Dog Behaviors That May Lead to Attacks

January 8, 2021

Man’s best friend. That phrase is often completely accurate, particularly for the elderly and children, or people who live alone. Commonly, a dog as a pet is someone’s only companion, not just their best friend.

This is why aggression in dogs is such an emotional hot button. No one wants to see their best friend put down for a single act of aggression. If you have a dog that was involved in an aggression-related incident or have suffered an injury from being attacked by a dog, contact an Allentown dog bite lawyer for help.

Why Do Dogs Become Aggressive?

Most experts will tell you what it is not caused by, despite common belief: breed type. The only difference between an aggressive lap dog and an aggressive pit bull is the amount of damage they cause. Dogs become aggressive for a variety of reasons:

  • Injury and Illness. If a dog that has never shown any sign of aggression suddenly begins growling, snapping, or biting, it may be caused by a disease or illness, such as arthritis, bone fractures, internal injuries, various tumors, and lacerations, and even cognitive issues, like cognitive dysfunction or brain tumors. Your first trip should be to the vet.
  • Fear. A scared dog can easily develop aggressive behavior. Most dogs only exhibit aggressive behavior if they sense that they are in danger, cannot escape, and feel the need to defend themselves, such as when they are backed into a corner. Many rescue dogs come from a past filled with abuse, and they’re afraid of the recurrence of such abuse.
  • Possessiveness. Possession aggression, or guarding resources, occurs when a dog is possessive of something like food, toys, or some other object of value to the dog. A dog that exhibits possession aggression may growl if someone approaches his food bowl or gets too close when he is chewing a favorite toy.
  • Dominance. Dogs sometimes behave aggressively as a display of dominance, usually directed toward other dogs, although it can happen with people as well. Understand that dominance is a behavior, not a personality trait.

How to Tell if a Dog May Be Ready to Attack

An aggressive attack can usually be predicted by the specific behavior that precedes it. Common signs of aggression in dogs include:

  • Stiff body posture
  • Ears pinned back
  • Growling
  • Baring Teeth
  • Snarling
  • Bites of different intensity (from light snipping to puncturing bites)

Contact an Allentown Dog Bite Lawyer for Help With Any Dog-Related Incidents

Dogs are generally friendly, affectionate, and playful. However, some conditions may cause a dog to become aggressive, which means you should back up slowly and leave the dog alone. If you have been involved in a dog-related incident, let an Allentown dog bite lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis help. They will treat you and the animal with compassion and empathy and help you with any claims you may have.

Contact us for further information and to schedule your free consultation.