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Signs of an Aggressive Dog

According to, there were 42 fatal dog attacks in 2014. While all dogs are capable of inflicting serious harm, 64 percent of fatal dog bites involved pit bulls. The Rottweiler is the second most deadly dog breed, making up 10 percent of fatal dog attacks. While extra vigilance should be given to these and other dogs bred for war, guarding, or baiting, give space and caution whenever any type of dog displays aggression.

Displaying Aggression

While an owner of a dog may assure you that the dog is friendly, watch out for any of the following signs that a dog might be making before you approach it. If you notice a dog is acting this way, take extreme caution:

  • Suddenly becoming stiff or rigid;
  • A threatening bark;
  • The dog punches with its muzzle (not biting);
  • Growling;
  • Snarling;
  • Snapping;
  • Mouthing (controlling a person with its mouth without biting);
  • Nipping;
  • Bites that tear the skin, draw blood, or make a bruise;
  • Biting and shaking; and/or
  • Lunging forwards without contact.

There are a host of reasons why a dog may be acting aggressive, according to WebMD. Listed below are the most common common types of aggression:

  • Territorial aggression;
  • Possessive aggression;
  • Protective aggression;
  • Fear driven aggression;
  • Defensive aggression;
  • Social aggression;
  • Frustrative aggression;
  • Redirected aggression;
  • Pain driven aggression;
  • Sex related aggression; and
  • Predatorial aggression.

Additional risk factors include the size and strength of the dog, age, and history of aggression. The larger the dog, the more risk there is if it decides to attack. Older dogs are more likely to remain aggressive than young dogs, and a dog with a proven history of viciousness that is openly displaying severe signs of aggression is an accident waiting to happen.

Children and the Elderly are at the Most Risk

Millions of dog bites occur each and every year. The demographic that is most affected by fatal and serious injury are the very young and old. reports that children under the age of 13 accounted for 48 percent of all fatalities in dog attacks. Of adult victims, 73 percent were over the age of 50.

Risk of Infection

A dog’s mouth is loaded with bacteria that can create serious infections in a bite. An infected wound is incredibly dangerous, as the infection can spread to other areas, including the heart and lead to loss of limb or death. Just under one in five dog bites becomes infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For larger wounds, seek medical attention immediately. If the wound was smaller and if it broke the skin, keep an eye on it and watch for any signs of infection such as increased swelling, pain, warmth, redness, or red streaks extending from the bite.

How We Can Help You

If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog in Jacksonville, the owner may be found negligent. You may be able to seek damages to pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Give us a call today to find out what your legal options are. Our personal injury lawyers at Gillette Law, P.A. have extensive knowledge about dog bite and attack claims, and are happy to answer any questions you may have. We serve both Jacksonville, Florida and Brunswick, Georgia.

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