Before you decide to approach a dog, or allow a loved one to do so, make sure you read these tips about canine aggression and how to avoid serious injury.

Stopping Canine Aggressive Behavior Before a Tragedy Occurs

Canines can perceive innocent actions as being threatening and retaliate without much warning. This is why it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of aggression as well as how to prevent that aggression from developing into a full-blown attack.

Approach With Caution to Avoid a Painful Bite

Much like humans, a dog’s mood can change from loving to combative in the blink of an eye. In some cases, this change is brought on by illness or anxiety, or even as a result of a defensive reflex. However, no matter the reason for the change, the outcome will always be dangerous. In addition to sharp claws and spiked teeth, dogs have a bite force of 325 pounds per square inch. Furthermore, they have the ability to shake a limb left to right four times per second. All of these attributes help dogs defend themselves by allowing them to tear flesh and break bones.

The next time you come in contact with a dog, stay safe and avoid a potentially disastrous injury by remembering to:

  • Snarling, aggressive small dogApproach with caution. No matter how cute a dog may be, or how friendly he may appear, never approach a dog without the owner’s permission. Although he may be calm and content with his owner, he may feel threatened by strangers. This tip is especially important for younger children. Don’t allow your child to approach a strange dog on her own.
  • Make yourself known. Never sneak up on a canine. A surprised dog is an aggressive dog. When approaching, try to make noises loud enough for the dog to hear you before you’re within attacking range.
  • Ask for permission. Before touching a dog, make sure it is all right with his owner. Some dogs are more sociable than others; and although this dog may seem friendly, he may not like strangers touching him.
  • Pay attention. Before approaching a dog, make a note of his mannerisms. How does he hold himself? How does he look at you? Does he look anxious? If he appears stressed or unsure in any way, make sure you keep your distance. Although he may be calm and friendly, you don’t want to take the risk of upsetting him.
  • Stay calm. Before approaching a dog, remember that an animal's instinct is to protect himself and his loved ones. If a dog feels threatened by aggressive petting, loud noises, or quick gestures, he may retaliate with aggressive force. If a dog is already aggressive, the worst thing you can do is aggravate the situation. Try to remain calm, don’t make eye contact, and slowly try to distance yourself or place something between you and the agitated animal to prevent lunging injuries. 

For more information on dog bites, including prevention, injuries, and liability, feel free to browse our extensive collection of blogs, FAQs, and informative articles. If you found value in this article, please share it with your friends and family, and give them the information they need to avoid a painful dog bite attack.