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16 thoughts on “2019 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org

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  1. Thank you, Colleen, for taking much time and effort to compile this exhaustive, comprehensive and invaluable report. The time to remove this tragic scourge from our midst is now!

  2. Great job putting this all together in a cohesive package, Colleen.

    This will be very useful in telling people, when they are looking for a dog–why they should avoid pitbulls especially those who are not dog-experienced.

    Thank you for this great public service.

  3. Another problem I noted is that *packs* of dogs are more likely to attack than a single dog. Or it’s more likely one or more dogs will attack the owner, breaking up a fight between numerous dogs.

    When I was dog training, I often had numerous dogs in my house at one time.

    HOWEVER, my personal main dog was highly trained, my secondary dog was well-trained. No dogs were running loose unless they had already received some major training and no untrained dogs were ever loose in the pack. I never had a major dogfight in my house. In years.

    The point of a “super stable and trained dog” is that yes, it *will* help train the other dogs in social behaviour and model good behaviour and assist in other dogs understanding which words go with which actions as dogs can learn by observation.

    There’s an ongoing trend right now of getting one dog. It’s unstable and ill-behaved so the owners obtain a *second* untrained dog to “help” the first one and too often, before that group is stabilized, more dogs are added to the mix. This creates a highly volatile situation.

    Interesting to see that statistics bear out what I learned by observation of multiple dog owners.

    • You are sooo right about this trend. Most of the time I hear the excuses that the first dog (pit) was having “anxiety” while the owner is at work or the dog is “high energy and should have a playmate.” They get a second pit to alleviate these situations and only compound the dangers. They can’t walk both of the dogs together because they are too strong and untrained. This results in alternating them on walks so the walks become shorter and the dog uses up less of its energy. This also results in “just opening the backdoor” and letting them run around a small back yard full of dogshit. Again, they don’t get much exercise and now, little to no socialization. So many problems with this trend….

    • Thank you for this oh so accurate observation on the commonality of getting a second dog as ‘helper.’ I am still in the dog training game and this mantra is causing more problems than owners can manage. The original dog, a ‘rescue’ is riddled with temperament problems thus the owner gets it a friend. Now, the pack is formed with no steady human at the helm nor decent training on the dog as ‘rescue’ dogs are never held to a standard of decent behavior. Thanks for this.

      • I absolutely agree with the “rescue dogs are just a way to excuse training failures” school of thought.

        The second dog I mentioned? Got her with two sprung ribs, covered in cigarette burns. Now THAT’s abuse. Screamed every time it saw a human. Took a year to fix that GSD but she wound up being utterly lovely, stable and sound.

        If that’s fixable with enough commitment and work I have little patience for spoiled, barking, biting monstrosities and excuses.

        I also blame the rescues. When I was looking for a dog, when I told them I could fix a dog with balanced training they quite literally, in some cases, hung up on me or palmed me off.

        They didn’t want to adopt out dogs. They wanted a neurotic cookie pusher (nothing wrong with treat training but it isn’t the be-all, end-all without combinations of tactics) that would endlessly financially support their “rescue mission”.

        It’s a rescue *business* and has no more to do with the welfare of dogs in society than the military industrial complex is interested in peace.

  4. I wonder if the rise in fatal attacks on adults has anything to do a possible increase in unreported fatal maulings. A case of a child killed inside the home likely receives more police attention than the case of a homeless man found dead in an alley, or a woman found dead in her home with her clearly guilty pit bull, and thus more media attention.

  5. I just watched a news video that had nothing to do with dogs or pets, but in which people were being interviewed within their homes.

    One family had two babies, a preschooler, two toy-breed dogs, and two pit bulls all in their home at once. Seeing one of the babies crawl on the floor as the dogs milled around him was chilling. Ironically, the mother was talking about access to medical care and her concerns about her family’s health.

  6. I can’t belive that Dexter is still alive and that that nut Annie Hornish is still pushing her theories in which she blames a professional health care worker. I would not mind her getting that dog back as long as she becomes his next victim.

  7. Thank you for alerting us about the Senate Bill. I’ll be writing to my represntative asap.

    I’m not surprised that multi-dog attacks are on the rise. Way too many pit people own more than one of these beasts. I’ve seen many with up to 4! There is no reason to even one one of these things, let alone 4 of them. I don’t see understand how it is legal to have multiple killer animals in your home.

  8. Thanks for putting all the work and diligence into this compilation of statistics.

    I have a neighbor with a pack of 8 dogs, all “rescues,” all gotten impulsively (to “save them”), all acquired within a period of just several months, kept in a very small yard with a doggy door to come and go into their house. I hear dog fights all the time. The owner has put no real training into the dogs, and they rule the home. Although none are pits (one does look like a mix), I see a capacity in this untrained, unexercised, restless pack to create havoc if they ever “somehow got out.” I have no doubt they would attack another animal and possibly a person in the right circumstances.

    I’ve seen a gentle, well-trained American Eskimo dog join in with the killing of a goat due to the pack mentality. This was a dog which had been raised around all kinds of stock, but when the other dog attacked the goat she did too. I was just a child but I found myself uttering the same things pit owners do… “She’s never done this before! She’s a good dog and would never hurt a fly!” No, she was a dog. And the lure to join in with another dog is very strong, stronger than her training, stronger than her gentleness. Her beautiful white fur stained with the blood of that goat has stuck in my mind as proof of what the pack mentality can do.

    With normal dogs, it’s dangerous. With pits and other fighting breeds, it’s deadly.

    • The sad part is Anon, that these deluded people see themselves as “saving” these dogs.

      Dogs want one thing. They want to hang out with their owners. They want to know what behaviour is expected of them so they will be rewarded by humans instead of ignored or vilified.

      Eight dogs in a tiny, poop infested yard, leading a miserable existence because it makes the owners feel altruistic–while they commit heinous selfishness at the expense of those dogs and all the people that come in contact with them.

      No stability in the pack. Not enough attention from the owners. Not enough training, grooming, mental/physical stimulation. That’s abuse in my book.

      A disaster in the making for all, involved.

      • You’ve hit the nail on the head here. Those dogs have been “saved” from an overcrowded shelter where none can receive the attention it needs, just to be put into an overcrowded home where none can receive the attention it needs. All so a person can feel good about themselves for a little while. I didn’t add that this couple is “rescuing” dogs while barely able to care for themselves and a child due to health and mental/emotional issues. If these were pits, it would be a ticking time bomb. Thankfully none seem able to escape the fencing. So as it is (as long as they’re contained), it’s just a sad existence for the dogs and the child while the adults can smile and pat themselves on the back for being rescue heroes.

  9. I was surprised and horrified that so many celebrities are pit bull advocates and post pictures of their dogs on intragram.

  10. Are there any stats on male/female pit bulls? Are the females less likely to attack?

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