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Dog Bite Statistics How Likely Are You To Get Bit?

Dog Bite Statistics How Likely Are You To Get Bit?

Note: This article is based on third-party statistics. It does not necessarily represent the opinions of this website. Dog Bite Statistics How Likely Are You To Get Bit?

According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year, and 900,000 of those bites become infected. The U.S. population is approximately 325.8 million people as of 2017. That means a dog bites 1 out of every 72 people.

These are scary statistics. But scary becomes a lot less so when you’re armed with the right information. From the top breeds to be wary of, to accounting for your own behaviour around animals, to why dogs actually bite in the first place, we’re giving you an arsenal of information in this article so you can bite back in the dog bite debate.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

Before we start profiling dogs or analyzing your behavior around them, let’s talk about the question everyone should first be asking: why does a dog bite?

Dogs bite as a reaction to a stressful situation.
They may be scared or threatened.
To protect themselves, their puppies, or their owners.
They’re not feeling well or if they’re startled.
They may nip or bite during play (which is why rough play should be avoided to ensure you don’t overly excite your animal).
Keep these triggers in mind anytime you’re around a canine. Your awareness of their mental state will help you recognize a potential bite situation more quickly.

Dog Bite Statistics

Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year
Dogs that bite the most:
Pit Bull
German Shepherd
Australian Shepherd
Lhasa Apso
Jack Russell Terrier
Cocker Spaniel
Bull Terrier

Dog Bite Statistics How Likely Are You To Get Bit?

In 2016, there were an estimated 78 million dogs in the U.S.
81% of dog bites cause no injury at all or only minor injuries that do not require medial attention
Dog bites sustained by children have been decreasing in the past decade
30+ breeds of dogs and mixes are incorrectly identified as “pit bulls”* in dog bite incidents, attributing the pit bull with an unfair and overstated number of incidents (*pit bull is not technically a dog breed; breeds that are commonly referred to as pit bulls in the U.S. are American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bully)

Did you know?

You have a 1 in 112,400 chance of dying from a dog bite or strike
You are at more risk of dying from:
Cataclysmic storm: 1 in 66,335
Contact with hornets, wasps and bees: 1 in 63,225
Air and space transport incidents: 1 in 9,821
Firearm discharge: 1 in 6,905
Choking from inhalation and ingestion of food: 1 in 3,461
Heart disease and cancer: 1 in 7
Most dog bites involve dogs who are not spayed or neutered
Fatal Dog Attacks states that 25% of fatal attacks were inflicted by chained dogs of many different breeds
The insurance industry paid more than $530 million in dog bite related claims in 2014

Decreasing Your Chances of a Dog Bite Attack

While we’re not absolving the canine completely of its own responsibility in a dog-bite situation, there are always two sides to a story — even a bad one. When it comes to your side, there are more than two things that you can do to decrease your chances of an attack.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog

There are a few key things to consider before bringing a new dog into your home, especially if you already have other animals or children. Below are a few factors that, if considered, can help decrease your chances of an unwarranted attack before an animal ever walks through your front door.

Dogs with a history of aggression are not appropriate for a home with children. Period.
Before choosing a dog, research and consult with a professional (a trusted vet or dog trainer would be an excellent resource) to find the best breed for your needs.
Proper socialization and training for your pup is key.
Spend time with your prospective pet before adopting to ascertain aggressive tendencies.
Spay or neuter your animal to reduce aggressive tendencies before bringing them home.

How to Prevent a Dog Bite

Dog Bite Statistics How Likely Are You To Get Bit? Just like people, there are always good pets that snap. Even though the dog never displayed any aggressive attitudes, even though you didn’t provoke him to attack, there are still those unaccountable instances that no one can explain or rationalize. However, more often than not, this isn’t the case.

That’s why, when dealing with any dog, you should maintain confident, but cautious body-language. Below are a few things you can do to make sure your attitude doesn’t trigger an attack.

Don’t approach an unfamiliar animal.

Do not run from a dog, panic or make loud noises.
If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, remain motionless. Do not run or scream. Avoid direct eye contact.
Don’t disturb a dog while they’re eating, sleeping, or taking care of their puppies.
Allow a dog to sniff and smell you before you attempt to pet it. Afterward scratch the animal under the chin, not on the head.
Report strays or dogs displaying strange behavior to your local animal control.
If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and remain motionless. Be sure to cover your ears and neck with your hands and arms. Avoid eye contact and remain calm.
Don’t encourage your dog to play aggressively.

Be Mindful of “Breeds”, But Not Fearful

While there’s no denying that one should be more vigilant around a large dog than say, a Beagle, there’s also no denying that an animal is part product of its environment.

Remember that any dog can bite, no matter how well-trained it may be. Many popular family dogs have caused fatalities including Labradors and German Shepherds. So it is always a good idea to be a responsible dog owner and make sure pets are supervised at all times with others.

Finally, if you have a dog that’s prone to biting, consider training courses to help change their behaviour.

Have you had an issue with dog bites before?


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