Which dogs are most likely to bite?
On behalf of Jordan Blad at Alpert & Fellows, L.L.P.
Approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur each year in the United States, according to the American Humane Society, and about 800,000 of those dog bites require medical treatment or hospitalization. About half of all dog attacks involve children under the age of 12.
Research has shown that some dogs are more likely than others to bite. However, contrary to popular opinion, a dog’s propensity for biting depends less on its breed than on a number of other factors, including how the dog has been raised and trained. The truth is that dogs of any breed can bite, and all dog owners have a responsibility to prevent their pets from harming others.
Dog bite risk factors
Proper socialization is an important part of reducing the risk that a pet dog will attack. Dogs are highly social animals, and they may become aggressive if they are mistreated or deprived of social contact. For instance, dogs that are left chained outdoors for long periods of time can grow frustrated and antisocial, making them more likely to bite. One in four fatal dog attacks involves a chained dog, according to the National Canine Research Foundation. The American Humane Society recommends the use of secure fences instead of chains to keep dogs restrained while outdoors.
Poorly socialized dogs are also more likely to bite because they are more easily frightened by unfamiliar people or situations. Since fearful dogs are more likely to attack, especially if they feel trapped, this means that routinely leaving a dog chained up alone in the yard can be a recipe for disaster if a child or visitor enters the yard.
A dog’s gender and medical also affect the chances that a dog will be involved in a serious attack. A vast majority (92 percent) of fatal dog attacks involve male dogs, according to the NCRF. Of those, nearly all (94 percent) involve un-neutered dogs. Dogs that have been spayed or neutered are typically less aggressive and less likely to bite.
Wisconsin dog bite liability
In Wisconsin, dog owners are typically held responsible for any injuries that their pets may cause, regardless of whether the owner acted negligently. This means that a Wisconsin dog owner can be legally required to pay financial compensation to anyone who is bitten or otherwise injured by the dog – even if the dog has never bitten anyone before, and even if the owner took steps to try to prevent the dog from hurting anyone.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Wisconsin dog attack, contact a knowledgeable dog bite lawyer in your area to learn about the possibility of seeking compensation for your injuries, medical expenses and other losses resulting from the attack.