Risk Factors: Identifying Situations That Might Lead to Dog Bites in Nebraska

Dog bites are unfortunately a common occurrence, with over 4.5 million dog bites reported each year in the United States. While any dog is capable of biting, there are certain risk factors that can make a dog more likely to bite. Being aware of these risk factors can help people in Nebraska avoid or handle situations where a dog bite might occur.

Unneutered Male Dogs

Intact or unneutered male dogs are more likely to bite than neutered males. Neutering reduces aggression and territorial instincts in dogs. Unneutered males may see other dogs as competition and be more likely to bite, especially in circumstances where they feel their territory is being threatened.

Chained or Tethered Dogs

Dogs that are chained or tethered are more likely to become territorial and aggressive. Dogs that spend most of their lives tied up with limited socialization and exercise can become frustrated and prone to biting. People should be cautious approaching chained dogs.

Fear and Anxiety

Dogs that are fearful or anxious may resort to biting if they feel cornered or threatened. Warning signs of fear include cowering, growling, and raised hackles. Slow movements and avoidance of direct eye contact can help prevent escalation. Fear may also cause a dog to “bite first, think later”.

Protecting Property

Dogs are highly territorial and may bite to protect what they see as their property. This could include a house, yard, car, or even an owner/family member. Extra care should be taken when encountering unfamiliar dogs on their perceived territory.

Protecting Puppies

A mother with puppies will be protective and more inclined to bite. Given a female dog’s strong maternal instincts, great caution should be exercised around puppies. Even very friendly dogs may react aggressively when protecting their young.

Sick or Injured Dogs

Dogs in pain from injury or illness can bite more readily. This includes dogs recovering from procedures at the vet. Their lowered tolerance threshold puts them on the defensive. Owners should warn others to keep their distance when their dog is unwell.

History of Abuse

Dogs with a history of abuse or mistreatment may see threats where there are none. Their past negative experiences can make them quick to bite defensively even in normal interactions. Rehabilitation can help, but their triggers should be handled carefully.

Being aware of risk factors like territoriality, fear, maternal instinct, and pain can help people interpret canine body language correctly. While any dog may bite given sufficient provocation, some situations make it more likely. Taking preventative measures and acting cautiously around higher-risk dogs can help promote safety for all.

What to Do If You’re Bitten By a Dog

If you are bitten by a dog, the first step is to immediately wash the wound with soap and water. Apply pressure with a clean towel to stop any bleeding. Get medical attention, even for minor bites, to determine if you need stitches or antibiotics to prevent infection. Be sure to get information about the dog for animal control, including name, description, and license number. Report the bite to animal control so they can check if the dog’s rabies vaccine is up to date. Monitor the bite for signs of infection like redness, swelling, drainage, or fever. See a doctor at any sign the wound is getting worse.

Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597 if you have been bitten by a dog. We have offices in 32 locations and 19 states including Georgia, Kansas and Virginia.