Millions of People are Bitten By Dogs Every Year
• According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Humane Society, there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites every year in the U.S., and it’s believed this estimate is low.
• Dog Bites occur roughly every 75 seconds in the United States (CDC).
• Each day, over 1000 citizens need emergency medical care to treat dog bite injuries (CDC).
Very Concerning, Most Bites Occur with Young Children … a Key Factor in This is Poor Dog Body Language Understanding
• The Humane Society estimates 51% of dog bite victims are children.
• The American Veterinary Medical Association states that the rate of dog bites for children is highest between the ages of 5-9.
• Getting bitten by a dog is the second most frequent cause of visits to emergency rooms for children according to a survey done by Weiss HB, Friedman DI, Coben JH “Incidence of dog bite injuries treated in emergency departments,” in the JAMA 1998;279:53.
• Children are also more likely than adults to need medical attention, and are far more likely to be severely injured (CDC).
• Young children score badly in discriminating dog body language and look mainly at the face of the dog to make their decisions. Lakestani et al (2005)
Most Dog Bites Occur with a Known Dog, in a Familiar Place
• Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs (CDC).
• The vast majority of biting dogs (77%) belong to the victim’s family or a friend (CDC).
• 80% of dog bites happen at home. (Kahn et al (2004) Miller and Howell (2007).
As a former elementary school teacher and now current dog trainer, I have seen the results of dog bites to children.
I developed Stop, Look and Paws as one tool that can start the process of understanding some basic canine body language and thereby prevent dog bites.