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« Toledo City Council President Wants to review City's Dangerous Dog Law | Main | No Kill Conference 2010 »

January 05, 2010



Excellent article, and good reporting. I wish that lawmakers would take ALL of the facts into consideration before acting.

Michael Badial

The work you are doing here lights up my heart. I have dedicated my life to lowering the number of dogs put to sleep in kennels. Which is actually turning into educating as many people as I can.
Thank you very much. You are a defender of the voiceless. A true hero in my book!

Jennifer Brighton

Your blog is the first thing I go to each morning. I appreciate all the work you put into showing the REAL story behind dog attacks and bites. It is so obvious where the problem lies when looking at what you've laid out for us. Of course, the BSL advocates and PB haters will keep their blinders on and continue to pursue their vendetta regardless of hard facts. BTW, my dog Inca looks identical to your dark colored dog. It's uncanny. Inca's a pit-lab mix and the best dog in the world.

elaine hanson

Thanks for compiling this data and sharing it with us. Your objective assessment of the demographics and circumstances of these incidents is very valuable.



This was absolutely amazing,educational, informative. Thank you so much for putting this all together.


From this article, it's apparent poverish, uneducated people shouldn't be allowed to breed or own dogs.


Thank you for sharing this, it is sad to read but very informative.


Or, Pibblelover, we as a society can accept that the many impoverished, poorly educated people will want dogs, and work with them to help educated them on the best ways to keep their pets.


Brent, I don't know if you know this, but this blog is getting some major exposure in the dog training community. It's a good piece with concrete documentation and great analysis. Thanks for doing it and sharing it with the rest of us (sorry Michelle)!


Laura -- thanks for noting that. I can see a lot of the traffic sources that come in, but I can't always tell when they are email list-serves where it's coming from.

I hope people find the information useful. Anyone who has spent much time at all with dogs shouldn't be terribly surprised with anything in there...but it is good to have concrete evidence. My hope is that we can all learn from it and move on to more productive ways of dealing with canine legislation.


Excellent article - and yes, those of us in the dog-training community thank you!!

I'd also encourage people to read Janis Bradley's book "Dogs bite but bedroom slippers are more dangerous". In addition to statistics, she discusses WHY we get our panties so twisted about dogs and dog bites...excellent reading...


I wish local politicians and insurance companies would read this. Some
people should just not own animals, obviously they don't have what it takes to raise them.

Charlotte Allmann

people should just not own animals, obviously they don't have what it takes to raise them."

Or have children, it seems. Irresponsiblility and ignorance is really the issue here. How many children die from abuse and neglect compared to dog bites. . . We would find that comparison of statistics quite enlightening. Thank you for the report, Brent. I look forward to your follow up.


Thanks so much for taking the time to compile this useful data. The Trainer Network Group that I belong to discussed this article at our recent meeting and each of us feel that it is a wonderful resource!

Thanks again!



There is no creature on earth more evil and murderous than the human being. Statistically speaking a child is roughly 62 times more likely to be killed by their OWN PARENT.

"1,760 child fatalities in 2007"

"one or both parents were responsible for 69.9 percent of child abuse or neglect fatalities"

Tristan Schmid

Thank you so much for compiling and sharing this information. It's important that all facts re: dog bites and the breeds & circumstances involved be considered, and I'm sure your efforts to do so will help many people and pets.


I think you point #1 is the most important point - you cannot conclude anything from these statistics. So I'm not sure why you are breaking things apart by poverty, chaining, etc. Those statistics are equally meaningless.

It's an interesting article, and it's certainly interesting/disgusting how much the pit bull attacks are over-reported vs other breeds, but I don't think we can conclude much about age, wealth, etc.


Roger, I tend to agree that because the numbers are so small, they are statistically meaningless. Dog attack fatalities are just so rare that even if you wanted to create one, you would likely not be successful. That said, I do think the circumstances that lead up to these attacks can give us an indication of some of the problems out there that need to be addressed if we want to deal with the issue.

Lisa Hirsch

This is absolutely fantastic analysis, extremely useful when talking to people who think the breeds involved tell the whole story. Poverty, the age of the victims, how the dogs are being treated (chained, stray, feral dog packs), lack of supervision - thank you. (Are you in public health, by any chance?)


Thanks Lisa -- I'm not in public health. But I do think if people look at all the factors involved in such attacks they will see the very clear trends....and it has little to nothing to do with the dogs.


There were over 300 drownings in the same year. 50 of them were children. The report I read said that numbers have increased dramatically lately. Why are we not watching kids anymore?

Tom McCan

I think they are just misunderstood

John Tewberry

I can't believe how utterly blind people are to the fact that pit bulls and pit bull mixes are statistically likelier to kill people than other breeds.



It's amazing how bad some people are with statistics (not that you shared any).

The reality is that 'pit bulls' -- in part because it's a generic grouping of dogs and not a breed -- are very common types of dogs. Thus, they make up a pretty major percentage of the dog population, and a huge percentage of the shelter dog population.

Meanwhile, many of the other types of dogs represented are not nearly as common. Would you even come close to arguing that there are more Mastiffs, or Blue Heelers, or Chows or Huskies than 'pit bulls'? So are 'pit bulls' really "statistically more likely" than some of these other breeds, as a percent of population, to be involved in one of these attacks?

While we're talking statistics, are you really thinking that statistically it makes sense to translate the actions of about a dozen or so pit bulls onto the 8-10 million 'pit bulls' out there? That's not statistically reasonable.

Meanwhile, if you look at the types of attacks, they all fall in line with 4 or 5 key factors that led up to the attacks -- with no difference between those attacks involving 'pit bulls' and those involving other breeds.

If you're going to talk about "facts" and "statistics" you should probably start with having some...


"If you're going to talk about "facts" and "statistics" you should probably start with having some..."

oh Brent! lol
as if...

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