A bite from a dog can lead to serious injury and severe scarring that can be physical and/or psychological. Fortunately, you may be able to avoid an attack if you can recognize the signs that a dog is about to bite.
Dogs use body language to convey warning signals that they feel distressed and may be getting ready to bite. Unfortunately, not all human beings read the signs correctly. Petful describes some of the common signs that a dog bite is imminent. Look for these signs and take them seriously if you observe them.
- Getaway attempts
Like many animals, a frightened dog has a fight-or-flight instinct. Dogs often try to flee a situation that they find threatening. However, if there is no escape, they may defend themselves the only way they know how, by biting. If a dog is trying to get away from you, it is best to allow it to go.
- Bared teeth
Showing teeth is usually a sign of aggression in a dog. This is true whether the dog bares all its teeth or lifts its lip to show only a few at a time. The dog may also growl while baring its teeth.
Look to see if the dog’s body is tense and stiff. Tension may be present alone or in combination with other warning signs. Some signs of an imminent dog bite may seem similar to playful behaviors, but tension of the dog’s body indicates that it is not playing.
It is best to try not to make eye contact with a strange dog because staring can indicate a challenge. Be wary of a dog giving you a hard stare with its body tense. Also, check the dog’s eyes to see if you can see the whites around the irises. This is another common warning sign.