Dogs prefer not to attack if they can help it. They will exhibit numerous signs that they are upset or uncomfortable in a situation before they bite. Here are six ways to spot a potential dog attack and what you can do to stop it.

1. The Dog Moves Away

One of the first signs that the dog is uncomfortable in a situation is a physical retreat. When a dog moves away from an individual, it’s important to give the dog space. Children who don’t understand this will often chase a dog who is retreating, which can lead to an attack.

2. The Dog Turns His Head

If a dog turns his head away from you, he is communicating that he is uncomfortable with a situation. For example, if you make a move to pet a dog’s head and he turns away, he is indicating that he would like to avoid an attack but is nervous and doesn’t want to be touched. This behavior doesn’t necessarily mean that the dog will bite next, but it does indicate that the dog is stressed and may get more aggressive if not left alone.

3. You See the Whites of the Dog’s Eyes

Normally, a dog doesn’t show the whites of its eyes when it is happy and relaxed. However, when a dog is upset and preparing to attack, you will likely see enlarged pupils and the whites of the eyes. If this happens, it is important to put as much space between you and the dog as possible in a calm way.

4. The Dog’s Ears are Laid Back

A dog that is upset or nervous will flatten their ears back against their head, while a dog that is happy and curious will perk their ears up when looking at you. If this behavior is combined with any other signs that a dog may bite, such as head turning or showing the whites of the eyes, it is highly likely that the dog is preparing to attack.

5. The Position of the Dog’s Tail

A dog’s tail inadvertently communicates a great deal about how the dog feels. For example, a wagging tail indicates that a dog is happy and comfortable in his surroundings. However, a tail that is tucked between the dog’s legs suggests that he is afraid. Also, a tail that is held upright and is rigid may suggest that he is getting ready to attack.

6. Growling and Barking

If a dog growls, barks or snaps, an attack is imminent if the situation is not diffused immediately. Growling, snapping dogs need to be calmly given their space or avoided at all costs.

What to Do In the Event of a Dog Bite

If you or a loved one were bitten by a dog, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Once your condition is stable, contact a Philadelphia dog bite attorney who specializes in dog attack claims. The financial and emotional consequences of a dog bite are costly, and you may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses and suffering. 

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