I recently posted a blog entitled “Dangerous Dogs – Does Breed Matter.” The blog elicited quite a response from what appear to be “pit-bull” enthusiasts to those who would prefer dangerous breeds be closely regulated by law enforcement officials. The majority of the comments seemed focused on what I deem an overly zealous defense of these dogs.
While I do believe many if not most dog bite occurrences are the result of poor owners, we can’t discount that there may be a predisposition for certain breeds to have an overly aggressive nature. I think it only logical that some breeds were originally selectively bred for fighting. We can name several breeds that have characteristics, often bred into them, that make them have a greater tendency for aggression and have certain qualities such as a strong jaw. These characteristics make them more dangerous to humans should they display aggression toward people.
Nonetheless, any breed of dog can bite but there are certain breeds that simply cause greater harm and possibly death. I’m a parent of three lovely girls. I will go to the ends of the earth to protect them from harm. Whether dog enthusiasts like it or not, the reality is if I see a “pit-bull” or “Shar Pei” or any dogs of similar stature loose and around my kids, I am more fearful for their safety than if I see a stray Poodle. With that in mind, I will deal with these breeds that have a more aggressive nature coupled with their size differently than I will deal with a 10 lb dog. In summation, the reality is these aggressive breeds pose a more dangerous risk to people regardless of environmental factors by pure virtue of their strength.
Whether we like it or not, the breed of dog involved in a bite case will impact the way that I handle it. From a logical standpoint, the more aggressive and stronger breeds typically cause more extensive damage. However, as stated in previous blogs, those injured by dog attacks in Oklahoma, regardless of breeds should hire legal representation. Contrary to what insurance would like you to think, a dog in Oklahoma does not have to have a dangerous propensity or to have bitten someone before. In fact, Oklahoma is a strict liability state in most circumstances when it comes to dog bites. Essentially this means that just the fact that you are the owner of the dog that bit someone is enough to hold you responsible for the dog bite and allow the injured to recover the full amount of his damages from you.