Three Situations when Dogs are More Likely to Bite

dog bite, reasons why dogs bit, dog bite attorney orange countyIn general, most dogs are gentle, loving animals who adore their owners and like other people.  However, even the best-trained or most well behaved dog can lash out under the right circumstances.  Although it’s impossible to know how or when a dog might turn on you, there are certain instances where they are more likely to do so.

Around Food

Dogs are often more on edge around food than at other times.  Some dogs suffer from “food aggression” where it’s very obvious that they are guarding their food.  This can show in many different ways, but if you get close to their food, they will often growl, snarl or snap their jaws to tell you to back off.  However, even if they don’t show these outward signs, some dogs might still try to defend their food if they feel you are threatening them.  In either case, be extra cautious around the time they are eating to avoid getting bitten.

When they are Afraid

Dogs act out when they are afraid.  Although their normal reaction is to run away, if they feel like they are trapped, they will lash out for protection.  Feeling trapped can show up in a number of ways.  One of the most common is being on a leash.  It is common for dogs to be more likely to lash out when they are on a leash because they feel handicapped in one way or another.  Additionally, they can feel scared if someone is too loud or has too much energy around them.  There are many other ways dogs can feel trapped, so it’s important to understand how they perceive your actions.


“Let sleeping dogs lie” is a very good piece of advice.  Waking up a sleeping dog can make them feel afraid.  Additionally, if you are standing over them while you wake them up, they can feel trapped.  This is why it’s especially important to leave dogs alone while they are sleeping or wake them up verbally before you approach them.  There have been many cases in which someone goes to pet or wake up their dog, only to have the dog turn and bite their hand, arm or leg.  This is especially true with dogs you are unfamiliar with.

Understanding the behavior of dogs can help you avoid getting injured by them.  If you or someone you know has suffered a dog bite, feel free to contact us at 949-496-7000.  We will help you understand your options and let you know if you have a case.