When you first approach a dog, the owner may tell you that this dog is playful and relaxed.
However, there are many signs that a dog is actually tense or unhappy that many people may miss. Understanding why dogs harm people and why aggression is hard to spot at times can help you if you get hurt or bit.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a dog may not jump and bark like usual if it is becoming more upset. Instead, it could stand still and stare at you without attempting to run away.
It may feel territorial over an item or person, which can lead to it becoming aggressive toward you as long as you stay there.
While some dogs may seem playful at first, if they continue to growl in a deep tone, they could signal that they are ready to bite or lunge at you. Even small dogs can leave you with serious infections or blood loss if they eventually bite you, so it is important to take precautions.
Beyond just growling, some dogs may try to show you their teeth and snarl at the same time.
Some owners may underestimate the comfort level of their dogs with other humans. When this happens, the dog could react poorly to anyone trying to pet them.
The dog may also think you are trying to take its food or other items, even if you are just trying to interact with another person. Since attacks can happen suddenly, knowing the dangers of a dog bite is important.