Pitbulls are loveable family dogs who are always negatively portrayed in the media. However, there is no denying that a Pitbull’s bite is very dangerous.
It is not the strongest bite of all dogs, but when Pitbulls bite, they do not let go easily. So, it is important to be aware of any warning that a Pitbull could attack.
While there are some signs that can warn you in advance, many Pitbulls learn to mask the telltale signs of an attack. So, it is possible that you might get bitten without any warning at all.
Following are some of the most common signs that mean that a Pitbull will attack
1. Direct eye contact
Most of the time, when a Pitbull makes direct eye contact with you, it is a sign that it is planning to attack.
When a Pitbull or any dog is about to attack, its body will become stiff and rigid. That is one huge sign that the dog is planning to attack.
3. Wagging tail
Pitbulls, and all dogs in general, wag their tails when they are happy or if they like you. However, if you observe carefully, you will notice the subtle differences. A
wagging tail can also mean high energy and it could be a sign that it wants to attack you. Usually, when a Pitbull is going to attack, it will wag its tail stiffly.
4. Legs apart
When a Pitbull keeps its legs apart, it is a stance of defense and a clear sign that the Pitbull is going to attack. When a Pitbull spreads its legs apart, it tries to look bigger.
5. Chest thrown out
Similarly, when a Pitbull throws out its chest, it is getting ready to attack by trying to look bigger. It is important to be careful when you notice this and act immediately.
6. Ears perked
When a Pitbull constantly perks up its ears or keeps raising them up, it could be a sign that it is angry and might attack.
7. Rumbling growl
A rumbling growl is almost always a sign of danger.
When you hear a Pitbull grow, know that it is planning to attack. Many times, the growl will start out low, so you need to be alert enough to hear it early on.
8. Showing front teeth
When dogs show their front teeth, it is termed as “short mouth”. When a Pitbull shows its front teeth, it is clear that it wants to attack. You need to back off instantly.
9. Narrow or glaring eyes
It truly is all in the eyes. When a Pitbull is going to attack, you will know by its eyes.
The normal puppy eyes turn narrow or glaring, which will instantly warn you that the Pitbull is angry.
However, keeping eye contact with an angry dog is not a good idea, so this might not be the best sign to check whether your dog is going to attack.
What to do during a Pitbull attack?
If you feel like the Pitbull is planning to attack:
- Approach the Pitbull slowly and steadily. Never go towards it directly or in a swift motion. It will feel threatened.
- Be very aware of your body language and all the signals you are giving to the Pitbull.
- Keep your hands low so as not to scare or anger your Pitbull.
- Speak calmly and softly.
- Do not make direct eye contact with the Pitbull at any cost.
- Do not try to elevate your body over your Pitbull. It will feel as if you are trying to overpower it and might instantly attack.
If the Pitbull moves to attack you:
- Firstly, try to protect yourself.
- Do not ever make yourself the only target in sight of the Pitbull.
- When the Pitbull opens its mouth, shove anything into its mouth (any large object like a purse or bag that you are carrying). When it bites on the object, it will open its mouth to let go of it and probably try to attack again. Once it opens its mouth again, shove the object back into its mouth again.
If the Pitbull attacks you:
- If you could not hold off the Pitbull and it bites you,
- Do not panic.
- Scream for help if it is not letting go. You will probably need help trying to get your body part out of its mouth.
- Do not try to pull out the body part it is biting out of its mouth. Pitbulls have a strong bite and they do not let go easily. Forcefully trying to remove yourself from its mouth can cause tearing and a lot more injuries.
- Do not hit the dog or try to harm it physically in any way. This will only make it angrier and it will try to cause a lot more damage.
- Try to force something else into its mouth, any object that can gag it and make it easier for you to remove yourself.
- After it lets go, go to a vet and a doctor immediately, no matter how minor you think the bite is. Medical assistance will always be necessary in case of a Pitbull attack.
What to do after a Pitbull attack?
Seek medical attention
Wash your wounds with water and soap and get medical assistance immediately.
Dog bites can cause serious infections and dangerous injuries that could require treatments.
If the dog is not vaccinated, it may also cause rabies. A doctor will provide you with the necessary treatments and also document the injuries which can be used by your lawyer in case you file a lawsuit.
Contact animal control
You can contact Animal Control and report the bite. It will provide you with official documentation of the bite and the details of the incident.
The owner will need to establish that the Pitbull has been vaccinated for rabies. If they are unable to do so, the dog will need to be quarantined for 10 days to determine whether it has rabies.
If it does, or if you cannot locate the owner of the Pitbull at all, you will have to undergo the provided rabies shots.
Document the injuries
You need to document the injuries and wounds. Take photos and videos of the bites and affected areas as soon as possible.
Collect information about where the incident took place, what exactly happened, and take photos of the area where it took place.
Gather witness information
Collect information of the witnesses who were present when the incident took place, who saw what happened.
Along with that, the important thing is to get the contact and insurance information of the dog owner immediately.
Consult an attorney
Consult an attorney and discuss the incident with them in detail.
Attorneys know about the local laws for dogs and will help you get compensation for your injuries.
Do not discuss the details with anyone else, not even the dog owner or their insurance company before consulting your lawyer. It may damage your case.
Can you file a lawsuit?
Laws regarding Pitbulls and dog bites differ all over the world. It will depend on where you live and what the laws there state.
Generally, a victim of a Pitbull bite can file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner. The claim for damages could be considered if you file all information of the incident in detail.
If you provoked the dog or trespassed someone else’s property and got bitten, it will be difficult to get compensation.
Injuries caused by a Pitbull attack:
Dog bites can cause several infections.
- Rabies: Probably the most commonly known infection, rabies can be transmitted by a dog’s saliva. It is treated with multiple shots. If rabies goes untreated, it can even result in death. That is why it is important to seek medical assistance immediately.
- Tetanus: This is a bacterial infection. It can cause painful muscle spasms and if left untreated, it can cause paralysis or even death.
- Pasteurella: This infection can cause swelling in glands and joints, which can damage movement and cause arthritis.
The bite of a Pitbull is very strong. When a Pitbull bites you, a lot of times it results in open wounds which are prone to infection.
This is why victims of dog bites often have to stay in the hospital until their wounds have healed. Not to mention, Pitbull bites also leave scars and disfigurement even after they have healed.
The Pitbull bites with extreme force and can cause damage to internal organs when it bites.
If a Pitbull bites your arms or legs, it can cause serious or even permanent damage to muscles.
Sometimes the wound might appear trivial on the outside but could have caused muscle and nerve damage inside.
A Pitbull’s bite exerts 235 pounds of pressure per square inch.
This kind of pressure, along with the Pitbull’s way of biting and shaking without letting go and holding on to the bite for a very long time can result in broken bones.
A Pitbull’s bite is dangerous because it is capable of crushing and breaking bones, more so of the legs, feet, or hands.
What causes Pitbulls to attack?
Contrary to beliefs, a Pitbull is not a ferocious and aggressive dog. Once known as nanny dogs, they love humans, especially children.
Pitbulls are also very patient, so there have to be solid reasons for a Pitbull to get angry and attack anyone in sight.
Usually, poor breeding, medical problems, lack of training or socialization, abuse, territorial defense, predator instinct, fear, or a specific situation could be some of the causes for even a well-settled Pitbull to attack someone.
So, it is important to be able to manage your Pitbull properly. Any dog will react the same way if provoked. Treat your pet with love, kindness, and respect, but also keep it in control.