Experienced Local Attorneys

Recognize the signs of an imminent dog bite to avoid injury

| Feb 8, 2021 | Dog Bites |

If you’re living in Illinois, there is a pretty high likelihood that you will come into contact with a dog at one point or another. Dogs are very common in American households, and most people assume they will do no harm.

Unfortunately, even the best, well-mannered family pet can cause extreme harm if it wants to attack. Why would that happen? Here are a few possibilities.

  1. The dog is protecting its owner
  2. The dog is possessive
  3. The dog is protecting its territory
  4. The dog is sick or injured
  5. The dog didn’t learn bite inhibition
  6. The animal sees a person or child as prey
  7. The animal is participating in rough play with someone
  8. The animal is injured by an accident, such as a person stepping on its tail

These are just eight of the many reasons why a dog might snap or bite. These reasons can help you understand why they bite, but what can you do to prevent one?

Prevention is possible if you know the body language dogs use. For example, if a dog gets up and walks away from you or a child, it likely wants some space. If it shows you the whites of its eyes, it may be warning you that it is wary of you or feeling threatened. Flattened ears could be showing aggression or fear.

Yawning, which some people may think is a dog’s way of saying it’s tired, can also mean that it is upset or anxious. Licking its chops could mean it wants something you’re eating or that it is anxious or scared.

No dog bites out of the blue. There are always dog bite warning signs, whether they are obvious or not.

If you’re bitten by a dog, who is held responsible?

In most cases, the owner of the dog will be held responsible for any injuries that the dog causes. There are exceptions, such as if the dog was protecting its owner from harm or if the dog was being harmed itself. In most situations, you, as a victim, will have every right to move forward with a claim against the owner of the animal.