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Understanding dog body language

People in Connecticut who are concerned about dog aggression and dog attacks can benefit from understanding some of the basics of dog body language. While many dog bites are unavoidable or unable to be predicted, some physical cues may help provide warning about a potential attack or bite. Dog owners also should be aware of these signs in an effort to prevent their pets from causing harm to others.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals notes that dogs can exhibit aggressive behavior for a variety of reasons. They may feel threatened or need to guard their babies or themselves. They may even be territorial over the areas in which they live. Some indications that a dog is in guarding mode may be verbal. Growls or barking sounds that have deep-throated qualities to them should always be heeded, especially if dogs are baring their teeth at the same time.

From a visible perspective, a dog on alert may assume a very rigid body stance. This would be in contrast to the rapid and energetic tail wag that is generally exhibited by a happy dog. Dog Gone Safe reports that a rapidly waving tail is a positive sign, especially when combined with a wiggly back end. A dog like this would not be expected to be ready to bite a person.

Another genial indication from a dog is what can be called the play bow. In this stance, a dog will lower the front of its body and its head to the ground and keep its hind end up in the air. This is a way of telling another dog or person that the dog is ready for fun, not to attack.

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