What are some warning signs that a dog may bite?

If sufficiently provoked, any dog has the potential to bite. The size of the dog does not matter, nor does its breed. Fortunately, in many situations, a dog will send warning signs that it is about to bite. You may be able to protect yourself and your family if you learn to recognize these signs and teach them to your children.

Be alert for signs of both fearfulness and aggression. According to Petful, a fearful dog may bite in self-defense if all methods of escape have failed. Keep your distance from dogs demonstrating the following behaviors.

1. Baring teeth

Although some breeds “grin” to show pleasure, a dog usually bares its teeth as a sign of aggression. It is a warning sign whether the dog shows all its teeth or only lifts up a corner of its mouth to show a bit of tooth.

2. Growling

Although dogs sometimes growl during play, it is safest to assume that the growl indicates displeasure and aggression, especially if the dog is exhibiting other warning signs.

3. Tensing the muscles

When a dog’s body is relaxed, it is an indication that it might be in a playful mood, even if it is baring teeth and growling. However, if the dog’s body is tense, it is not playing and may be preparing to bite. Tension can be a sign of either fearfulness or aggression, but in either case, you should leave the dog alone because a bite is more likely in its heightened state.

4. Staring

Dogs issue a challenge by staring at one another with their bodies tense. You should avoid eye contact with a strange or aggressive dog so that you do not either issue or answer a challenge.

5. Attempting to escape

If a dog is clearly fearful and trying to get away from you, let it go. A fearful dog prefers to flee from you, but if you corner it, the dog may feel that it has no choice but to bite.