Protect yourself from a dog bite with these tips

People may be able to lower their risk of becoming the victim of a dog bite by learning to recognize the warning signs.

Every day, according to DogsBite.org, emergency care for dog bites is sought by an estimated 1,000 people in the U.S. While some breeds have a reputation for being more aggressive in nature than others, it is important for people in Georgetown to remember that any dog has the capability to bite.

A severe mauling

One woman in Kyle, Texas, and her neighbors tried to get their local homeowners association management group, the city police department and the city's animal control to address the problem of four large and aggressive dogs living next door to her. KVUE reported that the dogs had tried to break into one homeowner's backyard, attempted to bite the woman when they escaped from their yard and were a threat to others.

Nothing was done until the dogs escaped their yard again and attacked the woman and her dog. The woman's dog was killed and she was left severely mauled by the four animals. After the attack the dogs were euthanized and the owners are now facing felony charges, but the woman had to receive 40 staples in her head from the attack, suffered multiple bite marks and almost lost one of her ears. One of the dog's owners stated that the dogs were trained to attack and that it wasn't their fault the dogs escaped from the yard.

Warning signs of an attack

While there wasn't a lot that the woman in the above situation could do to protect herself and her dog, there are times when dogs will give warning signs that they are about to bite. The Hartz Mountain Corporation, a producer of canine products, states that there are four signs people should watch for and these include:

  • Barking or growling - this is known as issuing a verbal warning
  • Posture change - dogs about to bite will often stand in a rigid and stiff posture. Other dogs may appear to be acting in a submissive way such as putting its tail between its leg or cowering.
  • Aggressive behaviors - these include mouthing, using its nose as a weapon, lunging at people or other animals and nipping
  • Facial warnings - these may vary and include yawning, turning its head away, staring a person down, licking its chops and baring teeth.

Owners are responsible for the actions of their dog in Texas and should address such aggressive behaviors immediately through training and disciplining. Further, if a dog is known to be aggressive to strangers, owners should keep the dog separated from visitors or even young children. If dogs are escaping their yard, the owner should take action to add more security measures.

When people are bitten by a dog, they may not only find themselves facing unexpected medical bills for the initial treatment but they may suffer from nightmares, fear of other dogs and medical complications from the bite. Texas law allows people to seek financial justice against negligent dog owners. Therefore it may be a good idea to talk with an experienced attorney.

Keywords: dog, animal, bite, attack, injury