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Injuries Caused by Dog Bites – Blame the Owner and Not the Breed

Happy Pit BullGovernments have been trying to get a handle on dangerous dogs that apparently menace neighborhoods and attack other dogs or people for years. In the United States, there are more than 60 millions dogs living with humans, more per capita than in any other country in the world. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, a division of the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, with more than 800,000 seeking medical care. Half of these are children and of those injured, more than 350,000 require emergency room treatment. On average, between 10 and 20 Americans die from dog bites.

Dangerous-dog laws and ordinances have been passed in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Cincinnati and a host of other cities. In 2006, Bracken County, KY upheld a ban on pit bull ownership in court. As happened in Jefferson County, the debate over whether or not to target certain breeds in dangerous-dog legislation often turns into an argument over pit bulls. The pit bull is not recognized as a breed per se, but rather as a type — a descriptor of several breeds of dogs with similar physical characteristics. Commonly, the breeds included are the American pit bull terrier, the Staffordshire bull terrier and the American Staffordshire terrier. Sometimes other breeds are included, such as the English bull terrier or the American bulldog, or even mastiff-type dogs like the Argentine Dogo, the Tosa, the Cane Corso and the Presa Canario.

American Humane Association Research

With Breed Specific Legislation banning bully breed ownership in certain areas, it’s easy to understand why people assume anecdotal evidence about the dogs’ aggressive tendencies is true. But the facts tell a different story. According to the American Humane Association, on tests conducted in 2009 by the American Temperament Test Society, bullies scored better than several breeds that are rarely associated with aggression, including beagles and collies.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Research

Additionally, research conducted in 2000 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that no specific breed of dog is inherently vicious. And National Canine Research Council director Karen Delise says that, in most cases, any dog that has a tendency to attack is responding at least in part to owners who have either neglected the pup or failed to give it proper socialization and training.

Of the 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year, bully breeds are less often to blame than many other breeds, including chow chows and German shepherds. Another CDC study conducted in 2000 attempted to assess which breeds had been involved in the most fatal attacks from 1979 to 1998; however, researchers found numerous challenges and flaws in trying to make accurate calculations. To date, there is no scientific proof that bullies are more commonly involved in fatal attacks than all other dogs.

No Scientific Proof That Bullies Have a Super Strong Jaw

Research conducted by a doctor at the University of Georgia shows that bully breeds don’t show any mechanical or morphological differences in jaw structure when compared to other dogs — nor do their jaws come equipped with locking capabilities.

To explore the question of jaw strength, a 2005 National Geographic study measured force of bite for several creatures as pounds of bite pressure. On average, dogs exhibited about 320 pounds of pressure, while humans came in at 120 pounds and great white sharks at 600. The study also included a simulated bite sleeve test with a German shepherd, a Rottweiler and an American pit bull terrier. The pit bull actually registered the least amount pressure among the group, despite rumors that bully breeds can clamp down with an alarming 1600 pounds of force.

Hold Irresponsible Owners Responsible for Their Dogs Behavior

In general, bullies, as well as all other types of dog breeds, are loveable, loyal and energetic, especially when given the proper socialization and training. Although all dogs can be good dogs if raised properly, often dogs and especially bullies fall into the hands of irresponsible owners and innocent victims are harmed as a result. That’s where an experienced attorney comes into play.

If you or someone you know has suffered from a dog-bite, contact a Northern Kentucky personal injury attorney today. Lawrence & Associates can help!

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