You’ve never met a dog you didn’t like. However, for some mysterious reason, your neighbor’s dog seems to dislike you quite a bit.

What do you do? You don’t want to avoid your neighbor simply because their dog is high-strung, aggressive or simply hates people who look like you. You also don’t want to end up the victim of a serious dog bite injury.

Here are some suggestions that may help:

  1. Understand that it’s about the dog, not you. If you love dogs, it may sting a little when you’re unable to win this particular pup over, but don’t force the issue. Dogs tend to bite when they feel threatened. For whatever reason, if a dog has decided that you’re a threat, it’s better to give the animal its space.
  2. Ask about training. Maybe your neighbor has never thought about training their dog. Obedience training can make a nervous dog a lot calmer by teaching them signals that tell them when everything’s okay (and when it’s not). That may be all it takes to make the dog friendlier.
  3. Ask your neighbor to put their dog away when you’re around. If you’re going to be in the yard, the dog should be in the house. If you’re going to be in the house, the dog should be put in another room. It’s okay to ask for a little consideration.

Unfortunately, there’s always a possibility that you’ll end up bitten. The dog might skirt around your neighbor’s legs when you arrive and attack, or you might accidentally trigger its aggression just by reacting too strongly to its presence. If a bite happens, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages and other expenses. An attorney can help you understand the options you have — and you should keep in mind that homeowner’s insurance will usually cover a dog owner’s liability.