Signs A Dog May Be About To Bite

Signs a Dog Might Bite© Flickr user theaspiringphotographer Signs a Dog Might Bite As much as we love dogs, and we really, really love them, there are some dogs that just don’t love us back sometimes. Be it from stress, fear, or whatever else, sometimes dogs want to lash out, because after all, they are animals. Thanks to Erin Askeland, seasoned dog training and behavior expert at Camp Bow Wow, we have a quick list of signs that a dog is likely to bite. Familiarize yourself with these signs so that if something comes up, you can be ready to back away.

  • Lip licking, yawning, wide eyes, and spiked fur: These are all are indicators of a stressed dog. It is important to always asses the exact situation. If a dog is lying on the couch by itself and licks its lips, most likely it is not stressed. If a dog is being hugged, tugged on, etc. and begins to emit warning signs, this is a clear indicator that he/she is now stressed.
  • Growling and snapping: Never try to get a dog to stop growling; we WANT it to growl, as it lets us know that he/she is uncomfortable. If a dog gets in trouble for growling, it will stop and can immediately go to biting.
  • A stiff wagging tail: A dog that is experiencing stress will wag its tail in a stiff manner (a telltale warning sign that it might bite). Look out for a tail that is pointed high and moves even more quickly back and forth.
  • Averting their gaze: Avoidance behavior indicates that the dog is not comfortable with the particular situation.
  • Cowering or tail tucking: This behavior indicates that a dog is fearful. It doesn’t necessarily mean the dog will bite, but it could if the dog’s fear continues to increase.
  • Backing away or hiding: Whether the dog backs itself into a corner or tries to hide (under a chair, table, bed, crate, etc.), this is a clear indication that the dog is uncomfortable and trying to escape. It is important to leave dogs that are exhibiting this behavior.

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