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What are the Warning Signs of an Aggressive Dog?

Sometimes, a dog attacks for no reason, and the victim never saw it coming. However, in many situations, the incident escalated to aggression because the individual did not recognize the warning signs. It is also critical to teach children not to approach a strange dog.

Dogs become aggressive for many reasons, but pain, fear, dominance establishment, and protection of people or possessions are prime triggers. Female dogs may become aggressive when protecting puppies. Keep in mind that while larger dogs can cause more physical harm, small dogs can also wreak considerable damage– especially if they bite a person on the face.

A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Salamati Law can help you receive the compensation you deserve for a dog bite injury. This compensation may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Bared Teeth

Perhaps the most obvious sign of an aggressive dog is bared teeth or snarling.


A growling dog is doing his best to communicate that it is uncomfortable and likely to react aggressively. It is a clear warning.

Low Range Barking

A less recognizable warning sign is guttural, low-range barking. However, this noise does sound threatening.

Intense Staring

A dog intensely staring at you is sending a message. Do not try to outstare the animal. That will only intensify the situation. The pupils may turn hard and dark, and the whites of the eyes may show for a second before the animal lunges.

Stiff Posture

A dog exhibiting stiff and rigid posture is preparing for a possible attack. Although the animal is stiff, it may appear ready to pounce.

Flat or Stiff Ears

Watch the ears. If the dog lays its ears flat or stiffens straight up, it signifies potential aggression.

Hair Raised on Back of Neck

The piloerector reflex causes the hair on the back of the dog’s neck to stand up when startled or fearful. This is commonly known as “raised hackles.”

Muzzle Punch

Before biting, a dog may punch the person with its muzzle.

Food Aggression

Even a good-natured dog may bite if he fears someone will steal his food. The same holds for favorite toys. This behavior is known as resource guarding. Stay away from dogs that are eating or have food or favorite objects nearby.

Dog on Dog Aggression

The warning signs dogs display are the same signals for another canine. Many dog bite victims are people trying to rescue their own pets from an aggressive animal. They get caught in the middle of the attack, and the aggressive dog may turn on them.

Protection Aggression

Some dogs are excessively protective of their person or family members. If a dog thinks their person is in danger, it may attack. Of course, many dogs misread human cues and perceive danger when it is not there.

Owner Responsibility

All dog owners should know the signs of dog aggression. Far too many people have dealt with serious bite wounds– and perhaps permanent scarring– because an owner assured them their dog would not bite. When an owner sees their dog giving off aggressive signs, they should remove the dog from the vicinity at once.

Contact Our Team of Los Angeles Dog Bite Lawyers

If you or a loved one were bitten by an aggressive dog due to the negligence of another party, you need the services of an experienced Los Angeles dog bite lawyer at Salamati Law. Complete our online form or call or text us 24/7 to schedule a free, confidential consultation. After reviewing your case, we will discuss your options.

Since all work is performed on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation.

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We are committed to negotiate your case aggressively, strategically and creatively. Personal injury lawsuits are retained on a contingency fee agreement, and plaintiffs will pay no legal fees unless the firm is able to recover damages on your behalf.

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