Just days after the first anniversary of the dog attack, I'm furious to report yet another situation last weekend with 4 dogs running wild in our community and behaving aggressively through the fence toward my 3 dogs who where playing in the backyard with me. They are new here. This is at least the third time they've been running loose recently. The situation included 4 German Shepherds, 3 adults, 1 adolescent/puppy.
So, I'm extra interested in this new study about dogs that bite other dogs. It looked at demographic details of the dogs that bite other dogs, the nature of those bites, and the impact of those bites (such as needing veterinary care). The study did not look into motivations or triggers. As Stanley Coren wrote in his recap of the study, "In other words, attempting to answer the questions who, what, and where, but not why."
Dog-to-Dog Bites Inside and Outside the Biting Dog's Household
Lenka Pillerova , Eva Koru , Kristyna Holcova , Zdenek Havlicek, Petr Rezac. (2022). Dog-to-dog bites inside and outside the biting dog’s household, Journal of Veterinary Behavior, doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2022.10.008
- Data collected through 3 veterinary hospitals in Czech Republic
- Between January 2014 - December 2017
- Research members interviewed biting dog's owners directly
- Inclusion required the dog to have bitten another dog within the previous 2 months
Study Population of Dogs That Bite Other Dogs
- 347 dogs total
- 261 bit another dog outside their own household (in other words, in public)
- 73 female dogs
- 188 male dogs
Dogs That Bite Other Dogs Stats
The demographics of dogs that bite other dogs in this study don't surprise me:
- 99.5% of male dogs that bite other dogs were NOT neutered
- 95% of female dogs that bite other dogs were NOT spayed
- 96% of these bites happened in public (meaning not at the biting dog's home)
- 79% of dogs who bite other dogs were NOT leashed
- 75% of them were male dogs
- 57% of them were large dogs
The location of bite wounds on the canine dog-bite victims is interesting:
- 42% Neck
- 35% Trunk
- 23% Other (including limbs and head)
But, even that varies on the size of the dog, with large dogs more likely to bite the other dog's head.
The same is true for female dogs who bite other dogs. They are more likely -- no matter their size -- to "target the head of their victim."
Recap - Other Findings in Study of Dogs That Bite Other Dogs
- Without considering breed at all, researchers found that a dog's size, age (mostly adults, not puppies, not senior dogs), and sex are associated with an increased chance that a dog will bite other dogs.
- Sex of the biting dog predicts the seriousness of of the damage to the victim, with bites from male dogs much more likely to require veterinary treatment. "Dogs bitten outside the biting dog's household by male dogs had 2.5 times the odds for seeking medical treatment than those that were bitten by females."
- Not being spayed/neutered relates to the likelihood that a dog will aggressively bite another dog.
- "Companion and guard dogs had 2.7- and 2.8-times lower odds, respectively, for biting to limbs outside their household rather than to other body areas compared to hunting dogs."
- "Small and medium-sized dogs had 3.4- and 2.2-times lower odds, respectively, for biting to the trunk outside their household rather than to other body areas compared to large dogs."
- "Small dogs had 3 times the odds for bites to the head outside their household and 7.8 times the odds for biting to limbs inside their household rather than to other body areas compared to large dogs."
- "Females had 3.1 times the odds for bites to the head inside their household rather than to other body areas compared to males."
Our community took part in a lively conversation on FB about why the 4 German Shepherds running amok in our neighborhood is SO dangerous, especially the more it happens. Might be worth a look, if you're interested.
Final Word? Please Properly Fence/Contain and Leash ALL Dogs.
It's important for their safety of other animals and people.