Dogs are known as man’s best friend. A great companion, loyal and loving. Children growing up with a dog benefit from having someone to confide in, learning empathy and responsibility for caring for their dog.
But a dog’s bite can cause a lot of damage, and many people wonder which breeds of dogs bite the most, especially if they are considering bringing a puppy or dog into their family and they have children. All dogs can bite, irrespective of breed.
The majority of dogs will give several warning signs that they are not happy before they bite. If you misread or ignore those signals that are when you are most likely to be bitten.
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The majority of dog bites that are reported happen to young children and older people. Most dog bites are by the family dog at home.
Most dogs will only bite if:
- they are frightened or in a situation where they feel stressed.
- The dog may be protecting its property, human, or puppies.
- It may be guarding its food or toys, eating, sleeping, or feeling unwell.
In most cases the dog will have previously given warning signals that they are not happy, e.g. Trying to move away, growling. But these have been ignored and the behavior or situation has continued.
A lot of dog bites also happen when the dog is running and playing being allowed to become over-stimulated, or when they are being dog aggressive towards another dog.
It is generally agreed that most dog bites can be prevented by understanding a dog’s body language and signals.
Some Dog Bite Statistics
The CDC says that approximately 4.7 million dog bites happen each year in the US, with 800,000 of these bites requiring medical attention, with the population in the US it equates to around 1 in 69 people being bitten by a dog.
- 81% of dog bites cause little to no damage and do not require medical assistance.
- Fatal Dog Attacks say that 25% of fatal dog attacks were caused by various dog breeds that were chained up.
- Dogs that were not neutered or spayed were responsible for most dog bites.
- Over 30 different breeds and dog types were reported for biting.
Dog Breeds With a Strong Bite
Rather than asking which breed is known to bite the most, it may be worthwhile asking which dog breeds have the strongest bite. As the strength of the bite relates more to how much damage the bite can do.
The following list has the PSI (pound-force per square inch) of each dogs bite by Petcomments.com
- Kangal: 743 PSI
- American Bandogge: 731 PSI
- Cane Corso: 700 PSI
- Dogue De Bordeaux: 556 PSI
- Tosa Inu: 556 PSI
- English Mastiff: 556 PSI
- Dogo Canario: 540 PSI
- Dogo Argentino: 500 PSI
- Wolfdog: 406 PSI
- Leonberger: 399 PSI
- Akita Inu: 350-400 PSI
- Rottweiler: 328 PSI
People who have these breeds of dogs should know and take proper precautions with training and socialization of their dog. Many of the dogs on this list will be well trained happy dogs with responsible owners.
How can you prevent dog bites?
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and it is certainly true here. It is much better to prevent a dog bite than to suffer or watch a loved one suffer from a dog bite.
The best way to prevent a dog bite is to educate yourself and your children about how to interact with dogs and how to recognize some basic dog body language and warning signs.
- Never approach a strange dog, no matter how cute it is! Vets report that the majority of bites that they receive are from Chihuahuas!
- Do not interrupt a dog looking after her pups, they will be extra protective at this time.
- Allow the dog to sniff you first if it is happy then pet it briefly on its shoulder, under its chin or its chest, not the top of its head! If it is still happy then pet it briefly again on its shoulder or under the chin.
- DOGS DO NOT LIKE THE TOP OF THEIR HEADS TO BE PETTED. This never ceases to amaze me. A lot of people automatically pet a dog on the top of its head. A dog may tolerate a loved one stroking or massaging their heads, but in general, dogs do not like to be petted on their heads.
- If a dog turns its head away from you or tries to move away from you, then it is trying to remove itself from a situation where it doesn’t feel comfortable. Allow it to move away from you, do not follow it.
- If a dog starts yawning and looking away, this is a sign that it is not happy, it doesn’t feel comfortable. Leave the dog alone if it starts to do this.
- Let sleeping dogs lie! In order words, if the dog is sleeping then leave it alone and let it sleep, and definitely don’t allow children or anyone else to disturb your dog when it is sleeping.
- Do not go near a dog when it is eating. Dogs can be protective of their food, allow them to eat. Once they have finished eating then see if they want to have contact with you.
- Do not allow young children to pull, prod, or climb over a dog. Dogs are not toys or inanimate objects, they are living creatures who feel fear and pain.
- Do not put your face into a dog’s face. As a human I do not like someone putting their face into my face, it’s threatening, this is the same for a dog.
- If a dog growls, then it is definitely not happy, do not approach it. If it growls and bares its teeth, removes yourself or your child from the situation. This is the point where the dog’s body language has been ignored and it’s now raised the warning to a verbal level.
- Don’t run, scream or panic if a dog chases you. Dogs love to run and chase, the screaming and panicking can increase the dog’s over-excitement. The best thing you can do is remain calm, stay still, and turn away from the dog.
I’ve written an article about How to Prevent Dog Bites.
If you are thinking of getting a dog, then make sure that it will be a good fit for you and your family.
Training and socialization are essential, as is a regular exercise for the dog.
Make sure that your dog has a safe space in your home where it can go and not be disturbed.
Most importantly of all, educate yourself and your children about how to behave around dogs and learn their basic body language.
Your dog cannot speak for itself so you need to be their voice and not let other people put your dog in a situation where they feel uncomfortable or stressed. Let’s try to prevent dog bites from happening!