Dog bites typically are not random events. They may feel unexpected to people, who often have no idea what they could have done to avoid the incident. The reality, though, is that dogs usually bite because of triggering events, which can be avoided.
One of the main reasons that they bite is when they feel like they have to protect something. Examples include:
- Their home
- Their food
- A puppy
- A water dish
- A favorite toy
- The owner
- A child that is in their "pack"
- A resting place
Naturally, dogs also bite when they feel like they have to protect themselves. This is why elderly or injured dogs are often more prone to biting than younger dogs. They may feel especially vulnerable and they react to any threat that they see -- even if it was not intended to be a threat.
It is very important to understand that dogs are territorial and possessive, and they do not always see things the same way that humans do. They worry far more about things that are not actually an issue. For instance, this is why many dogs bark at the mailman. In their minds, they have to protect the house and the mailman may try to get in and take over the "den." Any encroachment on a boundary is a possible threat. This is why dogs sometimes lash out at people who do not realize they did anything to upset the animal.
Have you been bitten by someone else's dog? If you have, make sure you fully understand all of your legal options to seek financial compensation.