Many consider dogs to be man’s best friend. While these four-legged friends often serve as great companions and even service dogs, there is no denying that they are still animals — and animals can bite. In fact, dog bites affect millions of people each and every year.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that dogs bite approximately 4.5 million people every year. This comes out to about 1 dog bite for every 73 people in the United States. Of all dog bite victims in a given year, around 800,000 victims require medical care.
Which breeds bite the most?
While experts caution that you should be mindful of certain breeds, many also believe that you should not necessarily fear those breeds. For example, the majority of the reported fatal dog attacks involve pit bulls. However, many of these reports are inaccurate because there is a general misunderstanding of breeds and types of dogs. Here are a few dog breeds that are also known to bite frequently:
- English bulldog
- Jack Russell terrier
- Cocker spaniel
While these dogs might be more likely to bite than others, the reality is that any dog can bite at any time. Even dogs that are well trained can bite under the right circumstances. Even family dogs like Labrador retrievers and German shepherds have caused serious harm.
The reasons dogs bite
No two dog bites or attacks are exactly alike. However, there are several factors that tend to show up in reported dog bites. Dogs tend to bite because they:
- Are reacting to a stressful situation
- Feel threatened or scared
- Are protecting their owners or puppies
- Are not feeling well
Un-neutered and un-spayed dogs make up the majority of those who bite people. Additionally, chained-up dogs account for around 25% of all fatal dog attacks. Responsible pet owners in North Carolina who are eager to minimize the risk of dog bites should look into spaying or neutering their dogs and should avoid chaining them up.
Preventing dog bites
While it is impossible to fully prevent dog bites, it is possible to minimize the chance of suffering one. One smart preventive measure is to never approach an unfamiliar dog. You should also avoid disturbing a dog that is sleeping or eating.
Dog bites are traumatic. Victims generally suffer both physical and emotional injuries, which can impact how they function in the future. Addressing these issues early on is important but can be expensive. This is why you may want to explore the benefits of successfully navigating a personal injury lawsuit.