and Great Danes can also cause severe injury when inclined, though fatal attacks from these breeds are less common.
It is important to note that dogs are aggressive as a result of their owners’ actions in most cases. The best way to combat aggressive behavior in dogs is to educate owners about how to properly train and care for their pets. If you have been injured in a dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced dog bite lawyer to find out what options you may have.