As an animal lover, you may feel that all dogs deserve a chance at a happy life. However, you may also know that certain situations could arise in which a dog may attack a person and leave him or her with serious injuries. As a result, you certainly want to remain vigilant when it comes to recognizing potentially dangerous situations that may involve an animal.
All animals, including dogs, often present physical signs that they feel uncomfortable. Knowing how to pick up on these signs could help you and other individuals better avoid situations that could result in a dog attacking you or someone else.
Signs of aggression
Even seemingly sweet dogs can have bouts of aggression. Often, when dogs feel threatened or defensive, they may attempt to make themselves look bigger. Physical signs of aggression could include:
- Fur standing on end
- Ears up and forward
- Tail straight up — wagging or not
- Stiff stance
- Aggressive approach toward you or other perceived threat
- Growling and barking
- Bared teeth
When a dog presents these or similar signs, avoiding the animal will likely prove wise.
Signs of anxiety
Dogs can also feel other emotions that make them uncomfortable as well. When they feel scared or anxious, they may attempt to make themselves smaller in hopes that a potential threat will pass. When you see an animal with a tucked tail, lowered head or flattened ears, your first reaction may relate to wanting to comfort the animal. However, if you approach, the dog may become defensive and could potentially attack.
You may want to remember that any dog can bite. Even if you have come across the same dog several times without any negative incident, animal moods can change. Ignoring any of the previously mentioned signs due to thinking that the animal would not attack because it knows you could lead to a dangerous encounter.
Unfortunately, even if you do your best to avoid an animal that appears aggressive or scared, you or a loved one could still find yourself being bitten or attacked. Dog attacks can lead to serious injuries, and you could face substantial medical expenses, pain and other negative repercussions. In the aftermath of such an event, you may wish to determine whether you have cause to file a personal injury claim against the owner of the dog in order to seek compensation for the injuries and other damages suffered.