When you go jogging by a house and you hear a dog barking and snarling on the other side of the fence, it is easy to imagine that that dog may bite you. However, it is important to remember that many dogs do not give off such obvious warning signs. They may bite unexpectedly.
The reason is that owners sometimes think they have trained a dog to be friendly, when all they have really done is train the dog not to bark and not to snarl. It knows it is supposed to suppress those actions, but that does not mean it is really suppressing its desire to bite.
So, how can you tell if a dog is going to bite? You need to look for more subtle signs, which could include:
- A stiff tail: Even if it is wagging, that may be a warning wag and not a friendly wag.
- Unbroken eye contact: This is how dogs often challenge each other, so it may think it is challenging you.
- Short mouth: When a dog pulls its lips back to expose just the front teeth, something often done before biting, it’s called “short mouth.”
- A low growl: The dog may be trying to hold in a bark, but that growl is still meant to intimidate you.
- Attempts to appear larger: For instance, the dog may raise the fur on its neck, push its chest forward and spread its legs.
If you do get bitten by a dog due to an owner’s negligence, make sure you know your rights to compensation for everything from medical bills to lost wages.
Source: Petful, “Warning Signs That a Dog Might Bite,” Clarissa Fallis, accessed May 25, 2018