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Dog bite statistics explained

Updated on May 7, 2012
Sage is an adoptable Pit Bull Terrier Mix in Spokane, Wash.
Sage is an adoptable Pit Bull Terrier Mix in Spokane, Wash. | Source


We have all heard of the dog statistics on some breeds being more aggressive then other breeds. Some of us have even had to see through lectures and finger pointing from family, friends and neighbors. But, have you ever wondered where their statistics come from? Or, why the statistics seem to point fingers at certain breeds? It is all based on reports of bites and attacks.

You can find statistics that cater to one breed over another, ones that are "estimated" figures and ones that just simply ask owners about their dogs and base the numbers off of the surveys. The most accurate statistics come from the Center for Disease Control and the American Veterinary Medical Association. However, even those two agencies have stated that their is no way to truly prove any breed is more prone to bites then another.

The reason the statistics are unreliable for specific breeds is because only around 800,000 bites a year are actually reported when medical attention is needed. The CDC estimates that nearly 4 million people get bitten each year.

People say that smaller dogs are more vicious but the bite numbers say different. This is simple, the larger the dog that greater the damage. Big breed dogs tend to inflict more bites that require medical attention as apposed to their smaller counter parts. When a small dog bites a normal response is a bandage for small wounds that can be treated at home. Those bites often don't get reported.


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