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Does a dog’s breed play a role in your risk of a bite?

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2023 | Dog Bites |

Some dogs have a more aggressive appearance due to their natural features, including their jawlines. Others look aggressive because of their behavior. Most people know that they shouldn’t judge an animal solely based on appearance, but they may still have a more positive reaction to some breeds of dogs than to others.

There are plenty of people who will tell you that any dog can be vicious, and that is certainly true. However, statistics do actually show a relationship between a dog’s breed and the degree of risk that they pose. Which breeds of dogs are theoretically more likely to bite?

Disposition, popularity and strength all matter

Some breeds of dogs are more likely to live with people who want to use them for home defense or even fighting purposes. Such dogs may be subject to mistreatment by their human owners and may become aggressive because of conditioning and abuse by humans.

Other animals may sometimes react adversely to the high-pitched noises young children make or the deep voices of men in particular. An individual animal’s temperament plays a major role in whether it will bite a human or not. However, certain breeds are more likely to bite than others according to hospital admissions reviewed by researchers.

Researchers from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center looked specifically into facial trauma. What they found likely aligns with popular perceptions of dog breeds. Pit bulls were responsible for 22.%% of the attacks, with mixed breeds causing another 21.2% of facial bite wounds. German shepherds caused another 17.8% of the incidents.

These breeds combined both the increased relative risk of biting with higher overall damage caused in an attack. Other breeds were deemed less likely to bite but very likely to cause severe injury if they do, such as Great Danes and Akitas.

Your rights after an aggressive animal attack

Most people already know that pit bulls and German Shepherds have a reputation for being more aggressive than golden retrievers or border collies. If someone owns an aggressive animal that hurts you, you may be able to file an insurance claim or sometimes even a lawsuit against the animal’s owner.

Seeking financial compensation can help cover medical expenses, property damage costs and any lost wages related to someone’s dog bite injuries. Facial wounds, in particular, might lead to surgery and a lengthy leave of absence. You may have an easier time building a case in civil court when the dog that bit you belongs to a more dangerous breed, as the owner may have been able to prevent the attack with better animal ownership habits.

Knowing your risks for a dog bite attack and your rights after one occurs will help you minimize the consequences of encountering an aggressive animal.