Publications on Dog Bites
AVMA Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions. A community approach to dog bite prevention. JAVMA 2001; 218: 1732-1749.
This 2001 report, intended for communities interested in developing a comprehensive bite prevention program, includes model legislation for the control of dangerous dogs.
CDC. Nonfatal Dog Bite--Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments--United States, 2001. MMWR 2003; 52(26): 605-610.
This report summarizes the results of CDC’s analysis of data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP). Findings indicate that in 2001, an estimated 368,245 people were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal dog bite-related injuries, and injury rates were highest among children aged 5-9 years.
Gershman KA, Sacks JJ, Wright JC. Which dogs bite% A case-control study of risk factors. Pediatrics 1994;93:913-7.
Biting and non-biting dogs in Denver are compared. Biting dogs were more likely to be male, unneutered, and chained.
Gilchrist J, Sacks JJ, White D, Kresnow MJ. Dog bites: still a problem% Injury Prevention 2008.
In this study, CDC used a random digit dial survey to determine incidence of dog bites in the U.S. Researchers found that about 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs annually, and about one in five (a total of 885,000) receive medical attention for their injuries.
Quinlan KP, Sacks JJ. Hospitalizations for Dog Bite Injuries. [letter] JAMA 1999; 281:232-233.
Data are provided on the 6,000 hospitalizations for dog bites in 1994, and medical care cost estimates are provided for medically treated dog bites.
Sacks JJ, Sinclair L, Gilchrist J, Golab GC, Lockwood R. Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998. JAVMA 2000;217:836-840.
This article lists the breeds involved in fatal attacks over 20 years. 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. Each year, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs. These bites result in approximately 16 fatalities; about 0.0002 percent of the total number of people bitten. These relatively few fatalities offer the only available information about breeds involved in dog bites. 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 more likely to bite or kill.
Many practical alternatives to breed-specific policies exist and hold promise for preventing dog bites. For prevention ideas and model policies for control of dangerous dogs, please see the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions: A community approach to dog bite prevention.*