Every year in the U.S. approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs. While the majority of dog bites are not life-threatening, they can be in extreme cases. Not only that, but a dog attack is a very stressful situation to navigate and to process.
There is a tendency to view certain breeds as more aggressive than others, but this is largely based on misconception. All dogs have the potential to bite under certain conditions. It may come as a surprise, but many dog attacks stem from fear and anxiety, rather than pure aggression. It can be useful to pick up on some of the more common signs that a dog might be anxious.
The posture of a dog and its movement-related behaviors
A relaxed dog will tend to take on a relaxed posture. Its legs will not be stiff and its ears will be in their natural position. Generally, a comfortable dog will also wag its tail and its mouth will be open and relaxed. Anxious dogs, on the other hand, may stiffen and their ears typically fall back. Their tail may also be lowered and remain stationery. Low posture is another tell-tale sign that a dog may be nervous as well. If a dog appears to be lowered or cowering, then it is best not to approach it. When a dog is severely stressed, it may also tremble.
Another thing you should observe is how a dog is moving. If the dog cannot seem to settle and appears to be pacing, then it might be unhappy with the current situation. If they appear to jump at any nearby noise, then it is probably best not to approach them.
Generally, dogs bite as a last resort when they feel backed into a corner. The onus is on the owner to keep their dog comfortable and under control. If you have been bitten, then you might be able to hold the relevant owner to account for any injuries you suffer. Seek legal guidance to find out more about your options.