Contrary to popular belief, provoking a dog is not the same as beating a dog. Sure, you can provoke a dog by beating them up or throwing sticks at them, but there are other less dramatic forms of dog provocation. Legally speaking, provocation is anything that the dog interprets as a threat.
In fact, provocation doesn't have to be intentional. You are provoking a dog as long as the dog thinks you are threatening them or their interests. For example, it is provocation when you lift up your arms to throw a ball and the dog thinks you want to throw something at them.
If you have a personal injury case involving a dog, then it's important to know what dog provocation is so you can defend your case.
Examples of Dog Provocation
Here are some specific things that may be interpreted as provocations:
Pretending to Steal a Dog's Property
Pretending to steal a dog's property may be fun for your dog, but not all dogs will love it. in fact, trying such a thing with a strange dog is dangerous; it may backfire when the dog things you want to steal their property.
Reaching Out to Pet a Dog
People love to pet animals, and many animals also love to be petted. However, you should only pet familiar animals who you are sure won't interpret your actions as a threat. For example, reaching out to rub a dogs belly or head can trigger a nasty bite when the animal things you want to hurt them.
Most dogs are sensitive to loud noises, and screaming near a dog may startle them enough to bite you. Therefore, you may be minding your business and screaming to your child when a nearby dog jumps to a conclusion and thinks you are out to get them.
Holding a Dog's Gaze
Staring at a dog is not funny—at least from the animal's point of view. It's even more dangerous to hold a strange dog's gaze and try to beat it into a staring contest. The dog may think you are challenging their territory and jump at you.
Engaging in Activities That Involve Arm Swings
Some dogs may also interpret raising or swinging your arms as threats to them. This makes sense since the same actions are involved when throwing things at dogs or hitting them.
You won't lose a dog bite claim or lawsuit just because the dog owner is claiming you provoked the dog. Consult a personal injury lawyer to help you figure out how to overcome this defense and get the compensation you deserve.