How can I tell if a dog is being aggressive towards me and what should I do?

How can I tell if a dog is being aggressive towards me and what should I do?

Recognizing the signs of offensive dog behaviour is paramount to your safety around dogs.

There are a variety of signs that dogs display to indicate aggression. These include:

  1. Growling
  2. Holding their ears down flat and baring their teeth
  3. The hair on their back, particularly along the midline will often stand upright.
  4. They will often lower their body when they are about to attack.
  5. Their tail will sometimes be lowered and moving from side to side as opposed to wagging their tail rapidly with it upright in a friendly way

Do not approach a growling dog. Slowly walk backwards away from the dog while watching without making eye contact.

Do not move your hands or head suddenly.

Try to keep your hands low by your side.

Avoid approaching a group of dogs as sometimes even normally placid dogs can convert to pack hunting behaviour.


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