You're bitten by a dog in Van Nuys, and the owners are shocked. They say they've never seen the dog do it before, that they had no idea it was coming. While this is a very common way for dog owners to react, how accurate is it?
Some experts say that, while the owners may not have known, that doesn't mean there was no way to know. Dogs often give off signals before they bite. The problem is simply that many owners don't know what they are.
For instance, when dogs are feeling stressed out, they'll often yawn a lot or lick their lips. Owners may assume that the dog is just tired or hungry, but the reality is that the stress is building up and an aggressive act could follow.
If you try to make eye contact with the dog and he or she won't meet your eyes, that's also a warning sign. It means the dog feels anxious and may even consider you a threat.
Did you know that even a dog that is wagging its tail may be about to bite? It's true, even though wagging the tail can also mean the dog is happy to see you. Don't assume that's what it indicates. If the dog is rigid and still, slowly wagging the tail high in the air, it could be a warning to you, not a display of happiness.
Whether you see the signs or not, a dog that bites can send you to the hospital, perhaps even leading to long-term scarring. You need to know what legal rights you may have to compensation.
Source: BarkPost, "6 Warning Signs A Dog Is About To Bite," Tori Homes, accessed March 10, 2017