The Right Lawyer,
for the Right Reasons

Attorney Jordan Van Matre

Can you tell when a dog is about to attack or bite?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2023 | Dog Bites

Many people who live in Georgia love animals–especially dogs–and often take them along where ever they go. Unfortunately, you may not know whether the dogs you encounter are friendly or dangerous.

A good way to improve your or a loved one’s personal safety is to be cautious around unfamiliar animals. Another method involves identifying possible indicators of a dog attack.

Easy-to-spot signs

Sometimes, dogs make it clear right away that they are upset. They may lunge at you or show you their teeth while growling. For your safety, consider leaving the vicinity of animals displaying these indicators.

Subtle warning signs

Unless negligently trained to do so, most dogs do not want to attack people. However, fear, stress, illness and many other issues can increase animal aggression. Before they bite, dogs usually send out several subtle warnings you would be wise to heed. These include:

  • Crescent moon or whale eye. Showing the whites of the eyes can indicate nervousness or fearfulness in dogs.
  • Excessive lip-licking behaviors. Constant lip-licking may occur in dogs that feel threatened and anxious.
  • Stiff or rigid body language. Many upset dogs may lean forward and adopt a rigid body posture to warn others (human or animal).

Any of the indicators above may precede a dog attack, possibly giving you or your child a chance to escape.

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to stop some dog attacks. Since dog bite injuries can cause severe physical damage, don’t be afraid to hold the responsible parties to account for your harm. Under Georgia law, the animal owner may be legally and financially liable for your injuries.