Would you consider yourself among those in Pennsylvania who call themselves dog lovers? If not, perhaps you relate more to the people who say they like the idea of having a dog, but not all the work that goes along with the reality of it. Whether or not you personally own a dog, you're likely to come in close vicinity to one at some time or other in your daily life. Dogs are as different from one another as each human being is from another.
Some dogs are small, perky, fluffy and look more like toys than actual living beings. Others are fierce-looking, big, strong and fast and can be quite intimidating. All dog owners are obligated to keep anyone who comes onto their property as safe as possible in relation to their pet. If you own a dog and take it to a public place, you are obligated to control your dog and keep others safe. Some dogs bite; in fact, studies show some breeds of dogs are more prone to biting than others are.
Dogs that may place you at most risk for injury
If someone's dog bites you, the owner may be liable for your injuries. Of course, you should never approach a stray dog or even one on a leash if you are not familiar with it. The following list shows the types of dogs most often listed in records regarding bite incidents:
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepherds
- Cocker Spaniels
- Bull Terriers
This not an exhaustive list, as there are more breeds of dogs that are known for being high risk for biting. Since dogs cannot verbally communicate their feelings, there is no way to know which dogs will bite and which won't.
Reasons dogs bite
While you can't predict a dog's behavior, there are certain issues and situations that may make a particular dog more likely to attack. If you witness one or more of the following, you may be in danger:
- Sometimes dogs get carried away when playing with humans and nip at them. Playing too rough with a dog can result in a bite incident.
- If you startle a dog, its instinct may be to attack you as a means of defense.
- Dogs will aggressively protect their puppies as well as their owners.
- If you notice a dog that seems afraid or anxious, try to distance yourself from it.
Even if you recognize a potential bite situation, you may not be able to react quickly and safely enough to avoid an attack. Dog bites can be quite serious, requiring many stitches or perhaps, even surgery. Permanent nerve damage may also be a consequence of a dog bite. Many Pennsylvania dog bite victims seek recovery for their losses in court.