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What Are the Signs That a Dog Might Bite?

As cute as they may seem, dogs can become aggressive for a variety of reasons. It may be because they are scared, possessive, or simply threatened. So, if you cross the line, they will bite. This is not limited to big dogs either – in fact, they say that the feared pit bull is less aggressive than the Chihuahua. Size doesn’t matter when it comes to landing a bite.

Thus, before you decide to pet that cute little dog you are passing by on the sidewalk, or even try to play with your own dog, you might want to take a closer look at its behavior first.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

Dogs rarely bite people without a reason. For the most part, they bite because they are afraid, or because they are trying to defend their territory.

Many of the dog bites in Washington took place in the areas neighboring the dogs’ homes, on people that were perceived as a threat by the animals. Often, the individuals that are injured by a dog bite will hire Washington state dog attack lawyers, for example, so that they can claim compensation.

Each dog has an “aggressive bone” in them, which is usually controlled by early dog training. Very often, these dogs also bite because the bitten person fails to see the signs, stepping into their space without making sure that it is safe. In this case, the dog becomes overwhelmed and proceeds to bite the one that threatens it.

How to Tell a Dog Will Bite

Some signs that a dog feels threatened may be obvious, whereas others not so much. Here are the signs that tell a dog is just moments away from biting.

  1. Wagging Tail

We see a dog wagging its tail on the street, and we automatically think it is in a good mood and that it wants to play with us. The problem is that while this is often true, it’s not always the case. Sure, a relaxed, full-body wiggle may indicate that it wants to play, but if the tail-wagging seems rigid with a back-and-forth motion, it might suggest aggressiveness.

  1. Cowering or Tucking Away Their Tail

If the dog begins to cower and tuck away its tail, it might be a sign that it is afraid. There are plenty of things that can scare a dog – it might be a person, if it’s a rescue that was mistreated or it might simply be scared of fireworks or the vacuum cleaner, due to their loud noise. The problem is that if a dog is scared, it might bite – especially if you get too close for its comfort.

  1. Rigid Stance

If your dog or a dog that you’ve been interacting with suddenly goes stiff around you, with its ears perked and its tail above its head, then this might mean it is uncomfortable with a certain situation. If your dog freezes because it is feeling afraid, anxious, or aggressive, then you might want to get out of the room and give it some time to chill.

  1. Snapping and Growling

This may be a no-brainer, but if a dog suddenly begins to growl or snap, then it might be a sign that it can bite. During these moments, the dog is expressing discomfort – whether with the environment or the person in front of it. Some dogs may even begin to act aggressively when they feel ill. If it’s your dog, just leave it alone for about 10 minutes, and if it still doesn’t stop, consider taking it to the vet.

  1. Avoidant Gaze, Yawning, or Lip Licking

Dogs have their own facial expressions, just like we do. If they are constantly yawning, avoiding your gaze, or licking their lips even if there is no food around, then they might be uncomfortable with you. This often happens if the dog is not too social and meets someone new. You might want to refrain from stuffing your face into its soft fur at this time and keep your distance until it becomes accustomed to you.

  1. Raised Hackles

If your dog’s hair is raised on its neck and back, all the way to its tail, then it might be feeling afraid, anxious, or angry. If this happens, then you might want to take a few steps back and give the dog some space. Now is not the time to cuddle it.

The Bottom Line

Dogs can bite for various reasons. They can be afraid that you will hurt them, or feel angry that you entered their territory. Going to them for cuddles is going to provoke them even more to bite. To avoid a dog bite, look into the behavior of the animal and see if it shows any signs of aggression.

 

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