Dog attacks each year cause serious injury and even death to many victims. An estimated 4.5 million people are bitten each year. Children and older people are the most common target of attacks. Over half of dog attacks involve children under 12, and those 70 and older make up 10 of those are fatally injured. Fatalities from dog attacks have risen over the years. Is the dogs owners to blame or can it be blamed on certain breeds of dogs? There is much argument over this.
Which dogs bite? Is it a certain breed and/or breeds that are the most dangerous? Is it the lack of training or poor training by the dogs owner? Aggressive dogs are often owned by irresponsible owners who provide inadequate training or, worse, teach the dog to be aggressive. Owners should not encourage aggressive behaviors such as playing tug-of-war. This encourages dominance aggression. Dogs not spayed or neutered tend to display more dominance behavior. Male dogs are more aggressive than female dogs.
Pit Bull-type dogs and Rottweilers are just two examples of breeds that people associate with aggressive dog behavior and has caused some individuals to conclude that certain breeds of dogs are more likely to bite than others. Remember that dogs are predators by nature and instinct is something that never completely leaves them. Usually in a domestic situation canine aggression is controlled unless they are trained to attack trespassers, are threatened, or provoked. Most dogs that have been around and/or familiar with human beings cause are less likely to attack. However, because a dog has been around people doesn't necessarily mean it will not attack anybody. If a dog feels threatened it may attack.
A person needs to be familiar with different factors and warning signs associated with dog attacks and maulings.
4 dangerous situations to avoid from being attacked or mauled.
- Avoid tied or chained dogs. They can be very dangerous if they break away from their restraints.
- Avoid going into a persons yard where one or more dogs are present and the owner is not present.
- Avoid unneutered male dogs. They are more aggressive than females.
- Avoid dogs in a pack. Often tame dogs become uncharacteristically violent and fierce when they are in a pack.
Why do dogs bite? There can be several reasons. Some determining factors are:
- Breeds: Certain breeds of dogs have been bred into being aggressive.
- Socializing with people: Poor socialization results in dogs having less self-control to bite and take on other undesirable behavior.
- Training: The quality and amount of training depends on a dogs behavior. A dog that has been trained to scare people is clearly a danger, but so is a dog that has not been properly trained or not trained at all.
- Injured dog: A dog hurt and in pain may bite if it feels threatened.
- Provoking a dog: Hitting or beating can provoke a dog to bite or attack.
If a dog attacks, give it something to bite on, like your jacket or purse.
Lamar Deane offers free information on how to select a dog breed best suited for you. Read other articles on dog control and training.