While the majority of Americans have positive associations with dogs, the reality is that dogs are animals and can bite. Many times this is not the fault of the dog, but rather the fault of a human who could not read the body language of a dog correctly.

Most dogs are well-socialized with people and do not bite, but there is always the chance a dog will. According to Pet Pace, it can be difficult to discern if a dog will bite or not since many people interpret the signs as the dog being friendly.

What are some signs a dog will bite?

If you notice that a dog is repeatedly yawning or licking its lips, it is a sign that the dog is uncomfortable. If this is all the dog is doing, it is unlikely the dog will bite, but it does indicate discomfort and pausing interaction with the animal is wise.

A wagging tail can also indicate a bite, even though this may seem counterintuitive. If a dog is wagging its tail because it is happy, the dog will almost appear to wag its entire body. However, if a dog is standing upright with its tail up and is shaking it in that position, it may be signaling stress.

What can I do to avoid dog bite?

It is a very good idea to not engage with dogs alone. Generally, if a dog has his or her owner around, the dog will be comparatively calm. But if the owners are missing: if you happen to come across a dog in a closed room, for example, approaching it can be risky even if you have interacted with the dog before.