Does Your Dog Bite?

 There was an old joke…. “Does your dog bite?”  “Nope” the person replied…. CRUNCH goes the dog.  “I thought you said your dog doesn’t bite!” screamed the victim.  “That’s not my dog”….. 


A few years ago there was a study done.  I love studies…. They’re always so accurate!!  ANYWAY…… The study was done to see what breed of dog has the most bites.  They took the information from reports sent in by animal control officers across the state of dog bites.  These reports list the predominant breed of the dog, etc., and the results were tallied up and statistics were compiled.  I love statistics…..  So… which breed of dog topped the list of the most bites?  Ready for this?  A Labrador retriever.  Yep.  Your lovey-dovey, goofy Lab.  Know what?  It was wrong.  Here’s why…


If 100 people are surveyed as to which breed of dog they own, pure or mixed, and 60 folks say “lab or lab mix”, and maybe 5 say Carolina Dog, and the rest say other breeds, here’s what happens….  Out of the 60 labs, maybe 20 have bites in the survey period.  Out of the 5 Carolina Dogs, each one has bitten twice in that survey period.  So that makes 20 lab bites and 10 Carolina bites.  So it looks like the labs are TWICE as likely to bite than the Carolina Dogs, right?  Nope – EVERY Carolina Dog has bitten. Only a THIRD of the Labs have.  HOWEVER, it will come out that Labs are more aggressive.

So much for studies…. BUT, there WAS something interesting that came out of that study.  They actually DID come up with a dog that is most likely to be aggressive and bite.  Wanna know which one?  Ready?  An unaltered, 2 year old male dog was found to be the most aggressive.  No breed, just an age and sex.

So, the dog most likely to bite is an unaltered, 2 year old male ANY dog.  Why?  It’s simple – hormones.  Dogs this age are sexually mature and are looking to be “Top Dog” of something.  A dog’s life is based on its “pack” and on reaching the “Alpha” position of that pack.  A dog will try to climb up that ladder until it reaches a point of impasse – where the actual “Alpha” dog (male or female owner) can not be challenged. 


So why do towns, apartments and condominiums ban certain breeds?  Why not ban unaltered male dogs?  Seems more logical to me but, then again, I do take a different view on most things!


Anyway – the bottom line is this – If you own an unaltered, male dog, and it’s approaching the age of 2, be aware of this likelihood.  Altering a male dog does NOT, and I repeat, DOES NOT, do anything to that dog other than make him more of a companion dog.  I’ve heard MANY stories about how folks think it ruins a dog to alter it but the cold, hard truth is it will lengthen the dog’s life (cancer risk and roaming risk), make it more of a loyal companion (no thoughts about running off to see the girlie girl down the way), and make it less likely to bite (and hence take a big bite out of your wallet, too!)…  And it’s less to license the dog (Did you forget to license Fido?).


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