Dogs Can Be A Particular Risk To Florida Children
The dog is one of the most popular pets not just in Southwest Florida but throughout the world. However, as loyal and loving as dogs can be, they are still animals. That means they can revert to their more undomesticated side from time to time.
Dogs attacking and biting people is something that happens every day. But a dog bite or attack can be serious, resulting in severe injury or even death. And for the owner of a dog, there is serious legal consideration, as dogs are not held responsible for a bite or attack an owner is. This legal liability is even more significant when it comes to children, as children are more at risk of dog bites or attacks for the following reasons.
Not Respecting Puppy Safety
One of the most understandable reasons a dog will attack someone is, as any parent would sympathize, the urge to protect the young and keep them safe. Puppies, while adorable, are also incredibly vulnerable to harm, especially from larger predators.
A child may think that puppies are fun and want to pick one up and play with it, but without a proper approach and handling, a mother dog may view an approaching child as a threat to the puppies. Children not understanding a mother dog’s point of view often find themselves on the receiving end of a defensive attack.
Surprising A Dog
In the same way that some people have nervous dispositions and react badly to “jump scares,” the same is true for dogs, except that they bite and attack instead of screaming. The old adage “let sleeping dogs lie” has some of its roots in the fact that a dog suddenly provoked out of sleep with no warning may lash out.
Children often do not understand that waking a sleeping animal with no warning or even taking action with a conscious animal with no warning may often be interpreted as an attack. A dog, running on pure instincts, with only seconds to “save its life,” may take no chances with a surprise and retaliate with a bite or attack.
Dogs are predators, and they have specific triggers that motivate them to hunt. One of these triggers is seeing potential “prey” fleeing. Children running can often trigger this predator response, although it’s not just children. News stories regularly occur about joggers, for example, being attacked by dogs, because the dog interprets the running action as an opportunity to take down potential prey.
When dealing with an unfamiliar dog, it is always best to make no sudden movements, including running. Children have a lot of energy and enjoy running, but they must be taught to control these impulses around unfamiliar animals.
Children in Southwest Florida still have a lot to learn about the world around them. It is up to parents and other adults to supervise and educate them accordingly. However, if they get injured by a dog on someone else’s property, it’s essential to talk to an experienced dog bite attorney and decide how you want to move forward with getting compensation for what’s happened to your child. A dog owner is always responsible for what a dog does.