This Spring, Avoid Dangerous Dog Encounters!

Now that Spring is finally here, more and more people will be enjoying outdoor activities. For people with canine companions, this often means long walks, trips to dog-friendly beaches or nature trails, or an afternoon chatting with other dog owners at the dog park while their pups play together. Unfortunately, there is always the risk of a dog bite, especially when it comes to interacting with aggressive or poorly trained dogs. Whether you’re a dog owner or not, here are some safety tips to avoid a bad encounter with a dog—and what to do if you’re injured by a dog bite.

What Makes an Aggressive Dog?

According to Florida Statutes, a dog is considered dangerous if it

  • aggressively bites, attacks, or inflicts severe injury on a human being, either on public or private property
  • severely injures or kills a domestic animal on more than one occasion
  • chases a person on public property in a manner that is clearly aggressive

However, the aggression needs to be unprovoked. If a dog attacks a trespasser or the aggression results from abuse or harassment, it’s an unprovoked attack. In these cases, the dog is usually not considered dangerous.

Traditionally, American Staffordshire Terriers (pit bulls), Rottweilers, Huskies, and Bull Mastiffs are the most dangerous dog breeds. However, don’t automatically assume that all dogs of these breeds are dangerous. With proper upbringing and training, these breeds can make fine pets. Similarly, a dog of any breed or size, if aggressive or improperly trained, is capable of becoming dangerous.

Prevention

To prevent dog bites, the Humane Society of the United States recommends being aware of a dog’s body language.  Stiff tail or pulled-back ears mean that a dog is agitated or aggressive. If a dog seems agitated, do not approach. Teach your children not to approach a dog without asking the owner.

In the event that you encounter an aggressive dog, you should stand very still and avoid eye contact. Attempting to run away could provoke the dog into chasing you. When walking your own dog, be sure to keep them on a leash.

As a dog owner, you can also take steps to properly train your dog.

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The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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