When we think of dogs, images of cute puppies or loyal canines may spring to mind. Unfortunately, not all dogs live up to the positive stereotypes most people hold. Sometimes they attack humans, and the results can be devastating. Attacks can cause scratches, wounds or even death.

Dogs often display aggressive behavior towards people and animals they don’t know. The most common response is barking, but depending on the dog’s temperament, it could escalate. One of the benefits of having a dog is the sense of protection they can give, but it can also become a liability. This behavior is why it’s essential to keep dogs on a leash when taking them outside the house.

Michigan’s largest city, Detroit, has seen many horrific dog attacks in recent years. The urban area is estimated to have about 140,000 dogs living in it. Just last month, a fatal mauling of a 9-year old girl resulted in murder charges for the dogs’ owner.

How to protect yourself

While most dogs will not attack humans, it is a good idea to use caution when approaching a canine that is unfamiliar to you. To prevent bites or attacks, here are a few tips:

  • Do not approach unleashed dogs. If they get aggressive, their owner will have no way to stop them from attacking. This lack of control presents a significant risk to your safety.
  • Do not make eye contact. A dog may not take notice of you until it sees that you are watching it. If it feels challenged, it may react aggressively.
  • Supervise children around dogs. Because of their size, kids are more vulnerable to dog attacks. You should watch children whenever they’re playing with a dog, even if it’s one that is familiar to you.

Despite exercising the utmost caution, a dog may still attack. If that happens, Michigan law allows you to seek compensation from its owner. It will not undo the damage that occurred, but it can help you recover from a tragic event by paying for medical care and more.