Dogs are often considered “man’s best friend,” however, they can quickly become vicious when they feel threatened. Like any animal, if a dog feels as though its personal space is being invaded or they are uncomfortable with the situation they are in, they will give warning signs before attacking. If the situation continues, the dog is likely to attack.
Learning these behaviors can help you spot when a dog is about to bite or attack, and can help you diffuse the situation as quickly as possible before the attack happens. Here are 5 aggressive dog behaviors to watch out for, and what to do if you or a loved one were injured by a dog.
1. Flattened Ears
A happy dog usually has his ears perked up. An aggressive dog, however, may flatten his ears against his head when he feels threatened or frightened.
2. Tail Tucked Between Legs
A dog that is afraid will often tuck his tail in between his legs and attempt to retreat from the situation he is in. A tucked tail may be accompanied by other aggressive dog behaviors, or it may be the only sign that suggests the dog is uncomfortable.
3. Crouching or Shifting Weight
A dog that is about to attack may crouch low to the ground, and he may shift his weight from leg to leg as though he is about to jump or run.
4. Fixed Gaze
When a dog is ready to lunge, he will fix his gaze on his intended target. The fixed gaze will usually accompany other behaviors, such as flattened ears or crouching.
5. Snarling or Baring Teeth
A dog that is upset or angry will often bare their teeth or snarl in warning. This warning is the one that people most often associate with a dog that is about to attack, however, not all dogs snarl or bare their teeth before they bite.
What to Do If You See a Dog Exhibit These Aggressive Behaviors
Most dogs exhibit aggressive behaviors well before they attack. If you see a dog exhibit any of these behaviors, avoid making eye contact and remain still. Most dogs do not want to attack, but will do so if they see no other way out of the situation they are in.
When you remain still and avoid making eye contact, the dog is more likely to shift his focus to something else. When he does, you can back away slowly and remove yourself from the situation.
What to Do If You or a Loved One Are Attacked By a Dog
If you or a family member were attacked or bitten by a dog, the most important thing to do is obtain medical care as quickly as possible. Once your medical condition is stable, it is critical that you speak with an experienced Massachusetts dog bite lawyer.
An attorney can help you determine if you are eligible to bring forward a claim for compensation, which will help cover the financial and emotional costs of being attacked. At Mazow & McCullough, we thoroughly understand Massachusetts dog bite law and can help guide you through the process of bringing forward an injury claim step by step.
Don’t wait to get the help you need after suffering a dog attack. Contact us today to speak with a skilled dog bite lawyer about your legal needs.