There are always warning signs before a bite occurs, but these can be very subtle and may be missed by many people. A dog may appear to tolerate being repeatedly annoyed by a child and one day bites, surprising everyone. Sometimes the warning have gone on for months or even years before the dog finally loses its tolerance and bites. Signs that you should take very seriously that indicate that the dog is saying "I have been very patient with this child, but I am nearing the end of my patience", include:

  • The dog gets up and moves away from the child.

  • The dog turns his head away from the child.

  • The dog looks at you with a pleading expression.

  • You can see the "whites" of the dogs eyes, in a half moon shape (see photo at right).

  • The dog yawns while the child approaches or is interacting with him.

  • The dog licks his chops while the child approaches or is interacting with him.

  • The dog suddenly starts scratching, biting or licking himself.

  • The dog does a big "wet dog shake" after the child stops touching him.