Dog Bite Statistics by Breed

Veterinarians understand dog bite statistics by breed as they play a key role in educating pet owners and it is important that they present to the dog bite statistics by breed to potential pet owners so that they can make good informed decisions about what breed they want to buy. Public education strategies regarding dog bite statistics by breed can also help to address the problem. Dog owners should also be encouraged to enroll in programs to ensure that their dogs receive proper socialization, exercise, and attention; that they are given adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care; that they are neutered if they are not maintained for legitimate and responsible breeding purposes; and that they are trained humanely and confined safely. However, like breed-specific legislation, all these approaches appear formally unevaluated for effectiveness. Targeting and evaluation of prevention efforts requires improved surveillance for fatal and nonfatal dog bites. Dog bites should be reported as required by local or state ordinances, and reports of such incidents should include information about the circumstances of the bite, ownership, breed, sex, reproductive status of the dog, history of prior aggression, and the nature of restraint prior to the bite incident. Collection of data on the entire dog population (eg, breed, age, sex) would help resolve comparative risk issues and may be accomplished by combining paperwork on mandatory rabies immunizations with registration of breed and sex. Dog bite statistics by breed are a useful tool in any dog bite reduction program and in the interim, adequate funding for animal control agencies, enforcement of existing animal control laws, and educational and policy strategies to reduce inappropriate dog and owner behaviors will likely result in benefits to communities and may well decrease the number of dog bites that occur.

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