You are likely wary around certain dogs. You probably base it on the breed, how the particular individual acts, and any external signs, such as a massive chain or a warning sign posted by the owner.
That is wise, but it cannot guarantee a dog will never bite you. All dogs can bite if they wish.
Think of it like this: You might have a bad-tempered uncle who you take great care around. You might also have one you have never seen lose their temper. Yet, you know that if someone turned up at their door threatening to harm their kids, they would not sit idly by. They would do whatever it takes to defend their children.
All dogs can attack if they feel the need to
Here are three reasons that a usually harmless dog could attack:
- They feel threatened: You know your 8-year-old is only playing when they swish their lightsaber about. You also know it’s made of flimsy plastic. A dog has never seen Star Wars. It sees someone waving a big stick in an aggressive manner.
- They feel protective: You would never dream of getting between a bear mama and her cubs. Similar caution is needed around mother dogs, especially if they do not know you.
- They feel stressed: How would you feel if you were locked up in a tiny yard all day without adequate water? Or could only run so far before a chain yanked you back. There’s a good chance you might begin to act irrationally, especially after years of the same treatment.
You may not be able to predict when a dog will bite, but if you can show that the owner should have had a clue that it was possible, you may be able to claim compensation. Proving dog bite cases is complicated, so do not try to do it alone.