Animals attack for many reasons. They may feel threatened, sick or angered by something. They might be scared or backed into a corner.
As someone who is going to be around dogs in particular, you need to be able to recognize the signs that an animal is in distress and be able to protect yourself if a dog appears ready to attack.
The signs that a dog will attack
Knowing the warning signs that show that a dog is about to attack can help you protect yourself against serious injuries. The top 10 signs that a dog is about to attack include:
- Nipping at the air near you or nipping you
- Raised fur on the back of the neck and down the spine
- A tucked tail
- When the dog’s ears suddenly perk up or are pressed down tightly against the head
- A curled lip
- Aggressive barking
- Charging behavior
- A curled up tongue
If you can look for these signs, you may be able to back away from a distressed animal and give yourself more space. Most animals won’t continue to follow or chase you if you back away slowly and avoid eye contact.
Heed a dog’s warning if it gives one
To protect yourself or those around you, you should recognize and heed a dog’s warning signs.
Of course, while most dogs do use at least one of these signs to warn you, not all of them will give you warnings for long before biting. If you are bitten, you need to try to contain the animal and call 911 as soon as possible.
Even if the dog bite isn’t severe, you may need to have surgery to debride the wound or may have to take antibiotics. If the dog’s vaccination records are unknown, you could need rabies and tetanus vaccinations.
You deserve an opportunity to seek compensation if you’re bitten by a dog. If the owner is known, you can pursue a claim against them for the actions of their animal, even if it has never bitten someone before.