60-70% of all dog bites in the world are from pet dogs. America has no stray dogs that you can see, yet 77 % of all their yearly 3 million dog bites come from dogs that belong to the person’s family or friends. In fact 61% happen at home. Here are some more statistics from the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta : The average age of the bitten is 15 years, with children, especially boys aged 5 to 9 years, having the highest incidence rate . 66% of the bitten will be children, mainly male. Severe injuries occur almost exclusively in children less than 10 years of age and when the child is less than 4 years old the attack almost always happens the family home (90%). There is an 8 out of 10 chance that a biting dog is male. There is an 80 % chance that a biting dog has not been spayed. Most dog bites are administered by small dogs.
What does the CDC say about these bites?
Any dog, treated harshly or trained to attack, may bite a person. Any dog can be turned into a dangerous dog. In all cases the owner is the problem -- not the breed, and not the dog. An irresponsible owner or dog handler might create a situation that places another person in danger by a dog, without the dog itself being dangerous. This situation is far more of human error than a "dog problem." Many bites are inflicted by pet dogs that have never bitten before and may never bite again... but just happened to have the wrong buttons pushed at the wrong time. A big chunk of this human error involves keepers placing their dogs in situations that trigger the pet's aggressive response..
The problem in India is similar. Any rabies prevention centre will tell you that 80% of people coming for the injections have been bitten by pet dogs
Here are the reasons why dogs bite:
DOMINANCE Lack of training, socialization and respect for humans can make a dog feel like he's in charge and could bite if challenged.
PROTECTIVE A dog can guard his toys, food, owner, property and may bite to "defend" them. All dogs possess as well a "personal space" that extends to varying distances... depending upon the "social rank" of the dog within its own "pack." Submissive or otherwise very docile dogs may only have a personal space of a few inches. Dominant or otherwise aggressive-prone dogs are far more volatile, having personal spaces that extend for many feet beyond their physical position. Anyone or any thing that penetrates this area is subject to immediate attack
FEAR A dog that is frightened may bite out of self-protection..
PAIN INDUCED A dog may bite if he's in pain from an illness or injury.
MATERNAL A mother may bite to protect her puppies.
LACK OF SOCIALIZATION Dogs that are left in a yard or house and not exposed to varied situation or people in a positive manner can lack confidence and react aggressively to a new situation.
Others They are irritated, uncomfortable or being teased. They are really excited or have a desire to chase. They are bred and/or trained to be aggressive.
Friendly dogs may bite to defend themselves when hit, teased or physically abused. This does not make them “bad dogs”. They want to be treated with respect just like we do. Why do dogs brought up at home bite ?The dog bites out of fear for his life because the child has been taunting him. Or, because someone has come too close to his food bowl and he has been allowed or encouraged to guard resources. These can be "fixed," with a little effort, because the dog isn't truly vicious--he's just been raised improperly.
Most dogs that bite do so out of pain, fear or just surprise. Dogs as well as any other animal will often bite when injured. They are hurt, afraid, traumatized and often, in shock. They have never bitten before and would never do so again. Other dogs are afraid of strangers or being cornered and will bite due to fear. Sometimes a dog will bite an unsuspecting child or adult because they have been surprised out of a deep sleep. even good dogs that are friendly can bite sometimes when they're sick or treated badly or when they just want to be left alone. Since dogs can't talk to tell us how they feel, they show us by the way they look and act. First off, animals can't talk as we do, so they convey anger/impatience/tiredness/illness/wanting to be left alone; by way of growling, snapping, not paying attention and just staying put, or getting up and leaving.
How do you avoid an aggressive encounter with a dog, and how do you respond when you find yourself in danger of being bitten. First understand what provokes a perfectly harmless dog into biting.
a) Children have the ability to behave exactly as if they WANT the dog to bite them which is why they get bitten. Teach your children how to approach dogs (and do the same yourself!).
First of all, children should be taught NOT to approach strange dogs at all. If the owner of the dog is there, have your child stand still and let the dog approach the child. NEVER approach and touch a dog that doesn't approach and touch you FIRST. If the dog approaches and is not afraid, the child can extend a fist for the dog to sniff (extended, grabby little fingers frighten dogs). The child should be instructed not to pat the dog on the top of the head as most dogs hate this. Children reach out and then pull back when the dog moves to inspect the hand. This is the fastest way to encourage a dog to nip at hands. Always get the child to scratch the dog under the chin. Don't rush up to strange dogs, gleefully presuming they will all be ecstatic to be fondled by you. Many absolutely will not be. Do not allow children to do this.
Children often use short quick motions, and accompany actions with yells or shouts. They often tentatively reach out, pet the dog, then quickly jerk their hand back. How is your dog going to interpret that action? He might interpret that hand reaching towards him as a danger sign or a threat. and may lunge or bite that hand as it approaches it's face. If the child’s face quite close to your dogs then that is where the child will be bitten. The most common spot a child is bitten by a dog, is on the child's face. Children tend to put their face very close to a dog and often their face is the same height as the dogs mouth. No animal should have to put up with strangers of any size, grabbing, groping, pulling their tails and ears, and hitting or poking them, yet this goes on and people expect that the animal will be some sort of saint in fur in return. It’s common to see kids run up and shriek and throw their arms around other people’s leashed dogs or even bark in their faces, or poke at their eyes. When treated like this many good, well-behaved dogs will at least snap at a child. Dogs who are not used to children will snap more readily than a dog who is accustomed to the higher voices, jerkier movements, and smaller size of a child. Do not underestimate the perceived threat a child can be to a dog. Many of the children who put themselves at the worst risk are the ones who have a big, loving, tolerant dog at home. In most cases, dog bites are a matter of a quick snap or single bite, meant by the dog to control the painful or frightening behavior of the child. They are not attacks, but an attack can be stimulated if the child screams, runs, or attempts to fight the dog.
b) The best approach when introducing yourself to a new dog is a sideways one. A sideways stance is less threatening to a dog. Avoid direct eye contact. Look away, or look at the floor and pretend to be disinterested in the dog. This conveys a "calming signal" to the dog. It portrays a picture of a being who is not going to try to chase him, grab him or hurt him. If you look calm, the dog will be calm. Other calming signals include approaching by walking in an arc (the way friendly dogs greet each other), sitting or squatting, licking or smacking your lips, yawning, and sniffing. Basically you are almost completely ignoring the dog. This sets him at ease. You're telling him, "You don't have to worry about defending yourself from me, because I mean you no harm."
c) What do you do if you find yourself suddenly confronted by a dog who thinks he is protecting his turf, or for some other reason wants to intimidate or bite you? The first instinct you may have is to run. That is the WORST possible behavior you could engage in. NEVER, EVER RUN from a dog. Dogs bite because they don't want you near them, or an area they may be "protecting." Be it fear, or whatever reason, the dog wants to put distance between himself and you. If a fearful dog can not distance himself by running away, he will try to distance you by putting on an aggressive display to intimidate you. How you react can mean the difference of whether you get bitten or not. Do not use intimidation like stamping your feet or waving your arms to drive him away. This only confirms his suspicion that you are going to harm him. First choice defense would be to activate the calming signals, while slowly backing off, sideways. Don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. He may want to sniff you and that's ok. Keep your hands at your sides, stand quietly, arms at sides, looking slightly away from the dog. Usually after he sniffs you, he'll walk away. Don't talk to the dog or run away. If you run, the dog's first reaction will be to chase you whether he's a friendly dog or not. Once you've stopped moving, most dogs will walk away.
d) If you're an adult, and you are faced with an all-out attack from an unfriendly dog, and nothing worked, what do you do? Stand up straight (and sideways), and in your best, most authoritative yell, blast the word "NO!!!!!" from your very bowels, just as the dog gets within striking distance. This may take the dog off guard, as most dogs have been admonished with this word before . If a dog attacks, you may be able to decrease injury by "feeding" him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything else that can serve as a barrier between you and the dog.
Other tips that may prevent or stop a dog attack:
Don't run past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things. Don't give them a reason to become excited or aggressive.
Never disturb a dog that's caring for puppies, sleeping or eating.
Never approach a dog you don't know or a dog who is alone without his owner, especially if the dog is confined behind a fence, within a car, or (sadly) on a chain.
Don't pet a dog, even your own, without letting him see and sniff you first If a dog approaches to sniff you - stay still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you're not a threat.
To avoid dog bites in the home here is some advice:
1. Properly socialize your puppy. BEFORE the age of 16 weeks, your puppy must encounter all of the things he'll see in his adult lifetime. If he doesn't, then, in all likelihood, he'll be terrified of those things later when he encounters them. You must introduce him to friendly adults, children, old people, noisy teenagers , disabled people, people with beards, hats, bald heads, abnormal gaits, canes, cars, bicycles, veterinarians, loud noises, other animals, toddlers, stairs, water, noisy kitchen instruments and other strange things. If the dog is not afraid of it, he won't try to attack it to defend himself. A well-adjusted dog is not a biting dog. Dogs must learn to use teeth properly as part of behavior development. Dogs normally learn bite inhibition by 4 and a half months of age.Bite inhibition is a learned response in which the dog consciously inhibits the full force of his biting ability. When pups bite while nursing, the mother dog will train them by standing up and walking away. When pups bite too hard during play with siblings, the bitten pup will yelp and stop playing with the rough pup or knock the rough-housing pup over with a loud bark or growl. This teaches a puppy that playtime ends if he bites too hard. People can use the same idea to teach their puppies bite inhibition. No matter how hard you try to socialize a dog to people or other dogs, there may be times when it is not sufficient. For example, someone shuts the dog's tail in a door, or your dog is attacked by another dog. In these cases, your dog will instinctively respond by biting, whether it's out of provocation or self-defense. Whether or not your dog does damage depends on the level of bite inhibition that was established, usually before he reached age four and a half months.
2. Teach your children to respect life. Show them how to properly pet, and handle a dog. Young children should not be allowed to carry puppies. They want to, because they see you doing it, but they don't know how to yet, and they lack the coordination to properly support the dog and keep him from falling. This terrifies the puppy, and if you want the puppy to grow up thinking, "When I get my adult teeth, kid , you’re MINE!" You must teach the child that handling the puppy in this way is not comfortable for the puppy, and the child must not try to hurt the puppy.
3. NEVER leave a young child alone with your puppy: No matter how good you think your child is, when you're not looking, the child wants to do all of the things you won't let him do when you're around. The child is usually "low man on the totem pole" in the household, and if he can have control over the dog, it makes him feel less powerless. This means poking pens into him, pulling his tail etc. You may not realize your child is pestering the dog until the day he comes running to you, dripping blood, saying, "Doggie BITE!" At this point somebody's in trouble, and its usually the dog. He can't defend himself and he didn't have witnesses.
4. If you have toddlers, create a safe "haven" for your dog. Create a place where the dog can escape to when the dog does not want to be bothered with the child. If the dog is not able to get away from the thing that terrifies him he will try to make the child go away by lip lifting, growling, snapping, or biting, all of which are proper social signals to avoid REAL aggression, by communicating that the dog wants to be left alone. However, children do not understand this language, so it's important to give the dog a place to go where the child absolutely cannot follow.
5. Don't tie your dog out. Tied dogs are frustrated dogs. This tends to make them hyper and testy. A child entering the area where a dog is chained could be easily knocked down or bitten. If one or more of your neighbor’s ties a dog out, don't let your children go near these dogs. They are an accident waiting to happen.
6. Some people think it's cute to tease dogs by pretending to beat up another family member in front of them, or by playing "games" like "slap-boxing" ,wrestling or tug-if –war with the dog. These mindless ways cause the dog to become aggressive, or at the very least, teach him to snap at hands. He won't always understand the difference between play and real-life situations.
7. Establish yourself as the leader and teach the dog a few commands. You can have him "go away” or "lie down" when company arrives, so that he doesn't go into a barking frenzy at the door. Stop your puppy from chewing your hands and teach him that gnawing on your body parts is "off limits." Do not allow guarding behavior to develop. Resource guarding means the dog might growl at someone walking near his food dish, or might not let you take a bone away from him politely, or might even guard YOU so that other family members can't get near. Start looking for a trainer where you will desensitize your dog to the things that are "triggering" his behavior now.
8.Get your dog used to having you touch, groom and restrain him at an early age. If your dog does not allow you to touch him in certain ways or in certain places, this problem must be addressed. He may only be warning you with a growl, now, but if you let it be, there will come a time he's liable to bite. From an early age , accustom him to having you hold and touch his paws, stroke him and hold him on his side. By teaching him that this contact is not-threatening and not harmful, he will accept it without a second thought.
9. DON'T pass on your fears to a child. Don’t gasp, cry out, or shriek when you see a dog; children learn by example, and these behaviors can startle or frighten a dog into snapping or biting. DON'T ever allow your child to tease, hurt, confine, challenge, growl at, bark at, or otherwise confuse, frighten, or threaten any dog, including your own. Many "unprovoked" attacks on children are in fact provoked by the cruel or at least ignorant and behavior of children to dogs. Do not allow children visiting your home to treat your dog this way, even if your dog will tolerate it; the next dog the child meets may not. DO teach your child to approach a dog in a calm and friendly manner. Children and dogs are naturally friends, and letting them get to know each other in a quiet, gradual way is best
When do the stray dogs bite? When the females are on heat and the male dogs stray outside their own territories and into other territories following the smell of the female. In the excitement of their frustration and the heat generated by the fear they have by stepping into unknown territory, a dog may (and even then its very rare) bite a human being that threatens it.
The second reason is when the female dog has had puppies and is scared of people killing them. Anyone who comes near , specially children , whom she knows from experience , will harm her or her puppies will first be warned by her snarling. If they get closer she will bite.
Sterilisation does two things --
a) a sterilized animal has been seen to live a longer and healthier life.
b) spaying prevents male animals from getting into fights with each other. Sterilized animals show no aggressive behavior due to frustration either to female animals or to humans. Local administration of a city and the colony associations must understand that the solution is not killing them because more will come, but in sterilisation.
Spay or neuter your dog. Dogs who have NOT been spayed or neutered are three times more likely to bite than are dogs who HAVE been spayed or neutered