Aggression is a natural reaction to a perceived threat. To avoid a surprise injury, click here to learn more about why dogs lash out when they feel threatened.

How Aggressive Actions Towards Dogs Promote Aggressive Reactions

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There can be several causes of aggression in dogs. It is believed that certain breeds are more prone to attacking than others. Also, dogs of any breed have been known to respond aggressively when they feel threatened. Whether a dog attacks because aggression is in its DNA or because it has been provoked, you can protect yourself and your children by better understanding canine behavior.

Canine Actions and Reactions

Canines are considered “man’s best friend” because they’re a lot like us. According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), dogs are:

  • Very protective of themselves and loved ones when threatened
  • Extremely territorial
  • Prone to fear and distrust
  • Capable of feeling anxiety and stress

Unfortunately, although they possess emotions similar to ours, they don’t have the capacity to voice their fears and anxieties. So what do they do? In many cases, they bark, they chase, and they bite as a way to communicate their dislike of an action or situation.

Human Actions That Provoke Canine Reactions

How would you react if someone threatened a loved one? What would you do if someone invaded your house without permission? Would you sit back and do nothing, or better yet, embrace that person and give him affection?

Probably not.

So why is it that when a dog reacts to similar situations, it is considered malicious? A dog’s bite can cause severe harm; this is true. However, most of the time, canine aggressive behavior can be avoided by discouraging behavior that may seem threatening or offensive to the dog. These actions include:

  • Friendly-looking beagle on a long leashEye contact. Excessive eye contact can be a sign of assertion. When a dog feels as though you’re challenging him, whether you are or not, he can become defensive. 
  • Invasion of space. Dogs are extremely territorial. When they feel as though their personal space is being invaded, they can become defensive until that space is cleared. This behavior can become even more erratic if the dog is sick or stressed as his personal space becomes even more imperative for his comfort.
  • Physical contact. Depending on how well the dog is trained (or how patient), excessive pulling, petting, or rough-housing can force him to defend himself.
  • Threats towards owners. Dogs are very protective of their owners and will defend them without a second thought. Unfortunately, a dog can interpret playful punches or wrestling as aggression and react accordingly to “save” his owner.

Consequences of Their Reactions

Although your action may have unwittingly provoked a hostile response, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re to blame for your dog bite injuries. In fact, the owner of the canine is responsible for controlling the animal, as well as warning you of any potential aggressive tendencies. When he fails in these responsibilities, the owner is liable for your suffering.

For more information on how to pursue a dog bite claim contact our office at 800.636.3676 to speak with an experienced lawyer. Attorney Andrew Kim has spent 20 years helping his clients get the compensation they deserve for their accidents. Let his knowledge and aggressive representation skills work for you. Call now!

Category: Dog Bites


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