Although dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, not all dogs are friendly in all situations. There are numerous reasons why dogs become aggressive and bite. Sometimes it is the breed of the dog, sometimes it is the owner’s handling of the dog and other times it is a defensive behavior.

Bite prevention can occur by understanding the most dangerous dog breeds as well as behaviors that attract aggressive conduct.

Dog breeds and risk of damage

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, there are around five million dog bite victims every year. Many of these are children who annoyed the family pet, but everyone who encounters dogs are also at some level of risk.

Examining the wound size, the type and number of broken bones, tissue tearing and severe injuries, researchers are able to name the dog breeds that are most susceptible to biting and causing harm. Five of them are pit bull, German shepherd, mixed breed, terrier and rottweiler. Dogs who are most likely to bite are short dogs that weigh between 66 and 100 pounds and have wide, short heads.

How to prevent dog bites

According to the American Kennel Club, there are things that people can do to prevent dog bites from any breed. Some advice:

  • Make an introduction: People should always ask the owner if they can pet the dog and get the dog’s permission by having him or her smell the back of the hand.
  • Do not encourage aggression: People should not growl or tease a dog, nor should they run up to a dog.
  • Be cautious around loose dogs: Even if a dog seems friendly, the best way to act around a dog without a lease is to stand still like a tree.
  • Respect a dog’s space: Dogs become aggressive if they feel scared or threatened, and biting is a common way to defend themselves.

People should always practice caution around dogs, even if they seem small, harmless and friendly.