Dogs do not bite out of the blue. They bite as a reaction to something. This applies not only to aggressive dogs, but also to the cuddliest dogs in existence.
According to the Law Firm of Todd J. Leonard, dog owners can be liable if their pets have bitten another person, especially if the bites have caused injuries like broken bones, disfigurement, lacerations, and scarring, not to mention the emotional and psychological effects of being bitten by enraged animals.
Since even law firms talk about dog bites, it is fair to say that it is a legitimate problem. But it shouldn’t be. We should know the different reasons why dogs bite in the first place, to prevent all the inconveniences of medical costs, attorney fees, and lost time at work or school. Listed below are some of the most common reasons why dogs bite.
- Injury or sickness
- Lack of patience due to age
- Overexcitement, especially while playing
- Protecting its owner or its owner’s property
- Protecting its own property
- Protecting its possessions, such as food
- Protecting its puppies
- Reaction to pain, like being stepped on the tail
- Victim is seen as prey, because it is moving near the dog, like when in a bicycle
As you can see above, dogs bite generally because they are trying to defend themselves, protect something, or react to fear, pain, and instincts.
Aside from the reasons why they bite, it is also important to know the signs when the dog is about to bite, so you can stay away from it if one of the stimulus mentioned above is unavoidable. Some of the signs you should look for include:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Firming of body
- Growling and snapping
- Licking lips and yawning
- Raising fur
- Showing of teeth
- Showing of the white of its eyes
- Wagging of tail
Dogs do not speak, so they communicate using other means like body language. If you see the signs above, the dog may be anxious, threatened, or generally uncomfortable and about to bite.