Even experienced dog owners and people who are comfortable around dogs sometimes miss vital cues that signify that a dog does not want to be touched, that it is afraid, or that it has an intent to bite or attack. Dogbites.org reports that there were 42 fatal dog attacks in 2014. Tens of thousands more were injured by dogs attacks, with the very young and very old at the most risk. In 2014, children under the 13 years old made up 48% of the victims of fatal dog attacks. Of adult victims, 73% were over 50 years old. If you or a loved one was bitten or injured by a dog, do not hesitate to contact an experienced New York dog bite attorney today.
The Most Dangerous Breed
Every dog can inflict harm, no matter how big or small. However, one type of dog in particular is the most dangerous. 64% of fatal dog attacks were inflicted by pit bulls. Rottweilers made up the second most dangerous dog breed, accounting for 10% of fatal dog bites. In general you should be extra cautious around these breeds, as well as breeds that are meant for guarding, bred for use in war or by police, such as German Shepherds, and any dog that is bred for baiting or other attack purposes.
Signs of Aggression
The following are signs that a dog may be frightened or that it will act aggressively. Not all of these cues indicate that a dog is upset; barking can just mean that a dog is excited or happy, and many dogs play growl without having the slightest intent on causing harm. However, when many of these signs are present, take caution.
- Becoming stiff or rigid
- Threatening or angry barking without wagging tale
- Muzzle punching (the dog punches a person with its muzzle)
- Snapping teeth
- Mouthing (the dog controls a person with its mouth without using teeth)
- Bites that cause a bruise or draw blood
- Bite and shake and
- Lunging at a person without making contact.
Another factors that puts you in danger of an aggressive dog is the dog’s history. Has it bitten or been aggressive to anyone before? The dog’s size, strength, and age also play an important role. The bigger and stronger the dog, in general, the more damage it could potentially do. Older dogs are less likely to change their aggressive ways than younger dogs, so if an older dog has a history of aggression, it may pose more threat than a very young dog that was aggressive in the past.
Almost one in five dog bites becomes infected, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. If you or a family member was attacked by a dog and became seriously injured, seek medical attention for the wounds. Then as soon as possible, it is important to contact the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC to discuss your legal options with one of our experienced New York dog bite lawyers. Call us today at 212-397-1000 and we can begin discussing the compensations you may be eligible to receive.