Warning Signs a Dog May Bite

Each year, a significant number of Americans experience injuries from dog bites. To help prevent injuries from occurring in the first place, it’s important to be aware of dog bite warning signs or specific signs of aggression. If you or someone you know has experienced a dog bite injury, you may be struggling to pay for medical bills and cope with emotional distress and trauma. 

Our experienced dog bite attorneys in Denver are available to offer a free consultation without any obligation. During this consultation, bite victims will gain an understanding of their rights and the potential financial compensation they could receive for the bite incident.

Don't hesitate to call our Denver dog bite attorneys today at (720) 770-5454 to get an evaluation of your case. We can help you file a bite injury claim today!

How to Tell When a Dog May Bite

Dog bites can happen in any situation where a dog perceives a threat or feels stressed. It is important to be aware of common dog bite signs that indicate a potential for biting, as even familiar and trusted pets can exhibit this behavior in certain situations. 

Warning Signs That a Dog May Bite

Dogs display several signs of possible aggression, and knowing them can help you avoid a potential bite. When examining an animal’s body language, it is important to pay close attention to its mouth. If the dog is licking its lips, raising its lip, or bearing its teeth, then these could be indicators that the animal is agitated and may eventually bite.

Growling, snapping the teeth, and lunging at a person are all signs that a dog may bite as well. Dogs growl to show their displeasure or to warn away someone who is getting too close. If the growling escalates into snarling, showing their teeth, or lunging at a person, this can be an early indication that the dog may attack. 

a jack russell terrier baring its teeth

The importance of being watchful around dogs cannot be underestimated as many bites occur because owners do not understand how to identify bite warning signs in their dogs.

It is vital that those working with dogs learn how to interpret the animals’ body language so they can recognize stress signals that suggest an animal is not comfortable in its environment, thereby preventing unwanted incidents from occurring. With the right tools, we can take preventive measures against any aggressive or anxious behavior exhibited by any pet and provide them with adequate support when needed.

Common Reasons Why Dog May Bite

There are multiple factors that can contribute to dog biting. Some reasons include territorial aggression, fear or anxiety, predatory behavior, mating, and poor training.

Territorial Aggression

Territorial aggression is an instinctive and natural response that dogs use to protect their home and space. This behavior can be observed in most breeds, but some dogs are more territorial than others due to genetic predispositions or environment-based factors.

Without proper socialization and clear leadership, dogs may demonstrate a heightened sense of territorial aggression as almost everything seems like an outside threat that needs to be warded off.

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When exposed to stressful triggers such as people or animals entering the dog’s space, provoked by loud noises or objects, or brought on by the presence of strangers in their house, even normally docile pets may respond with increased territoriality.

Symptoms of this type of aggression include growling, barking, lunging, snapping, and biting. Therefore, it is extremely important for pet owners to take an active role in training their animals from a young age in order to ensure they have a balanced temperament when they are grown up.

Fear or Anxiety

Fear aggression in dogs can be a serious problem that needs to be addressed in order for the dog and its owner to live harmoniously. It often stems from an underlying issue such as a lack of socialization or harsh treatment during a time when the animal was impressionable. When the dog feels fear or anxiety, the dog will likely lunge, bark aggressively, snap, growl, or bite.

Predatory Behavior

Predatory aggression is a type of aggressive behavior seen in many animal species. In regards to domesticated dogs, it is usually associated with chasing small animals or other pets like cats. This instinctive behavior helps feral dogs survive as they hunt and forage for food in the wild.

With domesticated dogs, however, predatory aggression may occur if they become overly stimulated when exposed to a stimulus such as the flight response of another animal. In this instance, the dog may perceive the other animal as a potential prey item and thus seek to catch it.

Learn More: How Do You Prove Liability After a Dog Bite?

Smaller breeds of domestic dogs can be viewed as prey by some larger breeds, however, this is not common among healthy permanent family pets. This type of behavior can arise if a smaller pet is provoked or distressed by the presence of a larger pet due to fear-based responses such as territorial displays or simply due to size differences and asymmetric power dynamics.

However, predatory aggression directed at young children is extremely rare since domesticated dogs are usually socialized early on in life to be comfortable with and gentle towards them. In general, providing proper training, socialization opportunities and appropriate outlets for their energy helps prevent unwanted predatory behaviors from occurring with dogs of any size.


When male dogs are mating (or attempting to mate) with a female that is in heat, understanding how the process works can help owners ensure the safety of both animals and human owners. It's important to be aware of the signs that indicate when a female dog is in season, as male dogs will begin to exhibit behavior changes during this time.

During mating, male dogs will become increasingly aroused as they approach the female. While some discomfort or wariness may be present early on, it should never increase to visible distress or arousal aggression from either animal or human involvement in the process.

a barking german shepard

Owners must remain calm and distanced while still being alert when interacting with their pets during this time. If any aggressive animal behavior begins to manifest itself, then it's best to remove both animals from the situation quickly and carefully, reducing stress on them and allowing their natural instincts to take over without interference from us.

Poor Training

If a dog is trained poorly, it could be more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors and bite humans. It is essential to use appropriate training methods when training a dog. Using inappropriate methods will only lead to adverse effects that may be difficult to undo, and could cause your pet significant stress. For instance, physical intimidation or punishment are both highly unsuitable ways of communicating with a canine.

Activities such as tackling a dog or otherwise forcing them into a certain situation can make a dog feel uncomfortable and defensive, leading them to take drastic action in order to protect themselves. The use of these tactics can damage the relationship between you and your pet, leaving them feeling fearful and distrustful of you and those around you.

Speak to Our Skilled Denver Dog Bite Lawyers Today!

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, you know how devastating it can be. Not only can physical injuries linger for months or years, but the emotional trauma and financial toll of such an incident can be hard to deal with. Our bite attorneys at DCAL are committed to helping make sure that those who have suffered a dog bite attack get the compensation they deserve for their losses.

Our experienced Denver personal injury lawyers understand the importance of fighting for your rights in such cases. We will use our knowledge and understanding of dog bite laws to build the strongest possible case on your behalf – whether through settling out of court or taking your case all the way to trial, we will work with you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and start seeking justice for what happened to you or a loved one.

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