Avoid A New Haven Dog Bite Injury By Not Approaching Older Dogs

February 9, 2022
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It happens to all of us as we age, we get less and less comfortable meeting new people and interacting with those that we’ve just met.  Would you believe that the same thing happens to older dogs?  As dogs age they get more and more ornery and start to be less forgiving of new people around.  This type of mentality in a K9 can lead to a New Haven dog bite injury if you’re not careful.

Knowing whether a dog is aging or not can be a challenging proposition.  Unless you interact with the dog on a regular basis, you may not see any outward signs that a dog is older.  Most dogs don’t lose their hair or have hair that is turning gray or white.  However, if you look closely there may be some signs a dog is aging like she/he is moving more slowly, she/he takes being called a few times by her owner before she responds, or a deeper stretch is required after a dog gets up from her/his position laying on the ground.  These are all signs that the dog may be aging, although not definitive, they are good signs to keep an eye out for when witnessing a dog.

It is never safe to abruptly approach a new dog, but this can be especially true when approaching an aging dog.  If you are in the vicinity of a dog that you are unfamiliar with you may want to take some of these precautions to avoid a damaging interaction with an aging dog.

  1. Look for the dog’s owner.  The owner can give you the green light or suggest you take a more steady approach when going in to pet or even talk to a dog.  The pet’s owner will know if the dog is older and having trouble interacting with strangers.  If the dog’s owner is not available to check with you might consider leaving the dog be and walking away.  It can be hard to resist a new pooch, but without confirmation that it is ok to approach the dog, it may be in your best interest not to.
  2. If given the green light to approach the dog by the owner, you will then want to approach with care.  Do not make any sudden movements or come up on the dog from behind her/him.  No dog takes too kindly to be surprised, but especially older dogs who might have a lower threshold for when they might nip at you if you approach in a way that does not fit what they are expecting.
  3. If there are signs of agitation back off and do not continue to approach the dog.  Signs of agitation may include things like the dog growling or grumbling, lots of saliva dripping out of her/his mouth, or if the dog takes a step back on your first approach, that it is her/his way of saying that she is not comfortable and you should not continue to approach.

Approaching an older dog is not unlike approaching dogs of every age, but the tipping point for an older dog may be a bit shakier and could lead to a New Haven dog bite injury.  If you are going to approach an animal and you don’t know how old he is, you will want to approach with care and caution each and every time to make sure you are not surprising or scaring the dog in any way.

When you’ve been bitten by an animal it can be a traumatizing situation, but it can also be one that you should be able to hold the owner of the pet liable for as Connecticut is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites.  Our experienced attorneys have worked on many cases that may have parallels to your case and can speak with you intelligently about the details of your case.  Contact our office and one of our attorneys would be happy to speak with you.