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To avoid dog bites, learn to read their body language

One of the best ways to avoid a dog bite is simply to learn how to read the animal's body language. This can help you anticipate a bite before it happens, and you can try to remove yourself from a dangerous situation.

For instance, if a dog is happy to see you and is not a threat, it will likely wage its tail loosely and meet your eyes when you look at it. If the dog feels threatened or aggressive, the tail wagging becomes more rigid and the dog may refuse to meet your eyes. A dog that keeps nervously looking away is one that may lash out.

You also want to watch the dog's mouth. Certainly, bared teeth and snarling are warning signs. However, you also need to watch out when a dog keeps licking its lips or yawning. The yawning, in particular, can be tricky. Dogs yawn when they are merely tired, but they also do it when they're nervous or overwhelmed.

Perhaps the biggest sign to watch for is a dog's stiff body. Dogs should look loose and relaxed when you talk to them and interact with them. If a dog stands very still and stiff, it is on edge. Something is making the dog nervous. Even if it's not you, getting too close could put you in danger.

These signs can help you avoid a dog bite. However, there is no guarantee that you will never get bitten, even if you watch out for them. After an attack, it's important to know what legal rights you have to financial compensation.

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