Dog owners love a good cuddle with their best buddies after a stressful day. But researchers conducted a study that showed dogs are able to sense when people are anxious, which makes them more susceptible to biting.
Scientists across the pond in the United Kingdom published their findings in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. They reviewed data from 694 individuals in a total of 385 households. Included in the study were demographics, the dogs’ ownership, bite history, personality types and overall health.
Who gets bitten by dogs?
Roughly a quarter of those participating reported at least one dog bite during their lifetimes, although just a third required medical treatment for their bites. Perhaps most encouraging, few of those who were bitten by dogs were attacked by their own pets.
The majority of bites to people come from dogs that they do not know. Another interesting finding was that men are bit with more frequency than women. Research attributes this to personality.
According to the study, those who report “being less emotionally stable” had a higher frequency of dog bites, especially for men. Calmer individuals, as per personality assessments, weren’t bitten as frequently.
Kids diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) had more of a risk of being bitten by dogs, especially when they are also anxious or nervous.
Why do dogs bite?
While some dogs do bite unprovoked, others lash out from jealousy or when defending their personal space. Another red flag for dog bites is disturbing them while they eat.
If you were bitten by another person’s dog, it’s likely you are less interested in the reason for the bite than the compensation you can receive for the medical bills and other damages for which you may be entitled.
It’s important to understand the scope of New York laws regarding dog bites. If the injury was serious enough to require time off from your job, you can potentially recover lost wages, as well as pain and suffering and future medical bills you may incur for reconstructive surgeries and therapy for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).