Free Initial Consultation
512-593-7650
Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP - Personal Injury Lawyer
Free Initial Consultation
512-593-7650

Understanding your dog’s body language

Because of development, urbanization and the awareness of sheltered pets in need of homes, dogs are more prevalent in our society than ever. A rise in population often is followed by a rise in statistics. In the United States, the land of 78 million dogs, and where 38% of all homes have at least one dog, 4.5 million people suffered dog bites in 2018. Insurers ended up paying out over $675 million to dog bite victims.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) the number of dog bites decreased by 9% in 2018. While that is good news, there is a dark statistic as well. The number of emergency room visits due to bites doubled from 1,794 in 2001 to 3,125 in 2018 for children ages zero to one.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) the number of dog bites decreased by 9% in 2018. While that is good news, there is a dark statistic as well. The number of emergency room visits due to bites doubled from 1,794 in 2001 to 3,125 in 2018 for children ages zero to one.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the 10 states that filed the most dog bite claims are:

  • California
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • New York
  • Minnesota

Dog bites are often due to miscommunication or the person’s inability to read the dog’s signals. A young child and many adults will assume that yawning means the dog is tired and licking means the dog is happy and playful when these actions can mean stress in certain situations. Some other common body language ticks to be aware of are:

  • Narrowed eyes often equals aggression.
  • Winking and wide-open eyes equals happy and playful.
  • Ears flat against the head equals aggression.
  • Ears forward means the dog is paying close attention.
  • Ears back but not flat against the head can mean sadness.
  • Tail down means a relaxed dog.
  • Tail up signals the dog is ready to play.
  • If displaying dominance, your dog will have their ears and tails up and legs stiff.
  • Dominance does not always mean aggression. Watch for added signals.
  • If the tail and head are bent low and ears are back your dog is anxious.
  • If the tail is bent all the way between their legs or close to their belly, their legs are bowed, and ears are back, your dog is scared.
  • If your dog’s ears are back, legs are bowed, and their tail is turned up, your dog is showing aggression.
  • Yawns can signal stress, confusion or sleepiness.
  •  Licking displays a greeting and long sustained licks are a sign of affection.

It’s important to understand our dog’s emotional signals. Even if the person interacting with the dog isn’t aware they are inflicting stress, all breeds, even the gentle breeds will only tolerate so much before they lash out.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Start Your Initial Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

email us for a response
  • American Board of Trial Advocates texas trial lawyers association
  • superlawyers

    Robert Alden: 2005, 2006, 2008-2019
    Kevin Henrichson: 2017-2019
    Rising Star: 2005-08, 2013-14
    Derek Davis: Rising Star 2004

    Super Lawyers are chosen by Thomson Reuters and published in Texas Monthly Magazine

  • Don Davis:
    Personal Injury Litigation 1993-2014
    Legal Malpractice Law 2014

    Robert Alden:
    Commercial Litigation 2006-2020
    Bet-the-Company Litigation 2010-2020
    Personal Injury Litigation 2011-2020
    Lawyer of the Year – Personal Injury 2012
    Lawyer of the Year – Bet-the-Company Litigation 2019

    Best Lawyers publishes selected Lawyers in US News & World Report

  • av lexis nexis

    Don Davis | Robert Alden

    AV Preeminent is the highest peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell

  • bar register preeminent lawyers

    Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP:
    2002-2012

    Martindale-Hubbell publishes the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers

  • Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP:
    Tier 1 Personal Injury Litigation 2010-2019
    Tier 1 Commercial Litigation 2011-2019

  • Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP:
    Tier 1 Personal Injury Litigation 2010-2019
    Tier 1 Commercial Litigation 2011-2019

firm building

Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP
707 West 34th Street
Suite 1
Austin, TX 78705

Phone: 512-593-7650
Fax: 512-451-5857
Austin Law Office Map