As personal injury attorneys, our JK Nelson Law office sees lots of cases where our clients were injured by an irresponsible or negligent party who needs to be held liable. Getting injured as a result of someone else’s negligence can affect your life in a variety of ways – financially, your career, your family, and your health. Aside from motor vehicle accidents, one of the common issues we deal with in our Las Vegas and Pahrump offices are dog bites. Dog bites are a terrifying and traumatizing experience for all the parties involved. Both the dog’s owner, as well as the party being attacked or bitten, can be scared, hurt, or uncertain as to how to make the attack end. If you are a dog owner, it is extremely important that you are able to recognize aggressive behaviors in your dog(s), as well as having tactics to help you control your dog if he/she were to ever attempt to harm another person. Dogs display a typically routine set of behavior when they begin to get anxious or uncomfortable in a situation. These subtle signals can tip an owner off, so that they can remove their animal from the situation, or cue a stranger to distance themselves from the anxious or angry animal.
Dogs often rely on their vocalizations (barking, growling, yipping, or howling), gestures (ear movements, tail movements, pacing), as well as their posture (tail position or overall stance) to communicate to humans that they are feeling anxious, stressed, scared, or threatened. It is particularly important to take notes on how your dog reacts in certain situations. While one dog might wag his tail when he is excited, playful, or happy, another dog might wag his/her tail while anxious. As a responsible pet owner, it is your responsibility to pay attention to your dog’s emotional signals and ensure that you, and anyone else who is around your dog, is protected. So, what are some common signals that your dog is stressed, anxious, or feeling threatened?
- Tense/Stiff Body Language
- An unusual avoidance of strangers, or other dogs
- Refusing to make eye contact
- Pulling, walking, or looking away from you or other people
- A low tail
- Ears that are perked backwards
- Barred teeth
Other signals such as, growling, snapping, biting, and snarling can occur if an owner does not recognize the signs their dog is displaying to alert their owner of their stress, anxiety, or concerns. This failure to recognize your animal’s distress can cause your dog to escalate into an attack. All dogs (regardless of their breed) have the ability to bite, snap, or growl if they feel uncomfortable, so do not assume that you do not have to worry about an attack just because your dog is not an aggressive breed, or just because he/she has not done so before. By being thoughtful and aware of your dog’s reactions and responses to its environment, you are ensuring a safe encounter for everyone involved.
If you, or a loved one, has suffered from a dog bite, at the hands of another party’s animal, you should contact our JK Nelson Law office immediately. At JK Nelson Law we will work to ensure that your pain and trials are heard, and that the responsible party is held accountable for their lack of responsibility.