May 27, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Dog Bite Statistics (How Likely Are You to Get Bitten?)

According to the CDC, around 4.5 million people get bitten by dogs every year. Out of those people, an average of 800,000 needs medical care. People are getting bitten by dogs everywhere, no matter if the pooches are attacking or just wanting to play.

With that in mind, these statistics only approach the tip of the iceberg. When you look at a dog, you don’t know how likely it is to bite you. This article will dive deeper into those statistics so that you can protect yourself.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

Before we go into dog bite statistics, we need to think about why dogs bite in the first place. For dogs, bites are actions that occur during a stressful situation. Perhaps they are feeling threatened or scared, and to protect themselves, they react with a bite. Sometimes, they may even bite if they feel their pups or owner are in danger.

While rare, dogs may also bite people while they are playing. This happens because they are overly excited after rough-playing with a person or another animal. Most of the time, you may get bitten by a dog simply because they got scared of a snake in the park.

Are Dog Bites Dangerous?

According to the National Canine Research Council, around 81% of dog bites barely cause any injuries at all. You have more chances of dying after getting stung by a bee, which is 1 in 66,335 chances. Even death caused by heart disease or cancer is more common than a dog bite. 

According to the CDC, only 279 dog bites turned out fatal over the past 15 years. From the more “serious” cases, only 1.6% of the dog bites required hospitalization. Most of those bites were fatal because the pet was not vaccinated. You are more likely to die from an accidental firearm discharge, which is estimated at around 430 fatalities per year.

When Are You More Likely to Get Bitten

Most of the attacks occur from stray dogs. In New Jersey, for instance, there are more than 500,000 stray dogs on the street, which can attack other people when scared or threatened. 

According to many New Jersey dog bite lawyers, the attacks happen because the dogs were not neutered or were left to roam free on the streets. This is why the majority of the lawsuits are directed toward the government. 

Your job can also affect your odds of being bitten by a dog. For instance, if you work for the postal service and enter other people’s property, you might trigger the protective instinct of a dog. In 2018, around 5,714 people working at the U.S. Postal Service ended up being bitten by dogs.

Dogs also have certain body areas that they prefer to bite into. According to data collected by the CDC from U.S. emergency hospitals, most dog bites happened in the following manner: 

  • 5% on the lower or upper trunk
  • 22.8% around the neck or head
  • 25.8% around the feet or legs
  • 45.3% around the arms or hands

The size of the bitten person may also affect exactly where they are likely to get bitten. For instance, a taller teenager will most probably be bitten on the arm. Children that are 5 or younger are much shorter, which means they are more likely to be bitten around the neck. 

Dog bites are becoming less common nowadays, as people are more focused on training their pooches. More people are getting dogs as pets, and to prevent any legal ramifications, they will apply the appropriate behavioral training. 

Which Breed Is More Likely to Bite?

Some dogs bite more often than others. Below is a list of dogs that are most likely to bite you if provoked. 

  • Chihuahua 
  • Bulldog
  • Bull Terrier
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • English Bulldog
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pit Bull
  • Pekingese
  • Papillion
  • Australian Shepherd
  • German Shepherd
  • Jack Russell Terrier

Smaller dogs are more likely to bite than bigger dogs, mainly because they are more scared of the bigger objects around them. However, because of their size, their bite is less likely to cause any actual harm.

Bigger dogs are usually more dangerous. For instance, Kangal dogs have a bite that can go as high as 743 PSI. This is double the bite of a Rottweiler (considered most dangerous), which goes as high as 328 PSI.

The Bottom Line

Dog bites are not as fatal compared to other types of injuries, but you should remain mindful. It is important to consider the behavior of the dog before you decide to get close to them. Smaller dogs are no exception, especially if you are a big person that can strike fear in them.

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