While most dogs do not generally bite humans, it is still not uncommon to be bitten by a dog. There are roughly 4.7 million dog bites in the U.S. each year, so the chances you will be bit are pretty good. However, through training and proper care most bites are avoidable.
Why do dogs bite?
There are extenuating factors that can increase a dog’s propensity to bite. The factors can be related to environmental, condition, past experiences or genetic.
1. Breed – Some dog breeds are more aggressive and have a higher propensity of biting than others. A Cocker Spaniel was the breed that had the most incidents of biting a child. Chow Chows are very protective of their owner and are most likely to bite a stranger. Chihuahuas are most likely to bite their vet. While Pitbulls and Rottweiler’s lead in severe and deathly dog bites in the US.
2. Environment - Puppyhood influence aggressiveness as adults but genetics also plays a key role in this problem. Owner’s temperament highly influences the dog’s behavior. Puppies develop social skills are developed from their 3rd-14th week of life. Negative experiences during this time will affect the dog’s behavior for the rest of its years. Mature dogs do not typically become aggressive unless they are ill or have a sickness.
3. Illness – Many dogs can become aggressive in their older age when if they are suffering from pain or scared from loss of eye sight or other ailments.
4. Territorial/Protective – A large majority of dog bites happen near or on the home property of the dog. It is an innate characteristic for the dog to protect their personal property, home or owner. When are stranger comes in to their territory they can often become aggressive. Additionally dogs my bite to show dominance over another dog or person if they are trying to take away something they own or possess.
5. Fear – Dogs that are uncertain and tentative can become aggressive when put into a new situation. Dogs will also bite out of a fear defense when another dog or person is coming on to attack.
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