For a dog lover, it can be difficult to imagine staying away from an animal. However, newspapers have reported fatalities linked to dog attacks frequently enough for people to keep their distance from potentially dangerous animals. Keeping safe when you notice that a dog is acting strangely and could become threatening is often a matter of staying out of reach. But, there is a variety of situations. It can be tricky, for instance, to stay away from a dog wandering in the street. Alternatively, could there be more to their menacing behavior than the desire to attack? Indeed, sometimes, the best reaction when you spot a potentially dangerous dog is not to walk away but to find help. How do you know what to do? Here’s a little guideline to highlight typical canine reactions and the kind of protection you need.
A dangerous dog can bite you or your dog:
Sometimes, there is nothing you can do to protect yourself. You could be walking casually in your local park when, suddenly, a dog comes out of nowhere and bites you. Unprovoked attacks are, unfortunately, widespread especially when you’re dealing with inexperienced dog owners. It doesn’t make the attack any less traumatic; however, you need to make a clear difference between a bad owner and a dangerous animal.
Indeed, negligent owners are often the cause of many troubles. You can hire The Millar Law Firm to file a claim about the dog bite. Not only can you recover money through the process; but this is where the differentiation between an actual dangerous dog and a careless owner plays a significant role. Additionally, if the dog has not attacked you, but your pet, you can also consider a legal representative to claim veterinary expenses as long as you can prove that the fault lies with the other dog owner.
You can identify their nervous behavior:
In other situations, you might have enough time to observe the animal and make a decision based on its behaviors. It’s important to remember that dogs can struggle with difficult emotions, which can affect the way they engage with people without meaning that they are dangerous animals. If you happen to spot a trembling dog that is trying to hide away from sight, it typically means that the animal is anxious. Following the dog might also lead to an aggressive reaction, as the dog will perceive your behavior as an attack and act in self-defense.
Anxious pets need help to relax if you want to interact with them. However, if you don’t know the dog, it’s best to keep your distance and leave it to a professional. It can be tricky for dog lovers to stay away from anxious dogs, primarily if you are used to petting and playing with them. The most natural reaction, when you see a scared animal is to want to hug them. Unless it is your dog, it is never a good idea to start with a hug when the animal doesn’t know you. They could misinterpret your intentions.
What can you do if you notice signs of abuse?
Ultimately, aggressiveness is not a natural behavior. When a dog is aggressive, your safety depends on your ability to figure out the issue and seek protection. A dog owner whose pet treatment is cruel can be the cause of many behavioral problems. There are signs of animal cruelty that can completely change your reading on the situation. A dog that is left with no veterinary care despite showing wounds or that is beaten by the owner is likely to react either anxiously or aggressively to human interactions. Be prepared to take action and give the animal the help it needs by contacting the relevant authorities, such as the HSUS.
Safe gestures with a scared dog:
If your neighbors or a friend recently rescued a pet from a shelter, the animal could show signs of aggressiveness as a result of its past trauma. You could notice growling, snarling, showing teeth, or even staring. In reality, the dog might be scared. Typically, it’s best to leave it to a more experienced dog handler, however, in a situation where you’re the only person with previous dog experience, you need to know how to approach a nervous dog safely.
Train your dog to be friendly first:
You’d be surprised to know that a lot of anxious dogs find no other way out than to bite when they feel cornered. That’s why it’s especially important that you understand how to read their behavior and how to approach them safely. Additionally, you should also train your dog not to display aggressive signs towards other animals. A nervous dog might feel forced to act in self-defense if your pet growls as they walk past.
Is the dog injured?
There is another reason why an animal might be aggressive, and it is when they are in pain. For instance, if you accidentally touch a dog on a wound, it might bite you. However, it is not a sign of aggressive behavior but only their way of protecting themselves. Therefore, if you intend to approach a lonely dog, you need to keep your eyes open for health clues. An open wound is, of course, easy to spot. But you need to focus on other clues, such as a limp or slight swelling, for example.
While dangerous dogs are everybody’s nightmare, it is crucial to understand that aggressiveness can be a response to many events. From negligent owners to anxiety, not all dogs that bite are a vicious animal. Some of them, you could even help and prevent unnecessary attacks.
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