Managing Dog Bite Risk Factors

Closeup of growling dog

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but 4.5 million Americans are injured by dog bites each year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. Understanding dog bite risk factors can help reduce chances of being a dog bite victim.

Children

Children between the ages of 0 and 14 account for 42% of all people seeking emergency room medical attention and 70% of all dog bite fatalities. Children often fail to recognize dangerous and high-risk situations involving dogs. For instance, children may be charmed by the sight of a female dog attending to her puppies, but this is a scene in which dog bites are more likely to take place. 

An Illinois dog bite lawyer typically sees more cases involving children than adults. Children have an increased risk of being bitten by dogs; dog bite risk can be reduced by teaching children not to touch dogs they’re not familiar with and establishing rules about when it’s okay to interact with dogs. 

Chained Dogs 

Dogs on chains are 2.8 times more likely to bite than dogs that aren’t on chains. It can be tempting to want to approach dogs who have been chained up all day, but this action is risky. 

Dog’s Heredity 

Certain breeds are more prone to biting than others. Caution around bite-prone breeds can reduce the risk of dog bites.

According to a Center for Disease Control report , the following breeds are the most likely to bite: Pit Bulls, Rotweillers, German Shephers, Huskies, Malamutes, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows, Saint Bernards, and Great Danes. Knowing and recognizing these breeds can help with avoiding dog bites. 

Dog’s Sex 

Male dogs are more than 6 times as likely to bite than dogs that are female, and unneutered dogs are nearly 3 times as likely to bite as neutered dogs. Learn about the dogs you see on a regular basis. Finding out whether neighbors’ dogs are male or female, and exercising increased caution around the male dogs, is a good strategy for avoiding dog bites.

Being cautious around chained dogs, certain breeds, and male dogs, and teaching children not to approach dogs they don’t know–can reduce risk of dog bites. It’s possible to reduce the likelihood of dog bites and avoid the difficulties faced by 4.5 million dog bite victims each year.