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Whilst further details are yet to be released relating to these cases and calls are being made to change UK Dog Law, dog bite studies do provide insight into dog attacks.
What do dog bite studies tell us?
- 44.6% of dog bites are provoked.
- The majority of dog bites are caused by the family dog with no previous history of ‘aggression’.
- There is substantially greater injury and fatality rate for children compared with adults.
- Children, under 7 years of age (63%) more likely to be victims.
- Adult males are more frequently bitten than adult females.
- 60% of people bitten could identify a trigger that resulted in the bite.
- Around 66% of dogs that bite have not attended training classes. Thus, obedience training does not necessary reduce the risk of biting.
- Most dog bites occur during positive interactions initiated by the child with stationary, family dogs, indoors.
- 82% of parents feel it is appropriate for their children to kiss or hug their dog.
- Intact dogs are 2.6 times more likely to bite than neutered dogs, although testosterone is not the only driving factor in a dog bite.
What these statistics show is that by educating owners on what are appropriate and inappropriate human-dog interactions and the importance of dog and environmental management, the risk of attack can be greatly reduced.
Dog Safety Talks with Blue Cross
Hanne Grice is a Volunteer Educational Speaker for Blue Cross. If you are a teacher, Group Leader or parent and would like to organise a talk about ‘Safety around dogs’ or any other pet-related topic, please do get in touch at [email protected]