Does Your Dog Bite?

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Does Your Dog Bite?

Each year, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs. Most are family pets, and, many times, family members are present during the attack. From 2005-2019, it was determined that family dogs inflicted 54% of all fatal attacks. Children 0-2 made up 25% of all dog fatality victims from 2005-2019. So, why do dogs bite, especially when it comes to the hand that feeds them? Typically, canines bite when they’re protecting food or a toy, when they’re scared, or even when they’re feeling sick. If you have a dog that’s prone to biting and ask, “Why does my dog bite me?” Some people tie their dogs up, and it’s been found that dogs that are tethered are 2.8 times more likely to attack. If you don’t tie your canine up, your dog may have learned bad habits as a puppy, or may have a deeper issue if the biting is aggressive.

Does Your Breed Bite?

Unfortunately, not all dog owners purchase their pets as loyal companions. It’s estimated that 78% of dogs are kept for guarding, fighting, or breeding. In fact, there are a few dog breeds that are known for biting the most, as identified in a 2019 study by the Ohio State University College of Medicine and Wexner Medical Center. Moreover, the teams researched bite force by breed and found that pit bulls and mixed breeds had the highest chances of biting. A pit bull’s bite also causes the most damage. Other dog breeds that frequently bite are German shepherds, rottweilers, and terriers. The dogs breast least likely to bite are Dalmatians, pointers, Great Danes, the Pekingese, and spitz.

Although pit bulls have a fierce bite, it’s not actually the strongest. Dog bites are determined by PSI, or pound-force per square inch. So, what dog has the strongest bite? Some of the top results are from the least common breeds.

Cane Corso – 700 PSI
Dogue de Bordeaux – 556 PSI
American Bulldog – 305 PSI
Doberman – 245 PSI
German Shepherd Dog – 238 PSI

Dog Bite Prevention:

Furthermore, there are few ways to prevent dogs from biting, some include training, while other ways involve risk mitigation. Firstly, teaching your dog not to bite as a puppy will often result in them biting less as an adult.  One way to help a puppy learn not to bite is to let out a loud yelp when they do, but this doesn’t deter them, you might want to put them in their crate for a few minutes. Once they’re calm, reward them with a treat. If a dog is teething, it’s best to give them a toy to chew on. When it comes to adult dogs that bite, it’s best to practice responsible pet ownership.

Additionally, Spay and neuter your pets. Over 70% of dog bites occur with dogs that haven’t been neutered. Socialize your pets with people and other dogs. Educate your family members on how to approach dogs. Don’t startle or run towards a dog. If a dog is displaying relaxed body language, reach out your hand and let them sniff it. Moreover, it’s imperative to pay attention to a dog’s body language. An aggressive dog often snarls, growls, has erect ears or tail, barks, and seems stiff. Sometimes dominant dogs won’t give signs or warnings before biting.

How to Treat a Dog Bite:

If the bite is minor, you can:

  1. Put pressure on the wound
  2. Wash the bite with soap and water
  3. Apply an antibiotic ointment
  4. Place a bandage over the abrasion

If the bite is serious, you should seek immediate medical attention. Nearly 1 out of 5 bites become infected.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is provided for general informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as legal advice. Every situation is different, and if you have been injured, please call (231) 722-2444 for personalized legal advice.