Forums » Behavior

Reporting Dog Bites

    • 245 posts
    November 29, 2017 11:03 AM EST

    We received another question related to our recent webinar on Case Studies in Behavior: Aggression:

    Dr. Christensen said that she wished that more dog bites were reported by owners or person who was bitten to remove dangerous dogs from the public. What exactly does she mean?

    So that more dog owners would take appropriate precautions if their dog has shown aggressive tendencies in trigger situations?

  • December 1, 2017 4:27 PM EST

    Hi All,

    If bite reporting were more routine and predictable, we would be better able to protect the public and dogs.  

    Not all dogs bite, but all healthy dogs can and many will when put in a triggering situation.  Most dogs do not cause significant enough injury to require medical care when they bite.  However, if a family is allowing a dog to get into situations repetitively where it's uncomfortable enough to bite, especially if those bites required medical care, then the family is doing a disservice to public health and to the dog's mental state.  In addition, sporadic reporting makes dog bite statistics extremely unreliable, leaving it hard for public health officials, veterinarians, and medical doctors to correctly ID trends that could help guide public policy.