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Dog bites send thousands of U.S. residents to the emergency room each year. While they claim very few lives, dog bites often cause severe pain, scarring, and emotional trauma – especially for children, who are the most common victims of dog bites.

While many dog bites can be prevented by teaching children how to treat dogs, dog owners and those who supervise children when dogs are present can also help prevent dog bites by recognizing a dog’s warning signs.

Although the signs can be subtle, they are almost always present; dogs rarely bite without first giving some indication that they are anxious or annoyed.

Signs that a dog is warning, “I’ve had enough and I may bite if things don’t change” include:

  • The dog gets up and moves away from a child or person who is touching or playing with the dog.
  • The dog turns its head away from the child.
  • The dog looks at its owner with a pleading expression, especially if the whites of the dog’s eyes are showing.
  • The dog yawns, licks his chops, scratches, bites, or licks himself while the child or another person is touching or approaching. These are “distractor” behaviors that the dog uses when it wants to do something else, like run away or bite, but it knows it should not.
  • The dog’s body is stiff and/or its tail is raised.

If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, the skilled San Jose injury attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP can help. Contact us today at (800) 900-0863 for a free and confidential telephone consultation.