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Morton Law Offices, Chartered

What are the signs that a dog is about to attack?


According to the American Humane Association, about five million bites occur annually in the United States. Will you be one of the victims this year?

Typically, most people are bitten by dogs we already know. They might be dogs in the homes of friends we are visiting or dogs being walked by neighbors through our neighborhoods. Although these dogs may not be aggressive normally, if they feel protective of their homes or owners, they may attack. Often, if we are aware of the signs of aggression, we can alter our behavior and avoid a bite.

Doggone Dangerous: Signs You Are About to Be Attacked

A dog might be preparing to attack if he exhibits the following behaviors:

  • Appearance changes. Dogs are often fearful or aggressive—and ready to attack— when their ears lay flat or suddenly perk up. Some dogs will salivate, while others will cower. Although a wagging tail is generally known as a sign of happiness, it could be a clue that the dog is over-stimulated or upset. Additionally, a dog who lays on his back with his stomach exposed doesn’t necessarily want to receive a pet—he may be telling you to move on. Yawning, staring, and moving away are signs of uneasiness, as is a curved tongue and exposed top teeth.
  • Sounds. Your ears can tell you a lot about the mood of a dog. Obviously, if a dog begins to growl, he is angered and could strike, but a dog that is suddenly silent may also consider a bite. Additionally, barking and whining are often signs that the dog is upset.
  • Raising a paw. Some canines will lift up one of their paws in anticipation that something negative is about to happen.

If a dog does attack someone around you, pulling him off can actually result in more harm to the victim, as it causes the dog to clamp down or drag his teeth across the person’s skin. Instead, take a towel or other piece of cloth and put it over the dog’s head. Not being able to see will cause the dog to panic and open his mouth.

The Morton Law Offices Want to Help

Dog bites often leave serious physical and emotional scars. The Morton Law Offices want to help you fight for your rights. Contact us today by calling 208.344.5555 or toll free at 888.716.8021 to learn how we have helped other dog bite victims in the Boise area receive the justice they deserved, and how we may be able to do the same for you.

Alan Morton
Advocate for Justice/Trial Lawyer