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Tips that might help you avoid a dog bite

You might be one of many dog enthusiasts in Illinois. Maybe you have one or several fur babies that are more like members of your family than they are pets. Then again, perhaps, dogs aren't really your cup of tea, but you understand your friends or relatives love their own. Finally, you might relate most to people who are terribly afraid of dogs. Whichever category you're in, it's helpful to learn as much as you can about how to avoid a dog bite.

First, it's not always possible to avoid an attack. However, it's always a good idea to be alert and cautious whenever a dog is nearby. Even if it's your own dog or a one that you're highly familiar with, dogs are dogs, and you can't predict what they might do at any given moment. There are certain signs, however, that would suggest a high risk of attack. If a dog attacks you, your greatest priority is to seek medical attention right away.

Learn to recognize signs of trouble

While there's no guarantee that you can sense an imminent attack by a dog's posture or behavior, it's a fact that a dog will often show body language that shows it is distressed, injured or defensive. The following list includes body language signs that dogs may exhibit if an attack is likely:    

  • A dog trying to show aggression might attempt to make itself appear larger than it is. To do so, a dog's fur might puff out or it might stand with rigid legs and ears pointed up and forward.    
  • A dog might exhibit the behavior mentioned while it is standing still or moving forward toward a person or another animal. If the dog is also showing teeth, growling or barking, it's wise to place as much distance between yourself and the dog as possible.    
  • Contrary to making itself appear larger, a frightened dog might do just the opposite. A dog that is frightened might curl up to appear small, tuck its tail between its legs or tilt its ears back.   
  • Have you ever seen a dog yawn? While it might look cute or funny, a dog that is repeatedly yawning or licking its lips might be letting you know that it is going to bite.    
  • If a dog is turning its head away from you or appears to be trying to move away from you, it's never a good idea to force it to stay. A dog turning away is showing signs of distress, and if it feels like it can't retreat, it might attack to defend itself.  

You might think that a wagging tail is a sign of a happy dog. The problem is that this is only true some of the time because a wagging tail can also be a sign of distress shown just before an attack. Like all states, Illinois has its own dog laws. If you plan on owning a dog in this state, it's important to understand what the law expects of you. Should you suffer a dog bite from another person's dog, it's also a good idea to know what the law states about owner liability.

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