Not every dog bite occurs because a dog was barking and obviously aggressive. Sometimes, they happen in an instant without a lot of warning. This is especially true if the dog is a known animal.
You may think you know your friend’s dog and that it will never bite, but it is better to be safe than sorry. You should become aware of signs a dog may get aggressive so you can react appropriately. This includes watching your own pet to keep it from attacking someone else.
A sequence of events
The ASPCA explains aggressive actions usually come as part of a sequence where the dog warns you ahead of any attack. This is not true for all dogs, but it is a good guideline, especially when it comes to a dog with which you are familiar.
Keep an eye on the dog
As you watch the dog, the first sign is often a stiffening of the body and a stillness. Some dogs may act this way normally, such as when they notice something out of the ordinary, which is why you need to pay attention to the complete situation. If you do not notice anything that could trigger these reactions, then take it as a sign the dog is agitated.
Next, come deep barks and growls. The dog may then begin lunging and snapping its jaw. At this point, it should be clear the dog is about to attack and you should leave the situation.
A dog may not always follow all the steps. It is possible for a dog to give only a slight indication of agitation before going straight to a bite.