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3 reasons your dog may bite unexpectedly

On Behalf of | May 6, 2023 | Premises Liability

Like most pet owners, you consider your dog a family member and do all you can to ensure it is appropriately trained, but what happens when your pet unexpectedly bites someone?

The American Kennel Club notes that dogs often give warning signs before they bite, but to protect both yourself and your pet, understanding why your dog may bite suddenly may prevent incidents that lead to injury that could result in a premises liability lawsuit.

1. Fear

Most unexpected dog bites occur out of fear. A frightened or cornered pet who cannot flee from a human’s touch may snap and make contact with someone’s hand or fingers. If the person in question is a small child who only wants to pet the dog, this could leave him or her with a serious injury. If your dog is fearful of children, consider giving your dog a safe space, such as a crate or a bed, and teach any visiting kids to avoid approaching your dog when it is in that space.

2. Startlement

Older dogs who may not see or hear as well as they once did may bite if someone touches them unexpectedly, especially when approached from the rear. Sudden touches on a vulnerable area may cause your dog to defend itself out of instinct. Let visitors know about your older pet’s limitations and approach it directly before petting it.

3. Untreated pain

Some dog breeds hide pain from their owners out of instinct. However, if a visitor to your home touches a painful area, your dog may bite because of the pain the touch causes. Regular vet checkups can prevent this type of dog bite from happening.

Most types of dog bites are preventable, especially in dogs that are usually not aggressive. Watch your dog closely around small children and maintain its health to lower the risk of an unexpected bite.