Do You Know the 6 Key Factors in Getting Bitten by a Dog?

August 10, 2009


There’s an interesting site run by attorney Kenneth M. Phillips whose entire practice revolves around representing people who have been bitten by dogs.The site is packed with information and I’ve only just begun to read it in depth.

He states there’s an epidemic of dog bites in America today. I’ve read other opinions on this elsewhere yet his position does not surprise me. Consult a divorce lawyer and he’ll tell you: you need a divorce; a bankruptcy attorney will counsel you to file Chapter 11, a real estate attorney will tell you to buy land (they’re not making any more of it, he’ll say).

What I did find fascinating was his list of 6 key factors involved in dog bites. They make a great deal of sense to me. Clearly more effort must be made to educate dog owners (and the general population that comes into contact with dogs) about these six facts.

1. A dog in its own yard, and no master present. In 2008, 78% of the human fatalities were by dogs in their own yard.

2. Pit bull, Rottweiler, Akita or Chow. Most fatal dog attacks are by pit bulls. In 2008, 65% of the fatalities were by pit bulls.

3. The pack mentality. Three dogs are worse than 2, 4 are worse than 3, etc. Docile dogs often become uncharacteristically violent and vicious when they are in a pack. In 2008, 39% of the fatalities involved multiple dogs.

4. Chained or tethered. Dogs that are tied up are dangerous. In 2008, 9% of the fatalities involved chained dogs.

5. Male. Male dogs are several times more dangerous than female dogs. Un-neutered male dogs are the worst.

6. Newness. A new dog in the house is dangerous for the first 60 days, and a person who is new to a household where a dog resides is in danger of attack for the first 60 days. In 2007 and 2008, 20% of fatal dog attacks involved a new person or dog sharing a household for a period of two months or less.

— Phillips, Kenneth M. from the home page of Dog Bite Law. Updated on 6/30/09, accessed on 8/10/09.


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