Why do Dogs Bite?
Dogs have been considered man’s best friend for a long, long time. Not only do dogs make great pets, but they have many other uses. Some dogs are bred to herd sheep or cattle, others are bred to pull sleds in the fields, others are bred to hunt, and some are bred for human companionship. Regardless of the size of the dog or how intimate your relationship is with the dog, it is important to remember that dogs, although domesticated, are still animals. Just as you react to the feeling of excitement, fear, nervousness, or feeling threatened, they do too.
Naturally, dogs bite when they feel threatened or harmed in some way. Their teeth are their only line of defense; so it makes sense that their first instinct is to use them. Dogs may also bite when they are overly excited. For example, if you are roughhousing with your pet and he/she nips you, they are playing. Unfortunately, human skin is not made to withstand “play biting” so the result for us is a cut or bruise. In order to avoid this, you can teach the dog that they are being too aggressive or avoid roughhousing with your pup.
Dog Bite Statistics
In 2016, there were about 78 million dogs registered in the United States. According to the CDC, this led to 4.5 million dog bites, out of which came 41 fatalities. The chance of dying from a dog bite is 1 in 112,400; that’s better odds than cancer, flying on an airplane, a gunshot, and the fatal stinging of hornets, wasps, or bees. 81% of dog bites either do not cause an injury or cause a minor injury, like a scrape or a bruise.
Which Dog Bites the Most?
Whether your dog is big or small, they may have made this list. If the breed yo own is on this list, it does not mean that they are prone to hurting someone. Just like people, dogs have a personality. There are certain actions that will trigger any animal. If you avoid putting your dog in harm’s way and train the animal properly, you should never have a problem. Below are a few of the dogs that may be at higher risk of biting an individual.
- Pit Bull
- German Shepherd
- Australian Shepherd
- Lhasa Apso
Some of these dogs may surprise you. You may laugh at the Chihuahua or Lhasa Apso making the list, but it is more common that these dogs will bite you than other breeds larger breeds.
Which Dog Bites the Hardest?
The strength of the bite does not always correlate with the size of the dog. Thanks to the Canine Journal, we were able to put together a list of dogs with the hardest bite. Some of the results may shock you. The metric used to determine the hardest bite is pounds per square inch.
- Kangal: 743 PSI
- English Mastiff: 556 PSI
- Wolfdog: 406 PSI
- Rottweiler: 328 PSI
- African Wild Dog: 317 PSI
Further down the list, some of the hard biters worthy of a mention are the American Bulldog (305 PSI), the Doberman (245 PSI), the German Shepherd (238 PSI) and the American Pitbull (235 PSI).
At the end of the day, dogs are animals. If they feel threatened or scared, they are more likely to revert back to their natural instincts. It is important that you treat dogs with respect and if you are a dog owner, that you train the dog and teach them right from wrong.
One way to protect yourself in the event that your dog bites someone is to purchase Pet Liability Insurance. In the event that you are sued, your insurance comapny will pay the damages and you will not be personally liable.