It's quite common for people to think that a dog or the dog's owner is always to blame when a dog attacks. This is most often the case, but you have to remember that the other party might have a good case in making you look negligent if you don't follow the right rules. If you provoke a dog or don't ask the owner if the dog is safe then it might look like you are the one who was causing problems. Sure, a person is typically going to be seen as more important than a dog in the court of law, but you have some responsibilities to make sure that you don't put yourself in a bad situation with an animal.
Let's take a look at how you can avoid getting in a dog attack, and see the different situations that might make you negligent if a dog attacks you.
You Pet or Approach a Dog Without Knowing its Past
There are several dogs who are afraid of people and don't trust them because they have been abused in the past. Many of these dogs are neglected by their owners and then end up in shelters where other people adopt them. In this case the owners might tell you that the dog is afraid of some human genres or all people in general, making them a bit hostile towards people who approach them. This isn't the dog's fault, and many good lawyers can make the argument that you should ask the owner to pet their dog before doing so. If you don't ask and the dog attacks you then you were actually the one who caused the accident. Now, you can still win a case where you were the one that approached the dog, but you hinder your chances of winning, especially if you go up against a lawyer who knows how to frame evidence like this.
You Provoke the Dog
Dogs are creatures that have very different thoughts than humans. They become very protective of their owners and might take a certain action as a threat. A child might throw a stick at a dog for fun or someone might try to pick a dog up when the dog sees this as a threat. Your best bet is to treat all dogs with respect and not just assume that their sense of fun is not always the same as yours. When in doubt, ask the owner how the dog might respond to a particular form of petting or playing.
You Invade the Dog's Territory
Just because you see a dog playing in a yard doesn't mean it's a good idea to go and join. When dogs are playing in their yards they might see a person who approaches them as an intruder. Think about the consequences before you approach a dog in their territory. Just because you walk into a party and a dog is hanging out, doesn't mean it's an invitation to start screwing around with them. Remember that it's the dog's territory and you have to respect this.
Let us know in the comments section if you have any questions about how to properly approach dogs. If you truly want to avoid a dog attack then always speak to the owner before playing or petting it.