Are Some Dog Breeds More Likely to Hurt You Than Others?
There are 83 to 88 million dogs living in the U.S., according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Approximately 4.5 million people are bitten every year, with children being the most vulnerable. Any dog can bite in certain situations, and the need for responsible ownership and prevention is great. Although a dog’s individual history and behavior are more significant factors than its breed, statistically, some breeds are more likely to bite and cause serious injuries than others. It is important to understand dog breeds and the potential risks.
What Factors Influence Dog Behavior?
Reported dog bite incidents are higher among some breeds than others, as found in an AVMA study. However, these numbers may be affected by the popularity of certain breeds in particular areas. An increase in the popularity of a breed in a community is usually followed by an increase in dog bite reports.
A dog’s treatment by its owner can have a major impact on its aggressiveness. For example, animals used for dog fights are more likely to be vicious. Socialization and training are important to help prevent dog attacks.
Genetics also play a role in a dog’s propensity to bite. Some breeds have a stronger instinct for hunting, guarding, or fighting. Aggression can be inadvertently bred into dogs by mating them together for a particular desired trait. Selective breeding can lead to more aggressive individual animals or a more aggressive breed.
Dog Breeds with Potential Risk Factors
Certain dog breeds are more highly represented in dog bite reporting. Smaller breeds are more likely to bite than larger breeds, although the injuries they cause are usually less severe. Surprisingly, dogs you are familiar with are more likely to bite you than strange dogs, as stated by AVMA. The following breeds are associated with potential risk factors:
- Breeds known for aggression traits: Pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds
- Breeds with size and strength considerations: Mastiffs, Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes
- Territorial and guarding breeds: Doberman Pinschers, Bullmastiffs, Chow Chows
What Are Dog Owners Responsible For?
Aggression in individual animals can be minimized through environmental influence, including training and socialization. Although some breeds may require more patience and training than others, every dog has the potential to be a great dog for the right owner, according to AVMA. Dog owners should:
- Socialize dogs as puppies, gradually introducing them to people and other animals.
- Supervise dogs carefully when they interact with other people or animals.
- Remove dogs from any situation in which they appear anxious, agitated, or behaving inappropriately.
- Securely contain and closely supervise their animals in risky situations.
California is a strict liability state as related to dog bite injury claims. Dog owners are liable for damages when a person is bitten in a public place or while lawfully on private property, including the property of the dog owner. Your San Diego dog bite lawyer can determine who is liable for your injuries and hold the responsible party accountable.
What Are the Common Factors in Dog-Related Injuries?
In most cases, dogs bite as a reaction to something. They may try to defend their territory or bite when frightened or startled. Dogs can bite when they feel threatened, when sick or injured, and when protecting something valuable, such as food, toys, or puppies. Common factors in dog-related injuries include lack of supervision, unfamiliar surroundings or people, and provocation or misinterpretation of behavior.
Have You Suffered a Dog Attack Injury?
If you or your child has been seriously injured by a dog attack, contact Eugene Bruno & Associates. Our San Diego personal injury attorneys have over 40 years of experience helping injury victims recover the compensation they deserve. We know how to handle delicate legal matters, such as being injured by a friend or family member’s dog, and can guide you through the process of securing the compensation you need to recover.
Don’t hesitate to schedule your free initial consultation—call us at 1-888-BRUNO-88 (1-888-278-6688) today to discuss your case.
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