Dog bites are a traumatic experience and can lead to life-long effects. Although dog bite cases were on the decline before the pandemic, it remains unseen whether dog bites will increase again as more people continue to adopt dogs.
Those injured by a dog bite can turn to the law for help. Owners may be liable for damages resulting from their dog’s bite.
Avoiding Dog Bites
Despite close to 90 million dogs living in American households, many people do not understand how to train or approach dogs. Oftentimes, dog bites can be avoidable if humans understood how to interact with dogs better.
Positive Returns With Training
Starting to train a dog as a young puppy will potentially help later in their life. Dogs can live up to be roughly 15 years old, and starting training early can decrease the odds of a dog biting. Proper training can help correct a dog’s behavioral issues and can even help the dog’s owner better understand a dog’s body language.
As humans, we need to do a better job of learning how to communicate with dogs. Through their body language, dogs will give cues and hints about their personality. Approaching a dog that seems stressed or aggressive is not a good idea as that dog may not want company and will likely lash out.
Teaching Children How to Interact with Dogs
Dog bite victims are often children because they do not understand how to interact with dogs. Starting at a young age, parents can help lessen the chances of a dog bite occuring by teaching their children the proper ways to approach and behave around dogs. The child can learn it is important not to startle a dog, or taunt, play rough, or grab a dog’s tail.
Similarly, babies and young children should never be left along with a dog. Even if it is the family pet, leaving a child alone with a dog provides an opportunity for an accident. Leaving the dog and child alone sets up a potentially dangerous situation entirely out of the parent’s control.
Potential Dog Bite Situations
There are several situations when a dog bite is more likely to occur. Dogs can be very loyal, possessive, and protective of their owners, home, toys, or food. Additionally, a dog who is sick or injured is more likely to bite somebody.
With more people staying at home, there is likely to be an increase in strangers coming to the house. As such, dogs may go into protection mode with new people coming into their space. Those visiting the home of a dog should be respectful of the dog’s space and ensure it is safe to interact with the dog.
Recovering for Dog Bites
Recovering from a dog bite is not always as easy. Additionally, it can be a challenge to prove whether or not a dog owner was negligent and responsible for an individual’s injuries. . States are split regarding whether the plaintiff can recover from a dog’s first bite. Some states have a one-bite rule that requires the plaintiff to demonstrate the dog bit somebody previously or shown aggressive behavior in the past.
Additionally, a plaintiff may be prohibited from recovering or have their recovery diminished if they contributed to the bite. “When a person contributes to the dog bite incident by provoking the dog, the result may be a diminished recovery or no recovery at all.” says personal injury attorney Allen Tittle of Tittle & Perlmuter.
Avoid Dog Bites
Dog bites can result in significant injuries and have potentially permanent damage. With the proper training of both the dog and humans, dog bites are avoidable. Whether dog bites increase after the pandemic remains to be seen, but understanding how to interact with dogs leads to a more enjoyable experience for both humans and dogs.