5 Warning Signs Of A Dog Attack

Every year, almost 5 million Americans get bit by a dog. According to the CDC, more than 800,000 of them require medical attention for their injuries. There's never a reliable way to tell whether an unfamiliar dog will attack you, but there are a some warning signs of an impending dog attack. It is even harder for those who do not own a dog to predict what a dog may do. Even if you don't have a dog, it is vital that you know the behavioral signs of an impending assault so that you can evade it. If you see any of these signs, you ought to back away slowly and leave the area before you become part of these statistics.

Dogs attack for a variety of reasons; they may be scared, surprised, or disturbed. Dogs can even get too worked up playing, and end up biting their owners. Aggressive dogs that are about to attack may growl, snarl, or bark. In a lot of cases, the teeth will be bared, and the tail will be standing straight up. On the other hand, even if a dog isn't showing these outward signs, it does not mean the dog is not disturbed. Some dogs may not demonstrate any signs of being provoked until the attack itself.

If a dog is in its own yard, but no owner is there, watch for territorial tendencies. Many mail carriers and delivery drivers are well aware of the danger of overprotective dogs. Steer clear of going into the dog's yard without the owner, and warn your children to stay away from the dog. Even if no “beware of dog” sign is present, the dog could still attack.

Many dogs will react to the presence of unfamiliar dogs, cats, or other critters. In fact, this can cause hostility for several months after the pets are introduced. Statistics show that 20 percent of severe dog attacks occur after a major household change. This situation can make dogs anxious even when away from home. Avoid provoking dogs during this time. Also avoid interrupting dogs anytime they are sleeping or eating.

The more dogs you see approaching you, the more dangerous the situation may become. The more dogs in the pack, the bigger the danger of an attack. Even normally calm dogs can become aggressive in a pack, because the pack mentality is so strong. Over a third of all dog attacks involve numerous dogs. If the dogs are fighting among themselves, do not get in the center of the pack.

Dogs who have previously bitten or wounded another person or animal may be at a higher risk for subsequent attacks. In fact, these dogs may be labeled “dangerous dogs,” and you should stay away unless you know them well. Breed and gender can play a role in aggressiveness. Male dogs that have not been neutered have a propensity to be more dangerous than other dogs. Pit Bulls, Chow, Akita, and Rottweiler breeds are generally considered the most dangerous, although the temperament can vary greatly from dog to dog.

What should you do if you believe a dog is going to attack? Maintain a safe distance, even if the dog is leashed. Gradually back away, while trying to put a solitary object such as a mailbox or bench between you and the dog. Don't bother trying to run faster than a dog; you will lose. In order to steer clear of potential dog attacks, carry pepper spray, a telescopic stun gun, an ultrasonic dog whistle, or another self protection device.


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