Dog Attack Statistics

Dog attack statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control stated that almost five million people are bitten by a dog every year. Five million people sounds like a lot, except when you compare it to the fact that there are nearly 50 million dogs accounted for in the United States. The population of those bitten, hurt or killed by dogs is relatively small. But the instance of dog attacks and fatalities still exist and is something people should be aware of.

Fatalities of Dog Attacks

As pet owners, no one likes to believe that their dog is capable of doing harm to them. Still, the Centers for Disease Control report that 30 people died from dog attacks during 2007. The number of fatalities can be broken down to roughly one person for every 150,000 or more that are bitten or attacked.

Attacks by Breed

You may ask wonder what prompts these viscous acts. Because dogs are loyal, loving animals and very dedicated to their place within a family, there is no accurate answer for this question. But what is known is that some breeds are more known to bite or attack than others.

What is surprising is that statistics have proven attacks by breeds that are commonly known as the most gentle of dogs. Not many people would suspect the chow-chow of being an aggressive dog. But numbers show that the chow-chow breed was responsible for roughly 50 attacks. Likewise, the bulldog was responsible for about 15 attacks.

Yet both of these breeds, the chow-chow and the bulldog, are described by most owners as loving family pets who are great with children and dedicated to their humans. So, the question remains: How can such loving animals turn?

Causes of Aggression

Not all dogs are known for being aggressive, and not all dogs that are known for being aggressive actually act aggressively. Yet, when a dog displays aggressive behavior, it has to come from somewhere deep inside. A place that the dog may not even know exists; yet when triggered, the behavior is unleashed.

Genetics can only predict a general idea of what the temperament will be like from a particular breeding. But, it is no way the only factor that will influence a dog's personality and tendencies. A dog learns love and compassion from its owners and the environment in which a dog is raised speaks very highly of what the dog will be like in years to come.

Aggression in dogs
usually arises when a dog feels the need to react to something, or he feels a threatening need to defend himself. Yet the hot button issue is that both reactionary and reliant behaviors can be taught. If a dog is continuously trained and used to be a fighting dog, can it really be expected not to act the same way towards his owners? Likewise, if a dog is repeatedly beaten and abused, can it be expected that the he will continue to take it and not defend himself?

When trying to understand aggressiveness in dogs, it must first be understood that the equation breaks down to 50% genetics and 50% environment. Dogs spend more time in their environment than they do thinking about their genetics.