We often hear about children and people being bitten by dogs. Avoiding these kinds of situations starts with understanding body language. No matter how well a dog is socialised, he can still bite if he feels threatened. It’s important to understand body language so that people and dogs can stay safe around each other
This dog is happy to see you. His tail is wagging, he is panting and he looks relaxed
This dog is very unsure and is asking you to please go away
This dog isn’t yawning because he is tired. He’s anxious and he hopes you will move away
Dogs that lick their lips may be trying to tell you that they are unsure about the current situation and that you should rather stay away
The freeze stare is a very dangerous sign. You should back away. This dog will bite if you carry on.
For more on how to handle dogs that bite, see the May issue of AnimalTalk.