Have you ever been on the receiving end of a Florida dog bite? If so, you may have wondered which dogs are known to be more inclined to bite, as well as how hard and where on the body they are likely to attack. An interesting study that collected data on nearly 7,000 reported canine-caused injuries in a recent three-year period found that the top-five breeds reported were:
- Labrador retrievers
- German shepherds
- Pit bulls
The fine print mitigates the results
However, this list should be taken with a grain of salt for several reasons. For one thing, the breed of the animal as reported in an incident is noted in many cases by either victims or animal control officers, who may not identify the breed correctly. And are you surprised that Labs are at the top of the list? They are Old Yeller, the faithful companion with the built-in smile and lolling tongue; the dog whose lovable antics and lifelong friendship had audiences weeping in the movie Marley and Me; surely they are not capable of such behavior! Actually, even the most friendly pet can bite under certain circumstances and if provoked. And because Labs are the most common breed, due to their sheer number, animal control experts say they are disproportionately represented on the list.
Where the teeth are likely to make their mark
The study found that teeth make contact with what’s closest to them–which is, in most cases, the hand, followed by legs, arms, and then above the neck. In terms of severity, injuries were most often judged to be “moderate” or “minor,” with only four percent of cases listed as “severe.” When they do happen, the severe injuries often require stitches and even plastic surgery to repair the damage.
Rule of thumb: If it has teeth, it can bite!
Animal injuries, whether caused by a Florida dog bite or a New York cat scratch, can be minor or severe, but they should always be treated immediately to clean and disinfect the wounds to prevent infection, and attended by a medical professional if necessary.