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Are some dogs more likely to attack people than others?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2023 | Personal Injury

There are dogs all over in Idaho. People may see their neighbor’s dog every time they leave their home or encounter multiple different dogs during a visit to a local park. Pet owners tend to assume that their dogs are safe and pleasant to be around, while members of the public sometimes feel frightened by the conduct of a dog.

Occasionally, such fears prove to be totally reasonable when a dog becomes aggressive and attacks a human. People sometimes blame the person attacked or the animal’s owner for failing to recognize the level of risk in a situation. Sometimes, concerns can stem from a particular dog’s breeding, rather than its temperament or the circumstances surrounding an injurious incident.

Certain breeds do represent more risk

Any dog can bite, and some of the most aggressive breeds are also smaller dogs that are unlikely to cause catastrophic injury to an individual. However, when looking at severe and fatal bite incidents, certain breeds do present more risk than others. That enhanced risk is likely a result of a combination of factors including the popularity of the breed and the way that people train their animals. Dogs retained for security purposes may be more likely to be aggressive, and breeds associated with fighting or guarding often have an outsized likelihood of involvement in fatal dog bite incidents.

In some scenarios, homeowner’s insurance companies may charge more to cover policyholders with certain breeds of dogs or may refuse to underwrite a policy if there are certain types of dogs present at a property.

The history of aggression is the biggest concern

The most important factors that influence the dog’s level of aggression will be its personality and background. Dogs that have experienced mistreatment and those with a history of aggression are far more likely than the average canine to attack and injure a person. Owners are often only liable when they know an animal is dangerous. In fact, for someone to pursue a claim against a dog’s owner in Idaho, they will typically need to show that the dog has bitten someone before or that the owner knew the dog was aggressive and potentially dangerous.

Those who want to avoid a dog bite don’t necessarily need to avoid certain breeds. They may benefit more from learning about dog body language and other factors that could help them better estimate an individual animal’s level of risk. If an animal does become aggressive, the person who got hurt or the parents of the victim may have the option of pursuing a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.

Knowing the rules that apply after a dog bite attack in Idaho and the factors that contribute to someone’s risk may help people better respond to an incident involving an aggressive canine.