There is an estimated 4.7 dog bites in the U.S. each year. Approximately two-thirds of bites occurred on or near the victim's property and most victims knew the dog. 50% of dog attacks involved children less than 12 years of age. Any breed of dog can bite. Responsible ownership, public education and enforcement of existing laws are the most effective ways of reducing dog bites.
Spay or neuter your dog. Neutering reduces aggression, especially in males. Un-neutered males are more than 2.6 times more likely to bite than neutered dogs. Female dogs in heat and nursing moms are much more dangerous than spayed females.
Restrain your dog. 24% of dog attacks involve loose dogs that were off their owner's property. Dogs that are allowed to roam loose outside the yard may perceive the entire neighborhood as their "territory" and may defend it aggressively. By obeying leash laws and taking care to properly fence your yard, you will not only be respecting the laws in your community, but you will be helping keep your dog safe from cars, other dogs and unforeseen dangers.
Train and Socialize your dog. Be sure your dog interacts with and has good manners around all members of the family, public and other animals. Basic training is as important for the owner as it is for the dog, and socialization is the key to a well-adjusted adult dog. It is essential that puppies between 8 and 16 weeks old be exposed to a variety of people, places, dogs and other animals. As dogs age, do your best to continue their exposure to these things to ensure that they are well socialized throughout their lives.
All bites are legally reportable and should be reported to SEAACA. Bite reports taken by the SEAACA are submitted to the Veterinary Health-rabies control program.