Your Personality Could Make You More Likely to Get Bitten By a Dog

Dogs are more likely to bite neurotic people, according to British survey

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dog bites send nearly 1,000 people to the emergency room every day. However, there are most likely many more individuals who get bitten but do not seek treatment for one reason or another. This makes it difficult to estimate the true scope of the problem based on hospital records alone.

In recognition of this fact, researchers at the University of Liverpool recently surveyed an entire small town about their history with dog bites. Here are some of their findings:

  • About 25 percent of survey respondents had been bitten by a dog
  • Only a third of them went to the doctor
  • Men were almost twice as likely to have been bitten as women
  • People who owned more than one dog were three times more likely to be bitten compared to non-dog owners
  • 55 percent of dog bites involved a dog the victim had never seen before

The most interesting finding, however, had to do with dog bite victims’ personalities. Because the survey had included a short test measuring the Big Five personality traits along with the questions about dog bites, the researchers were able to conclude that people with low emotional stability, aka neuroticism, were more likely to be bitten by dogs than individuals who scored high on emotional stability.

While the researchers were unable to say why this correlation between low emotional stability and dog bites exists, we can speculate. Dogs are attuned to human body language and emotions, so it stands to reason that when a person feels anxious or upset, a dog, taking their cues from the human, would feel similarly and be more likely to lash out and bite.

However, it is very important to remember that just because your personality may make you more prone to dog bites, this does NOT mean that you are to blame if a dog bites you. Dog owners are still responsible for controlling their animals. If a dog bites without provocation, the owner will be liable for providing compensation to the victim under California law.

If you have been bitten by a dog, it is a good idea to discuss the matter with an attorney. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we offer free consultations to help dog bite victims understand their rights and options. Assuming you did not provoke the dog, we can help you secure full and fair compensation for all your damages, including medical treatment, scar reduction treatment, plastic surgery, pain and suffering, and more. Call us at 800-333-0000 today for more information.

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