No matter how much we domesticate them, dogs are, by nature, aggressive animals. Whether they’re protecting their territory or their family, it’s in their DNA to bark, growl, and even occasionally bite if they feel threatened. And dog bites can escalate into dangerous health and legal matters.
The good news is that most domesticated dogs don’t feel threatened beyond the occasional loud bark. And some dogs actually surprise us with the docility. Why such a vast disparity of reactions? And furthermore, what makes normally docile dogs turn aggressive and potentially violent?
Let’s take a look at the most common stressors that can set a dog off, and how you can recognize if your normally calm pooch is about to go ballistic.
Territorial. Any dog lover or owner knows that most dogs bark when someone or something crosses into their “space.”
Pain. Sometimes when a dog experiences pain, she’ll become overly protective and lash out against even those who are trying to help her.
Frustration. Sometimes a dog’s aggressive behavior is just a good old-fashioned temper tantrum. This often occurs when toys or food are withheld, or if play gets a little rough.
There are standard warning signs that help determine if a pooch is about to pounce.
Growling and barking are clear and obvious ones. But often times, when presented with an unnerving situation, a dog may become still and rigid. This can be a calm before a storm.
Many dogs punch or jab with their snouts. Consider it the equivalent of a finger-poke to the chest. Not much good follows.
A silent growl where a dog simply bears its teeth can be just as dangerous as a loud one.
For more information on what to look for or what to do if you’re involved in a dog bite situation, feel free to contact us.