Friday, July 30, 2010


Okay, now I'm going to tell you more about dog bites, just like I promised you, but I found a ton of information on the internet about this topic, and I can't fit it all into one blog entry, so you will have to be happy with however much I decide to write.  Ha!

First of all, if you want to avoid getting bitten by a dog, there are some situations that, if you see them, you should stay away from them, and here's what they are:

1.  If a dog is alone in its own yard, and its humans are not there.  In 2008, 78% of the people killed were by dogs in their own yards.

2.  The breeds of dogs that have killed the most people are pit bulls, rottweilers, akitas, and chows.  Which is not to say that other kinds of dogs won't bite you.  But in 2008, 65% of fatalities were from pit bull attacks.

3.  If there are a whole pack of dogs, stay away, because a gang of dogs get a thing called "pack mentality," where if one dog decides it would be fun to bite someone, the other dogs all decide to do it, too.

4.  Dogs that are chained or tied up are three times more likely to bite.

5.  Male dogs are lots more likely to attack than female dogs are, and dogs that aren't neutered can be the most vicious of all.

6.  A dog that just came to live in a new home is more likely to bite for the first two months he is there.  Or if a new person comes to live in a home where a dog is already living, it's more likely that the dog will bite the person during the first 60 days or so.

Some cities have tried to solve problem #2 by making laws against owning a certain type of dog.  This is called breed-specific legislation (BSL).  Pit bulls are the breed that is probably banned most often, but sometimes other breeds are, too.  A lot of people have spent a lot of time arguing about BSL, because it doesn't really seem to work very well, plus it's unfair to the dogs because a lot of times it's their owners who are the ones who make them turn into mean dogs who will attack and kill people.  Anyway, it's all very complicated, and I don't want to use up a lot of blog space right now talking about it.  But I will just mention that at least 25 different breeds have been involved in 238 people getting killed by dogs.

Many times, the people who get bitten are children.  There are several reasons for this, like for instance that children might not know how to behave nicely around dogs, so the dogs get scared and bite.  Also, if kids start running, a dog might think they are some kind of prey to chase, and so they will go after them.  And it's sad but true that children are short, so their faces are much closer to a dog's teeth, and this is why 65% of bites are on a child's head or neck.

Here are some scary numbers about kids and dogs:  50% of dog attacks involve children under age 12, 70% of dog-bite fatalities are children under 10, boys are more likely to get bitten than girls, and babies that nobody is watching are 370 times more likely to be killed by a dog than an adult is.  All of which means that if you are the parent of a young child, you should always supervise the child with dogs, and also you should teach the child how to act around dogs.

Okay, so here are some things humans do that make dogs sometimes bite them:

1.  Taking away the dog's food or a chewy or something the dog doesn't want to give up.
2.  Coming into the dog's territory or threatening the dog's pack members, including human pack members.
3.  Trying to handle a dog who is sick or injured.
4.  Approaching a dog who is feeling scared and insecure.

5.  Using rude and threatening body language, like staring directly at the dog or reaching over the dog's head to pet him or hugging the dog.
6.  Acting like prey.  For instance, if the person runs away or jerks their hand away or somehow makes the dog think about chasing and attacking him.
7.  Doing something that the dog thinks is an attack, like stepping on him or pulling his tail or waking him when he's asleep.

So don't do any of these things, okay?  Especially with dogs that you don't know very well.  Personally, I hate it when people come up and try to love on me like I'm their BFF, even though we've never met before.  And sometimes people who do stuff like this will say, "Dogs like me!" Which is a stupid thing to say, if you ask me.

Oh, and if a dog growls at you, he is just being nice enough to let you know that he is not happy with the  current situation, and if you keep doing whatever you are doing, he may have to snap at you in order to make his point more clear.  So you should just be glad that he gave you a warning rather than biting you with no warning at all, which is what some dogs have learned to do because people scolded them for growling.

Well, that's pretty much it, except that I will just say that dogs bite because biting is the only way we have of defending ourselves.  If we had hand guns, we wouldn't need to bite.  Any dog will bite if pushed far enough, but with some dogs it takes a lot of pushing, and with others, not much at all.  So if you think that your dog would never, ever bite, you should maybe think again!


  1. Bravo!!! You get ao gold star for this blog. Have sent by email to all my family and friends. Aunt Lynn

  2. Dear Aunt Lynn,
    Thank you for the gold star and also for reading my blog faithfully every day!

  3. Dear Piper,
    Very informative blog again today.

    I spent the day watching a movie called God Grew Tired of Us. Mom and I watched it this afternoon and then dad came home, so now we are watching it again. Mom says you and your mom should watch it. It's kind of sad, but also hopeful. Mom said it was at our library, so it was free to watch, and watch again.

    your friend Zest
    superstar in training

  4. Dear Zest,
    Mom and I have already seen that movie and I agree that it is a good one to watch. My very favorite movies are the ones with lots of dogs, but at least if a movie is set in Africa, that is good because basenjis come from Africa. Except that some of the movies about Africa are sad because so many people are killing each other there, like for instance in Hotel Rwanda.
    Your friend, Piper

  5. Mom says Hotel Rwanda was the saddest movie she's ever seen, so I don't know if we'll be seeing that one again. Mom could only watch 1/2 of it before she had to stop and come back to it later.


  6. Great blog...interesting and informative!! GOOD's go with GREAT job!! I'm hopeful that parents of small children will read the blog, and I did forward it to my nieces who have small children. My dad tried to teach me when I was little about approaching dogs, but I was one of those dummy kids who thought all dogs liked me, since I liked all dogs. NOT!! Piper - you really provided a good service today! Give yourself an extra's ok!!

    As a sidenote...I had a very difficult time watching Hotel Rwanda. I forced myself to watch it, probably in the same manner your mom did; a little here...cry, cry, get hold of myself, go back and watch some more. I kept telling myself, if those dear people could survive (those that did) I could survive watching it! Having said that, I have no plans of watching it again.
    Love, AP

  7. pmg wht happend to the girl awwwww i feel sorry for her :'(

  8. I don't know what happened, but I think she probably has some scars on her face now, which is sad.

  9. While dog bite treatment is widely available nowadays, it is still important to understand the basic principles to prevent any further complications. From initial cleaning, to treatment, and even prevention, all pet parents should know about it. I found a very comprehensive article about this, and you can read about it here:

    1. This is a very good article. Thanks so much for sharing the link!