Core Scientic Studies
Dog Bite Studies before 2000
The Ecology of Dog Bite Injury in St. Louis Missouri - 1975 - Beck & Lockwood. Investigated dog bites in St. Louis 1972-1973. Study of epidemiology of a dog bite injury by analysis of activity of victim and dog. "Since we do not know the numbers of each breed in the population, we cannot report breed specific rates." 41% were mixed breed and 36.7% were German Shepherds.
Dog Bites Among Letter Carriers in St. Louis - 1975 - Beck & Lockwood. Studied dog bites of letter carriers in St Louis 1972-1973. Of the 30% who named problem breeds, 43.3% named German Shepherds. Accident reports indicated 24.5 involved German Shepherds.
Traumatic Deaths From Dog Attacks in the United States - 1982 - Pinckney and Kennedy. Reviewed copies of newspaper stories on dog attacks. "(I)t is difficult to incriminate any particular breed as more dangerous than another because there are no reliable population figures...German Shepherd were involved in more deaths than any other breed, but German Shepherds have the highest registration rate"
Attacks by Packs of Dogs Involving Predation on Human Beings - 1983 - Beck & Lockwood. Study of three incidents. Factors involved as cited by the authors are the size, number, nutritional status, previous aggressive contacts with people, victim age, size, health, and behavior, and the absense of human beings in the area. "Generalizing about the size and breed of dogs that attack human beings is not possible."
Which Dogs Bite? A Case Control Study of Risk Factors - 1994 - studied Denver bite statistics for 1991 - Breeds most likely to bite were German Shepherds and Chow Chows. Factors associated with the dog bites included breed, gender, age and size.
Fatal Dog Attacks, 1989-1994 - 1996 - "Breed specific approaches to dog bites do not address the issue that many breeds are involved in the problem and that most of the factors contributing to dog bites are related to the level of responsibility exercised by dog owners." The study found that breeds most likely to bite were Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds.
Breeds of Dogs Involved in Fatal Human Attacks In The US 1979 - 1998 - 2000 - This study started the assertion that Pit Bulls bite out of their proportion to their population, despite the fact that Rottweilers were reported in recent years to be the most commonly reported breed involved in fatal attacks. The study goes on to state, "Although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates. Fatal attacks represent a small proportion of dog bite injures to humans and, therefore, should not be the primary factor driving public policy concering dangerous dogs. Many practical alternatives to breed specific ordinances exist..." Rottweilers were the most commonly reported breed, followed by pit bulls, the two breeds accounting for 60% of human deaths.
CDC Dog Bite: Fact Sheet - 2001 - Refers to the 1979-1998 study above by saying. "It does not identify specific breeds that are most likely to bite or kill, and thus is not appropriate for policy making decisions related to the topic....There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are likely to bite or kill.
A Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention - 2001 - Confirms breed statistics are innacurate and BSL is ineffective. "Following a severe attack, there is usually an outcry to do something, and the something, and the something that is done often reflects a knee jerk response. Invariably, the numbers will show that the dogs from popular large breed are a problem. This should be expected." Many governments have passed BSL. "Members of the Task Force believe such ordinances are inappropriate and ineffective."
Studies Done After 2000
Dog Bites in the Netherlands - 2009 - Condemns Breed Specific Legislation in the Netherlands. "We found that all dogs can bite and therefore one should always be careful when interacting with a dog, even a family dog and during play. If we were to use base mitigation strategies on attack records, this would not lead to the establishment of feasible actions to take. Removing the most common biters would also imply removing the most common breeds; for example, we found that the Jack Russell terrier was responsible for approximately 10% of the bites and 8/10 of the most popular breeds were the most common biters.
University of Colorado Study of Dog Bites 2003-2008 - 2010 - Studied dog bites at University of Colorado Children's Hospital 2003-2008. Found that dog bites are not related to breed. "What is clear from the data is that virtually any breed of dog can bite. The tendency of a dog to bite is related to heredity, early experience, later socialization and training, health, and victim behavior." Dogs found most likely to bite were mixed, Labs and Rottweilers.
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