Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend. Well-trained dogs are terrific companions, protective and loyal to their owner, and great with children. These traits result in dogs being a perfect addition to the family and have led them to become one of the most popular pets in the U.S, with about 77.8 million dogs owned as pets nationwide.
However, even our furry friends have the potential to be aggressive and will bite humans if provoked or not well-trained. Dog bites can lead to injuries and infections, and if your dog bites a guest at your home or a stranger, you could be held liable and your homeowners insurance may have to pay for any injuries.
To decrease the likelihood of these unfortunate events, owners and others who are frequently around dogs can learn the signs of aggression in dogs and take other safety precautions to ensure that everyone around the dog is safe.
Understanding a dog’s body language:
Signs of dominant aggression:
- Stopping eating when approached
- Holding ears up and forward
- Stiff stance
- Fur on back standing up
- Showing teeth
Note: It’s very likely that a dominant aggressive dog will show no signs of aggression before biting.
Signs of fear aggression:
- Lowered head/body (submissive body language)
- Ears back
- Avoiding eye contact
- Tail between legs
- Body freezing (brief or until threat goes away)
- Lip licking
- Never leave children with a dog unsupervised
- Avoid making eye contact with a dog that is showing signs of aggression
- Do not approach, touch, or try to play with a dog who is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies
- Do not pet unfamiliar dogs without asking their owner for permission first. If the owner says yes, let their dog sniff your hand first
- Do not run from a dog showing aggressive behavior
- Take your dog to training classes when he/she is a puppy
- Socialize your puppy. Having your puppy meet and be exposed to several different animals, people, places and situations allows them to become more comfortable with everyday life. A puppy that is isolated can become uncomfortable and frightened in normal situations
- Neuter your puppy as soon as possible
- If your dog is showing signs of aggressive behavior, be on the safe side and seek professional help. Do not wait for an accident to happen.
- Always treat your dog with kindness and respect