Is your dog potentially a lethal weapon?

MANY people worry that their dog may be a potentially lethal weapon, especially when a case of a child being seriously hurt or even killed is in the news.
That worry is focused onto whether or not there are such things as ‘bad breeds’ which may be more dangerous than others.
It is easy to see why people may think this as different breeds have been bred for different reasons. For example some, like German Shepherds or Doberman Pinchers have been originally reared as guard dogs.
The thought process is that as these duties may include the necessity of biting people then these breeds are more likely to attack.
It is difficult to come up with statistics on dog bites as innocuous nips and minor bites may be treated at home with no more thought about it, and no record kept.
Others that require medical attention may be recorded, but not the type of dog involved, making it difficult to identify which breeds are more likely to be involved.
Even when bites are recorded there is often no information on the breed of dog involved.
However a US National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control, does give some information based on one class of bite – those resulting in death.
Over a period of 19 years in the USA there were 238 dog bite related deaths. In a lot of those cases the animals were mixed breeds so an estimate of their makeup had to be made for the purpose of statistics.
The results show there certain breeds that are most likely to cause fatal injuries, with Pitbulls or Pitbull types, (32 per cent)and Rottweillers (18 per cent). Huskys or Malamute types were responsible for 15 per cent of deaths, with German Shepherds (11 per cent) and Wolf-dog Hybrids (6 per cent.) But while breeds do matter other factors come into play. Males were 6.2 times more likely to be involved in a fatal attack than females, while un-neutered animals were 2.6 times more likely to kill.
When it came to the victims more than half were aged 12 or younger. In 53 per cent of dog bite fatalities, there was some suggestion that the dog was provoked.

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    • Shelley

      23 June 2015 • 13:04

      Hi David

      I would really like to ask you a couple of questions regarding the registration process for “Potentially Dangerous Dogs” but I do not think it would be appropriate in the comments section of this article. Could you please email me directly to the address given above. Thanking you so much in advance. Kindest regards Shelley


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