Any dog can become aggressive. You can’t predict animal behavior with 100% certainty. However, there are certain signs that suggest an animal, especially a dog, is about to be aggressive. When dog bites occur, it can result in severe, even life-threatening injuries.
If you’re a dog owner, you’re obligated to adhere to leash laws and other safety regulations to keep visitors to your home or people with whom your dog comes in contact with at a Colorado park or other public place as safe as possible.
Learn to recognize signs of aggression in dogs
Perhaps you’ve witnessed a dog being rough with another dog, and you assumed the dog was being aggressive. He or she might have merely been acting playful, which, to a human, can appear aggressive at times. Then again, you might think a dog is being calm when it is actually showing a sign of aggression, such as a dog who appears to be smiling.
Many people think it is cute when a dog draws its lips back and looks like it is forming a smile; however, this is a common sign of aggression that might precede an attack. The following list includes other dog behaviors that suggest an attack is imminent:
- Tail tucked between legs
- Ears back
- Avoidance of eye contact
- Growling or baring teeth
- Raising hackles
Dogs may show aggression out of fear or because they are trying to exhibit dominance, as well as several other issues. If you notice any of these signs of behavior, it is cause for extreme caution.
When dogs show dominance toward other dogs
Dogs are pack animals. They sometimes “play” in such a way with other dogs to establish their position in the pack. It is not uncommon for a dog to posture or to show signs of aggression toward another dog in an effort to gain dominance.
Aggression is aggression, however, and there is always a risk of attack if a dog is acting this way. If you’re a dog owner, you’ll want to keep these things in mind, especially if you take your dog to a public place, such as a local park.
What to do if you suffer a dog bite
If someone’s dog bites you, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. A severe dog bite can cause a lot of bleeding and can also result in torn tendons or nerve damage. Some dogs are strong enough to break or crush a bone. In such cases, surgery or physical therapy may be necessary to achieve a full recovery.
Dog bites can cause permanent damage, such as disfigurement or unsightly scarring. A severe bite can cause nerve damage that results in lack of mobility. There are specific statutes under Colorado law that govern dog bites and owner liability.