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Why do dogs bite?

Dog bites in New Jersey can be very serious. The American Veterinary Medical Association states that if a dog bites you, then chances are one in five that you will require medical attention. A bite from a dog may expose you to potentially deadly diseases such as rabies and tetanus. You may suffer disfiguring injuries that require reconstructive surgery. The good news is that most dog bites are preventable. Knowing why dogs bite in the first place may help you to avoid an injury.

When dogs play with one another, they may nip and bite each other. Though this is not an aggressive behavior, you should discourage it. Avoid games that can overly excite a dog, such as tug-of-war or wrestling.

A bite from a dog may mean that the animal has an injury or an illness. Dogs often want people to leave them alone when they do not feel good. Give an ailing dog space and avoid any unnecessary contact.

Dogs may bite as a defense mechanism in response to a perceived threat to themselves or to something they value. Things that have value to dogs include their own young, as well as food and toys. Dogs can also bite when they become startled or in response to fear or stress.

Given sufficient provocation, any dog has the potential to bite. The size or gender of the dog makes no difference, and the breed is far less significant than the dog’s individual history. Although bites from strange dogs do happen, it is more common to receive a bite from a dog that is familiar to you.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.