We hold this truth to be self-evident, that dogs are perfect in every way possible. Even “good-boys” can become aggressive, though. Most people think dog bite cases are frivolous, but they can be seriously disfiguring, particularly to children. There are usually signs for when a dog may bite, though, and knowing these signs can help you to prevent dog bites. Here’s what to look out for if you think a dog may bite you or your child.
Signs for When a Dog May Bite
- Growling and showing teeth – We can all intuitively interpret this as threatening behavior. Children aren’t known to run towards growling dogs. Thus, a dog’s growl can actually make it safer. It’s their direct way of saying “stay away, you’re upsetting me.” If a dog is feeling uncomfortable but fails to growl, their perceived threat is likely to continue agitating them. That’s when it can get dangerous.
- A wagging tail – This one is less straightforward, but it’s something to keep an eye on. Happy dogs are best known for wagging their tails. When wagging their tails, however, they usually involve their whole body, to some degree. Additionally, their tails will be relaxed. Dogs experiencing discomfort may also wag their tails, but their tails will tend to be more rigid, and their bodies tend to be still, in caution.
- Visible whites of eyes – You’ll have to look carefully for this one. One of a dog’s natural responses to a perceived threat is to display “whale eyes.” This means they open their eyes wide enough for the white portions (sclera) to show. Generally, dogs who do this will pair it with more obvious body language, such as the warning signals listed above.
Dogs communicate with the world through their body language. Fail to observe it, and their warning signs may fall on deaf ears. Look out for these indicators, and you can protect yourself and others from an agitated animal. If a dog has injured yourself or a loved one, contact a local dog bite attorney as soon as possible.
Galloway Jefcoat LLP is a Louisiana personal injury law firm with experienced attorneys who fight for victims of dog bites. They can advise you on your rights and represent your insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit to ensure you get the full amount of compensation you deserve.