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Dog bites: The complicated language of canine aggression

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2024 | Dog Bites

Dog attacks and bites can be traumatic, especially for the young and vulnerable. While many dogs are gentle companions, others may have never learned to control their aggressive tendencies.

Before interacting with an unfamiliar dog, pause and observe. Look for the obvious signs of aggression, but do not overlook subtler cues that may indicate distress or defensive behavior.

Common indicators of aggression

A dog’s body language offers clues about their comfort or distress level. Paying attention can alert you to a potential attack. Here are some behaviors to watch for:

  • Deep growling
  • Baring teeth
  • Snapping
  • Raised hackles
  • Lunging and snarling

If you notice these signs, maintain a safe distance and keep children away from the animal.

Subtler signs of dog aggression

Dogs may also exhibit other signs of hostility. Here are some less apparent cues to be aware of:

  • Whites of the eyes showing
  • Stiff posture
  • Ears and tail held high
  • Excessive lip licking or yawning

Educating children on these signs can help prevent unfortunate encounters with dogs.

Tennessee dog bite laws

Tennessee law offers a unique approach to dog bite liability, combining strict liability with a “one-bite” rule. Owners are generally responsible for injuries caused by their dogs in public or private spaces where the victim has a right to be. 

However, the one-bite rule may apply on the animal owner’s property, potentially giving the dog one free bite before its owner is held liable. Still, demonstrating that the owner knew of the dog’s aggressive tendencies may allow you to claim damages.

Dog bites can cause incredible devastation, often leading to disfigurement or lifelong complications. Seek legal guidance to find out more about personal injury compensation.