14 people in Florida and 251 people nationwide were killed from a dog attack from 2005-2012
MIAMI, FL, October 30, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- When a Dog Has a 'Bad Moment'
According to DogBites.org, 14 people were killed in Florida
over 2005-2012 from a dog attack (251 total nationwide were killed during that same period). To quote DogBites.org: "If a pit bull or rottweiler has a bad moment, instead of being bitten, often someone is maimed or killed; that has now created off-the-chart actuarial risk."
Since money speaks, this "off-the-chart" risk is likely reflected in what it costs to maintain insurance coverage for dangerous dog breeds. Indeed, some insurance companies may flat out refuse to insure certain kinds of dogs, with the pit bull at the top of the list, according to Catey Hill with Forbes.
: "These days, companies offering homeowners and renters insurance are pickier than ever about which kinds of dogs they'll insure and which they won't."
And it all comes down to the likelihood of a dog bite
and the cost of compensating the injured victim.
The Body Language of Dogs
Like humans playing poker, dogs have their own "tells" too, or signs in body language that you can read in order to anticipate their next move. It's a foregone conclusion that most people would prefer to avoid getting bitten or attacked by a dog, so it makes sense to be aware of what to look for in a dog's body language.
According to a CNN piece published by WCSC News, there are 9 things you can do
to avoid getting attacked by a dog, which also cover what to do if you are attacked:
1. Give the dog space, especially if you're meeting the dog for the first time
2. Let the dog come to you
3. Turn your body to the side to present a less threatening profile
4. Ball your hand into a fist, put your fist down, and let the dog sniff your fist
5. Don't stare in the dog's eyes
6. Don't smile at the dog
7. Don't pet the dog on the top of the head, but on the back or neck
8. Beware if the dog yawns or licks its lips, which could be a signal that you're in the dog's space
9. Don't make loud noises (like scream) or run away from the dog
10. Roll into a ball, lie still, and cover your head if you do get attacked
The authors of the piece quote a dog trainer: "Most dogs that bite are only doing so because they are scared and want to warn you to back away. That's what aggression achieves - distance."
What If Poker Isn't Your Thing?
What if you're not so great at poker, at reading "tells" in other people, not to mention dogs? What if you completely misread a dog's body language? Worse yet, what if your child was attacked?
After a dog seriously injures or kills someone, especially a young child, the public outcry is so great, the debate so furious, that it becomes difficult to place blame squarely on anyone.
It could be that the dog simply had a "bad moment," in the words of DogBites.org. It could be the dog owner's maltreatment of the dog, in the worst case scenario, or the dog owner's inability to properly look after the dog, which gave rise to the bite. It could also be that the victim got in the dog's space and did not know how to read its body language.
It could be any or all of the above, but the signs ultimately point toward the dog owner and his or her insurance carrier. It is, in the end, risky to own certain breeds of dogs, or at least more risky than owning others. It's risky to own any kind of dog, in fact, and even if a certain breed is well known not to hurt a fly, and yet still bites or attacks someone, it's important to hold the dog owner accountable for the plain fact that while the dog may be the family pet, the family pet is still an animal.About the Miami Law Firm of Ferrer Shane, PL
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