Dog Bite Injuries and Fatalities
in the United States

Haddon's Event Analysis


Dog Bite Injuries

Dog Bite Fatalities

Risk Factors:
Breed, Victim & Place

Cost of Dog Bites

Factors that Impede Progress

Event Analysis

Prevention Strategies






Increased likelihood of dog bite among humans who behave submissively: turning and running, patting on head or hugging a dog;
-Or threateningly: approaching when a dog is sleeping, eating, tending pups;
-Or among those of small stature (children).
-Child behavior is affected by lack of knowledge, experience and judgment; and a child's increased propensity to play with dogs or tease dogs.
-Increased likelihood of bites among persons with occupations that place them at risk.
Potential mechanical energy exists in canine mandibles and puncturing ability of canine teeth, especially among large breed dogs.

Known environments that favor dog bites: dog owner's own property, April-September months and chained dogs; Increased bites at animal clinics, when animal control workers approach problem dogs, and when delivery people approach a door to make a delivery.


Increased susceptibility among children and persons of small stature, persons with limited mobility to withdraw from a bite, and persons preoccupied with another task, such as a letter carrier or a delivery person; Increased risk of complications with organ and circulatory involvement Mechanical energy of canine mandibles closing around human tissue; mechanical energy could be slow and crushing compression or quick and intermittent, shear stress.

Biting dog is likely to be in its own environment unrestrained during a bite, or chained in its own environment; Pit bulls frequently attack unprovoked, thus, no environmental predictability with pit bulls.


Increased recuperative ability among healthy adults and children; Less recuperative ability and increased susceptibility to secondary infections among the elderly; Less recuperative ability with deeper penetration and with organ/circulatory involvement Result of mechanical energy on human host is surgical repair, dressing or immobilizing to repair strain Emergency medical care and surgery characteristics (quality, distance from event, EMT availability); Ability of dog bite victim to access medical services; Post event follow-up or rehabilitation services.


Medical costs; Lost work or school productivity or wages; Increased insurance premiums; Increased worker's compensation claims; Increased fear of dogs. Possible increased propensity to bite humans Decreased safety in environments where biting dogs are kept; decreased social interactions among neighbors