Dog Attacks: Recognize Canine Cues

Chasing dog attack on a street.

Most likely the dog will see you before you see it. Go prepared and take a dog deterrent.

Dog Attacks: How To Recognize Canine Cues Before the Bite


Sometimes man’s best friend acts in unpredictable ways and recognizing the animal’s cues might help us to be more prepared for future dog attacks.


Anyone who spends time outside will likely come across an unfamiliar dog at some point. It is good to understand the likelihood of an attack. This is especially true if there is no barrier between you and the animal.


The two most obvious cues that a dog may attack are barking and growling. There are other, subtle cues that are often overlooked. It is a great advantage to have time to look for the warning signs, but the dog is acting on instinct.  Its reaction only takes a split second.


Recognize the Potential for Dog Attacks:


• Squinty eyes or eyes wide open
• Yawning
• Furrowed brow
• Lick their lips
• Shrink away or tucked body posture
• Rigid body posture
• Lowered head
• Direct stare
• Ears back
• Lunging in short jumps
• Tail tucked between their legs


Most of the time the dog has already decided to charge by the time the person has even seen the dog.  If there is time to study the dog before anything happens there are several cues available to assess a dog’s comfort level. Most dogs offer these signals as a way to express their discomfort and avoid any type of confrontation. Knowing what to look for may help reduce the chance of dog attacks.


From an evolutionary standpoint, the domestic canine’s ancestors needed to fend for themselves. Many family dogs have the instinct to protect their home, their owners, and any toys, food or belongings. A family pet may still possess these instincts no matter how friendly it appears.


Prepare for dog interactions

Never approach a dog you don’t know. If you are familiar with the dog knowing how to approach may keep you safe. The most non-threatening way to meet a dog would be to come along side it and stand between the collar and rump. This only works if the dog does not appear dangerous or threatening.


If you are outside for any amount of time, there are steps you can take to prepare for interaction with a dog. Wearing removable items like loose clothing or  a layer that the dog can have may help. Taking a dog deterrent is a good idea. Carrying a cell phone at all times can also be helpful in case you need to call for help after a bad encounter.


When choosing the best dog deterrent for aggressive dogs check out Sound Defense. This audible deterrent has several advantages. The sound is designed to overwhelm and intimidate the dog without causing the animal any lasting physical pain. There is also no need to worry about accuracy or blow back, in a windy situation. You can order yours from our shop.


Recognizing the cues coming from a dangerous animal can help to reduce the likelihood of dog attacks. More often than not, the dog has already decided to charge by the time the person sees the dog.