Safe Behavior Around Aggressive Dogs

We’ve all heard the saying: dogs are man’s best friends! Even if you’re more of a cat person, it’s hard to deny that dogs can be fun and faithful companions for people of all ages. Plus, dogs can even be helpful to society. They assist the police during drug searches, help people with disabilities get through their daily tasks, and provide support to people in hospitals and nursing homes.

However, sometimes dogs can cause damage or injury, or in some severe cases, even death. If you are around a dog that is aggressive or dangerous, it’s important to take the right precautions to avoid endangerment.

Leash Laws

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.

If a dog is dangerous, animal control confiscates it. It stays impounded until the investigation into the incident is complete. In some cases, the dog is euthanized. Furthermore, the dog’s owner may be liable for any damage done by their dog. If so, they may have to pay medical bills.

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.


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.

We want dogs to continue to be man’s best friend! That’s why it’s important to teach your dog proper obedience and to educate yourself and your family on what to do during an encounter with an aggressive dog.


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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