Our canine companions can be so friendly, loving, and loyal that we can forget one of the most important things: they are animals. Finding yourself as a dog bite victim can possibly mean finding yourself the victim of a serious injury. Just like people, dogs will give body language cues if they feel uncomfortable or unhappy.
Here are a few helpful warning traits to look out for to avoid a nasty dog bite:
Probably the most telltale sign an animal is aggressive and prone to give you a dog bite is when they are growling, snapping, and flashing their teeth at you. They are warning signs that dogs give off to let others know they feel uncomfortable. Pay attention to this caution to get a sense of when they do not like something you are doing and then learn to stop it and avoid getting a dog bite.
Other body language is similarly evident for an animal prone to dish out a dog bite. Their posture will become very rigid and stiff, and the fur along the back of their neck and between their shoulders will stand up. If you approach a canine and it freezes upon your arrival, while their hair raises—it would be wise that you back off and give the animal space.
Dogs give off some facial cues as well to show they are uncomfortable. When you see the whites of their eyes (referred to as “whale eye” by trainers) this means that it feels anxiety—and an anxious pet is more prone to give a dog bite than a calm one. The same can be said for excessive lip licking, yawning, or purposefully avoiding eye contact.
Finally, cues can come from dogs’ trademark tails. If it is tucking its tail (or plain cowering), this means the dog is afraid—and cornered, frightened animals can lash out. Curiously enough, tail wagging can be a precursor to an impending dog bite. A happy dog will move its entire body when it is joyfully wagging; however an unhappy and aggressive dog will have a more rigid body with quicker tail movements.
We must always remember that happy hounds are animals, and they act on a separate set of impulses, behaviors, and instincts than we do. Sometimes this can lead to a dog bite, which can potentially be a very serious injury. If you keep in mind the body language cues canines can give off, you can have a healthier relationship with these lovable animals—one that is wonderfully dog bite free.