Three Dog Bite Scenarios

Any dog can bite anyone at anytime, given the right scenario. More than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by a dog each year, some dog bites are even fatal.  Even if you know a particular dog and it is a well-behaved and even-tempered, if put it in one of the following scenarios there is an increased chance that the dog will bite you.  Dogs typically don’t bite unless they feel like they need to protect themselves. If you keep that in mind, you can understand when a dog might be more likely to bite in any scenario.

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“Let sleeping dogs lie” isn’t just a saying – they are wise words. If you wake up a sleeping dog, there is a chance that you can scare them, depending on how heavy they are sleeping and the way in which you wake them up. Dogs act on instinct, so if they are suddenly woken up, they might bite out of self-defense because they perceive a threat. If you need to wake up a sleeping dog, keep your distance and don’t touch the dog with your hand or foot. Instead, call the dogs name, clap your hands, or gently nudge the dog with a broom or long stick.


A dog that is afraid is more likely to bite. A dog might be afraid for a variety of reasons, so it’s important to look at the body language of the dog. If you are trying to pet a dog and it continues to pull away or not engage, don’t force the issue. There is probably a reason the dog doesn’t want to be touched, and that’s ok. Additionally, if you find a stray dog, even if it looks like someone’s pet, there is a good chance that dog is afraid. When dogs get outside of their home environment, they often become anxious. Because of this, it’s important to approach any stray dog with caution and only try to catch it if you have the training to do so. Instead, call the owners if you know who they are, or call animal control.

Around Food

It’s easy to forget that dogs are animals. Because they spend so much of their time with the family, we often assume they think and act like humans. This is especially true when it comes to food. Even the friendliest dog can become defensive around food if they perceive a threat. Because of this, it’s important to leave dogs alone if they are eating. This not only goes for any food they are eating, but also bones and toys. If they think you are going to take that food or bone away, they are more likely to bite you.

Most dogs will give warning signs before they will actually bite you, like growling, barking or snapping. If you understand these common warning signs, you are less likely to be bitten in any scenario.

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If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog and you have questions about getting compensated for your injuries, please contact us or give us a call at 800-676-5295.