dog bite cases in Texas revolve around whether or not a dog owner had knowledge
of a dog’s aggression. Since Texas is a “negligence”
or “one bite rule” state, individuals injured by dog bites
must be able to show that a dog had bitten someone before or had acted
aggressively in the past in order to recover damages. But what exactly
constitutes as aggression? Since true aggressive behavior can sometimes
be difficult to distinguish from playfulness, it is important that dog
owners keep a watchful eye and take extra precautions to protect themselves
from potential liability.
Dog Aggression Defined
The term “aggression” refers to a wide range of behaviors which
can occur under various circumstances for a number of reasons. As such,
saying a dog is aggressive can be vague. Nearly all animals are aggressive
when protecting their territories, guarding their offspring, and defending
themselves, though hostile behaviors in dogs can also be triggered in
reaction to fear, pain, sexual impulse, predatory instinct, or frustration.
Aggressive behaviors typically begin with some sort of warning sign which
may eventually lead to an attack.
Signs of aggression may include the following:
- Standing still and rigid
- Threatening barking
- Lunging forward without contact
- Growling and showing teeth
- Quick nips without breaking skin
- Bites which puncture or tear the skin
Most dogs do not attack without some sort of initial warning, though the
exact sequence and duration of these behaviors will vary – sometimes
lasting only a few milliseconds from warning to bite. As such, many pet
owners do not recognize these warning signs and believe their dog has
suddenly gone mad. Furthermore, some dogs only behave aggressively towards
other dogs or certain categories of people, such as groomers, veterinarians,
or postal carriers. Generally speaking, however, aggression toward people,
other dogs, and other animals are independent from one another, meaning
that aggression towards one will not necessarily lead to aggression towards another.
Can Aggression Be “Cured?”
While the incidence and frequency of certain types of aggression can be
reduced through proper training, there is no guarantee that a dog who
elicits aggressive behavior will ever be “cured.” In most
cases, the only way to treat the problem is to limit a dog’s exposure
to certain triggers. Even if a previously aggressive dog has behaved well
for several years, there is always a chance that certain factors can come
together to prompt a hostile response. For this reason, pet owners must
always exercise prudent care to protect themselves and others from possible attacks.
If you have been attacked by another person’s dog, contact the New
Braunfels dog bite attorneys at Kyle Law Firm today. Having been fighting
for the rights of the injured for 60+ years, we have what it takes to
help you pursue every penny’s worth of your deserved compensation.
Get in touch with our firm online
today or call
to discuss your injuries in full detail.