Preventing dog bites by recognizing possible warning signs
Author: Auger Law | June 8th, 2018
Dogs are frightening to some people. For others, dogs are their best friends. There is regular talk in the media about specific breeds being dangerous as opposed to others recognized as traditional family canines. No matter how you feel about the more than 40 million dogs in the United States, the one thing our law firm always tries to express is that any dog is capable of biting. Publicizing that fact will hopefully prevent some injuries.
The good news is that in many situations a dog may show you signs before they actually bite. Knowing how to read their body language can help you avoid a dog bite in North Carolina.
- Eye Contact
A dog that is going to bite may make direct eye contact with you. Direct eye contact is not natural for dogs. In fact, it can be seen as an act of aggression. While some dogs are very comfortable with their human counterparts and willingly make eye contact with their owner(s), they may avoid looking directly in the eyes of others. If you come across a strange dog and it is noticeably staring you directly in the eyes, it may be a sign that the animal is feeling threatened or that it may be preparing to attack. Take notice of any dog that stares at you directly in the eyes and proceed with caution. One option is to look over its head. This may allow you to keep an eye on the dog without appearing to be aggressive towards it.
- Wagging Tail
Dogs wag their tail when they are happy. They wag when they are excited. They also wag when they are in a state of high energy. Don’t assume that a dog that is wagging its tail is friendly or happy to see you. Look to see how the tail is wagging. A tail that is held upright and wagging stiffly indicates that is in a high energy mode and that could be a sign of an excited or irritable animal.
- Large Chest
You’ve seen humans do it. We feel defensive or aggressive so we puff out our chest, take a wider stance and make ourselves appear larger than we are. Dogs can do the same thing. If you see a dog with a stance that is wider than what would be normal and a chest that is thrown out, it may be acting aggressive. This dog may be getting ready to engage you. Do what you can to appear to be less of a threat and get to safety.
- Ears Perked
This one is a bit confusing and is often best read if coupled with one of the postures above. A dog may perk up its ears when it is interested in something. It may hear a noise or even its owner’s voice and lift its ears straight up. A dog may also put its ears up or back when it is feeling threatened. If you notice a dog’s ears perked in combination with a slowly wagging tail, a wide stance or direct eye contact, please take caution and do whatever you can to protect yourself.
- Front Teeth
Have you ever run across a dog that smiles? It’s endearing. However a dog that shows its teeth in another story. When you see a dog’s front teeth it means one of two things: It’s very nervous or it may be about to bite.
Speak with a North Carolina Dog Bite Attorney Today
If you are attacked by a dog in North Carolina, you will most likely have to endure a painful and unpleasant experience. You may also find that there are additional issues to deal with such as medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If it is a loved one, you may be forced to make difficult decisions with regards to the care of your family. It’s important that you understand your legal rights and what you can do to move forward following a dog bite injury.
Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. You shouldn’t have to experience monetary difficulty because of the negligence of another. Reach out to our team to learn more about your options and how we can assist you.