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Fear often the cause of animal bites

Households in Wisconsin and around the nation have dogs as pets more than any other animal. Millions of families love and care for their dogs every day, without incident. However, dogs account for the majority of animal bites that occur in the country each year. A veterinarian from another state has offered suggestions on how to prevent dog bites.

Animal experts remind owners that any dog breed is capable of biting someone, no matter what size. Rather than size or breed, the common denominator in animal bites more likely appears to be fear. Veterinarians report that most dogs are not naturally aggressive, but they typically bite because they are fearful in certain situations.

Experts acknowledge that some breeds of dogs act more aggressively than others. However, in many instances, they are simply behaving as their owners have trained them. In fact, some owners may want intimidating guard dogs and encourage aggressive behavior. Those dogs are more inclined to act defensively toward unfamiliar people.

Many dogs are protective in nature and may perceive a stranger as a threat. Therefore, no one should approach an unknown animal without an owners' consent. Owners should also provide proper restraint for their dogs, regardless of location.

Animal bites can cause serious injury and may require extensive medical treatment. Because Wisconsin is a strict liability state, owners are responsible for their dogs' actions, even if the dogs have never previously bitten anyone. An attorney can assist family members in filing a personal injury lawsuit against a dog owner. A successful lawsuit could provide compensation to help defray medical costs and facilitate the recovery process.

Source:, "'Don't worry; my dog won't bite' is a lie: Fearful dogs always capable", Nancy Hicks, May 14, 2017

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