Dog Bite Statistics

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States seeks medical attention for a dog bite.

There are approximately 800,000 bites per year in the United States that require medical treatment. 
Most of the victims are children, and most of them are bitten on the face.

Almost $165 million is spent treating dog bites and 70% of dog bites occur on the owner's property.

Dog bites result in approximately 44,000 facial injuries each year. This represents between 0.5% and 1.5% of all hospital emergency room visits. Male patients slightly outnumber females. Unfortunately children comprise 60% of the dog bite victims. Severe injuries occur almost exclusively in children less than 10 years of age. The face is the most frequent target (77% of all injures). Mail carriers are an exception where 97% involve the lower extremities. We see an unusual number of dreadful injuries each spring. Severely injured patients stay an average of 4.2 days in the hospital. Dog bites cause an average of 18 deaths a year.

Types of injuries

Dog bites can inflict
Cuts and lacerations, abrasions, crushing wounds, punctures and fractured bones. These wounds can often result in disfiguring scars. The central target area for the face includes the lips, nose, and cheeks.

Dog bites are becoming more common because of the increase in dog ownership and interaction of people and dogs. Many owners are ignorant of proper care and training of dogs.

The vast majority of bites are by pet dogs and happen when people are engaged in social behavior in appropriate places. They generally (61%) occur close to dog's home or home of the bitten person. Typically (77%) injuries are by friendly dogs known to the bitten person. It is impossible to predict what might provoke a friendly dog to bite. They may be in pain, become panic stricken, feel threatened, or any number of factors. Children aged 5 or younger are more likely to provoke animals. Dog should never be left unattended with small children.

Hounds are less likely to injure than working or sporting breeds. Puppies are also more likely to injure than an adult dog.

There are social trends towards training and keeping dangerous animals by inexperienced owners. Aggressive guard dogs are trained for self protection. While any dog can bite, the top biting breeds include:

* Pit Bulls (originally bred to fight these are particularly deadly) and widely kept as "pets." Read More on these Deadly Dogs >>

Among the deadliest and most vicious of all dog breeds with killer instincts, originally bred to fight and kill other dogs, Pit Bulls are now widely popular as companion dogs, especially in American cities. Their popularly is strange given their homicidal history and aggressive in-bred traits, but that is seemingly part of the appeal. With its powerful jaws, thick skull and muscular legs the American Pit Bull Terrier (and related breeds) makes short work of children and adults it attacks often maiming them for life. The very name "pit bull" is used in our language to signify a singularly tenacious state of being.

This breed is variously cited as being responsible for nearly a third of all fatal dog attacks in the United States, in part due to its tenacity in a fight.
Pit bulls cause one-third of dog-bite related fatalities while only make up less than 2% of the dog population.
Because of the deaths, maulings and serious injuries inflicted by Pit Bulls, many countries worldwide ban these dogs altogether or require licenses for ownership of them. In response to many high profile maulings and fatal attacks by Pit Bulls, many US cities and towns have specifically targeted the breed with legislation restricting ownership and increasing penalties on owners for attacks made by their Pit Bulls. Pit Bulls are often responsible for attacking and killing other dog breeds as well as cats and small pets. Police officers often need to shoot and kill this breed in order to subdue it after attacks on humans or other animals in US cities. In recent years several owners of these dogs in the United States have been criminally prosecuted in homicide cases. Sadly, many of the owners of these deadly dogs do not possess insurance and the maimed victims go uncompensated. Apologists for these vicious dogs abound online, but facts are facts. These dogs have little or no business being pets in anyone's household they are simply too aggressive and dangerous.

Other aggressive breeds include:
* Rotweilers
* German Shepherds
* Huskies
* Doberman Pinschers
* Chow Chows

The increase in population of large dogs has resulted in an increased severity of bites. German shepherds were identified as the breed involved in 44% of all bite cases but accounted for only 22% of license registrations. Small purebred dogs accounted for less than 20% of bites but more than 40% of registrations. The pit bull terrier is a common cause of urban dog bite injuries in children. The major problem is that they are frequently (94%) unprovoked.

Any dog can and will bite in certain circumstances. The tendency for dogs to bite is the product of many factors. Some breeds have a genetic predisposition towards aggressiveness. There is less tendency to bite with early socialization to people, training, quality of care and supervision. Factors that may increase the tendency to bite include maltreatment, behavior of the victim, and others.

Dangerous situations

Invading dog's territory, threat to dog's family, threat to dog, jealous dog

You must be careful to avoid:

Approaching or bending over dogs especially if they are lying quietly

Approaching them immediately after entering their territory

Teasing or waking them

Playing with them till they become overexcited


1. Hold your face close to a dog

2. Allow dogs to roam unleashed

3. Approach a strange dog

4. Tease a dog

5. Startle a dog

6. Disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies

7. Leave a small child and dog alone

8. Ignore the warning signals of aggressive behavior omit vaccination of a dog

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States seeks medical attention for a dog bite. There are approximately 800,000 bites per year in the United States that require medical treatment.  If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us to get legal help.

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