Small dogs can cause serious injuries, and dog bites by smaller dogs may be underreported. The media often focuses on large, aggressive breeds such as pit bulls. Understanding why dogs bite is key to preventing bites from any breed. A dog bite lawyer Las Vegas can answer questions after a bite has occurred.
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Dog Bites From Smaller Breeds
Data from small or medium-sized breeds are thought to be incomplete. Many injuries are not deemed to be serious, and these injuries are not likely to be reported. However, it is important to report all dog bites. Any wound, no matter how small, should be checked by a doctor in case of infection or disease.
A study in Canada found that collies, toy breeds, and spaniels were more aggressive to people, based on behavioral assessments. The breeds identified as most likely to bite were:
- Lhasa Apso
- Springer Spaniel
- Shih Tsu
Small dogs may not be as strong as larger dogs, but they can still inflict harm. Sensitive areas like the face and hands are most at risk. Small children and elderly individuals may not be able to push an animal away. Pack attacks can be dangerous for even healthy adults. A dog bite lawyer Las Vegas can help protect the rights of the victim.
Dog Bite Statistics
The odds that a child will be bitten, as opposed to an adult, is 3.2 to 1. Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are most likely to have severe injuries from a dog bite.
Around 75% of all dog bites are from dogs that belong to the family of the victim. Most dog bites (61%) occur in the home or a familiar place. For children under ten, 77% of the injuries were to the face, including the lips, cheeks, and nose. The parents of an injured child should consider consulting a dog bite lawyer Las Vegas after an attack.
Understanding Controlled Studies
Breed-based risks are calculated using controlled studies. Controlled studies take into account the number of animals for each breed, as some breeds are far more popular than others. Breeds may be unfairly targeted by the media or by the general population without any real supporting data.
In Rome, Italy, large dogs like mastiffs are very common, and they are unfairly branded as the most likely to bite. A study found that when the high number of mastiffs is taken into account, they are no more likely to bite than many other breeds. The breeds that were most likely to injure someone included German Shepherd Dogs, Cocker Spaniels, Collies, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, and poodles.
The Stereotype of Pit Bull Dogs
Pit bulls are often considered dangerous dogs. Must of the media attention for dog bites focuses on the aftermath of pit bull attacks. While media attention always focuses on such large animals, controlled studies have not identified this group as disproportionately dangerous.
The pit bull breed can encompass many types of dogs, and many dogs are classified as a pit when they are a different breed. Witnesses may be biased and automatically assume an attacking animal is a pit bull.
Children are most vulnerable to bites, and pit bulls are often found in high numbers in neighborhoods where children are present. The owner’s behavior is also a factor, as owners of such stigmatized breeds may be more likely to be involved with dangerous or criminal acts.
Many pit bull owners are responsible, caring owners. And most pit bulls will never attack or bite anyone. But when a few dogs go rogue and attack for whatever reason, the entire breed is blamed. A dog bite lawyer Las Vegas will know what to do after a bite.
How to Prevent Dog Bites
It is important never to leave dogs of any breed unattended with children or someone who cannot defend themselves. Any dog can be provoked into an attack. Dogs may bite when they are:
- In a stressful situation
- Scared or startled
- Protecting food, toys, or puppies
- Sick or feeling unwell
- Playing or wrestling
Children should learn how and if to approach a dog at a young age. Children should also be taught to be respectful to all animals. Cues such as barking or growling should not be ignored.
The most critical factor in preventing fatal attacks is to ensure that unattended children do not have access to any dog, no matter the breed. Dogs are much less likely to attack in the presence of the owner. An experienced dog bite lawyer Las Vegas can provide guidance after a dog has caused injury or death.
L. Maragliano, G. Ciccone, C. Fantini, C. Petrangeli, G. Saporito, M. Di Traglia, and E. Natoli. Biting dogs in Rome (Italy). International Journal Of Pest Management, Vol. 53, Iss. 4, 2007.