Why Sudden Movements May Lead To A New Haven Dog Bite Injury

February 20, 2024
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Whether you’re an avid dog person or just someone who likes to see these animals out for walks and admire their beauty, you probably know that there are some rules of engagement when it comes to interacting with these animals. All animals will interact with humans in differing ways and that is true among all dog breeds and all dog temperaments too, so the rules of engagement are not fool proof, but they are meant to be a guide for you to be able to interact with these dogs and still avoid a situation where you experience a New Haven dog bite injury.

There are a variety of things you should or shouldn’t do when approaching a dog, especially a dog that is unfamiliar with you, but one of the most important things you shouldn’t do is make sudden movements. Even if a dog has his eyes trained right on you, a sudden movement can cause certain responses from the dog that may initiate a situation where you get bitten. It is best, no matter what the situation is, to avoid sudden movements when interacting with dogs all together.

What constitutes a sudden movement? A slow walk toward the dog and a gentle reach down to pet him on the head should not illicit a response. However, if you were to run at the dog and rough house with him right from your first meeting, you may be met with a response to your sudden movements. You may also find yourself in a situation where you are talking to the dog’s owner and making hand gestures while you’re talking and this could be perceived as a sudden movement by the dog you are interfacing with. These are just two simple examples that could lead to dire consequences, but you should use your best judgement when thinking about how you are approaching and interacting with a dog so as to not make any sudden movements.

With that being said, what can you expect the reaction of a dog might be to your sudden movements? Again, this will depend largely on the breed and the temperament of the dog, but you may expect a number of the following reactions.

1.) Startle response. This is a trait of many dog breeds and especially those dogs who are easily startled or are already anxious. When you make a sudden movement the reaction from the dog may be to act defensively as they have become startled and their startle response has been activated. If this were to happen to you you should do your best to slowly remove yourself from the situation and not react to the dogs reaction.

2.) If you are interacting with a dog that is known as a hunter or a worker you may find that sudden movement triggers their predatory instincts. A dog may interpret your sudden movements as a potential threat or prey and therefore may engage in hunting instincts and attempt to subdue or capture you as the dog’s potential “prey.” This could lead to a serious dog bite injury.

3.) Self-defense. A dog that is already experiencing fear or anxiety may act to your sudden movements in self-defense and lash out at you by biting you. While it may be challenging to know if a dog is fearful or anxious you should do your best to assess the situation and notice if the dog is foaming at the mouth or if the dog has dilated pupils. If you notice these or other signs that the dog is anxious or fearful you will want to make sure you keep your distance and avoid any sudden movements.

4.) Your sudden movement may be misinterpreted by a dog as wanting to play and a bite may become more aggressive in the dog’s attempt to be playful. This typically happens in dogs that are young or do not have a lot of experience interacting with strange humans. If you make a sudden movement and a dog looks like he wants to play with you, you may want to avoid engaging in this way because these sudden movements can quickly lead to a New Haven dog bite injury and you could go from being playful to being in pain in the blink of an eye.

Like any accident that is unexpected a dog bite injury can dramatically impact your life and your ability to perform duties that are related to work or other activities you wish to engage in throughout the course of your days. It is for this reason that you should take the danger of being bitten by a dog seriously and do everything you can to interact with dogs, especially unfamiliar dogs, in a safe and orderly way so you don’t have to fear the bite of the dog.

If you become injured as the result of an interaction with a dog you may need to speak with an attorney who has experience with these types of situations. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests.