For the most part, people across the United States love dogs. Canine companions can give people a lift when they are down, they provide a source of stability and overall pleasant company in the home setting. This is why millions of households across the country have dogs as a part of the family.
However, the fondness humans have for their dogs often leads them to attribute human characteristics to them. It is important to remember that dogs are separate animals, and they behave in different ways. The majority of dogs do not bite, but there are still millions of dog attacks every year, which makes dog bites a topic that warrants further consideration. Are there any ways that you can tell if a dog is about to attack?
Physical signs of fear
While bites are commonly associated with dominance and aggression, the truth is, dogs often bite as a last resort. The last thing you want to do is make a fearful dog feel as if it is backed into a corner. You can usually tell if a dog is tense. Its ears may stand upright and it may be looking straight at you. You may also notice the raising of hackles. These are hairs that stand on end, usually across the back and tail area. If you continue to approach a dog that displays physical signs of fear, you could be placing yourself at risk of a vicious attack.
Dogs may be protective
Protectiveness is a quality that often makes canines endearing to humans. They will guard property and family and alert owners of any strange activity through barking. However, protective behavior can often cross the line into dog bites. Dogs can be especially protective over their food, toys and other belongings. If they see you as a threat to any of these, they may defend their property through biting. If you are entering the home of a dog you do not know very well, or they are eating, it is best to exercise caution until they realize you are not a threat.
Dog attacks can cause severe injuries that may lead to considerable medical costs. Cover yourself by exploring the legal options open to you if you have been attacked.