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Dog Bite Statistics

Published on May 31st, 2012

In the U.S., dog bites are tragically common. Though many dogs never bite anyone, others do and can seriously harm both their owners and strangers. Read on to find out a few statistics about dog bites in the U.S.

How many people are bitten by dogs every year?

Every year, approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs, with 800,000 requiring hospitalization. Between 10 and 20 of these bites are fatal. The majority of bites are on the victim’s legs or arms, but facial bites also occur and can lead to permanent scarring. Children between the ages of five and nine are most likely to be bitten by dogs, with the risk tapering off as children age. However, 50% of bites happen to kids under the age of 12.

What breeds of dogs are most likely to bite?

Any breed of dog can bite if threatened, but some are more likely to do so than others. Small dogs, such as dachshunds and Chihuahuas, tend to bite more often than larger dogs. However, larger dogs tend to cause more serious injuries when they bite and are more likely to cause fatalities.

What factors can affect whether a dog will bite?

More than 90% of dog bites are from male dogs that are not neutered. Dogs that were not socialized well as puppies are also more likely to bite, as are dogs that are unsure of their place in the family “pack.” Dogs who are kept on chains may feel threatened when approached by strangers, leading them to bite. Poor socialization is more directly correlated to biting and aggressive behavior than any specific breed identification.

Though these facts may help you understand who is most likely to be bitten and which dogs are most likely to bite, there is no certain way to predict a dog bite. If you have suffered from a dog attack, call (773) 365-0040 to reach the Chicago area offices of Shea Law Group. Our experienced dog bite attorneys can help you evaluate your legal options.


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