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Dog bite study unleashed


Chihuahuas are the breed most likely to bite the veterinarian.


-- Chihuahuas are the breed most likely to bite a veterinarian, according to a new study released this week.

Just in time for National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs and the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) released the study on dog bites in Colorado. It was nearly two years in the making.

The study compiles results from more than 2,000 surveys from 17 of Colorado's 134 animal-control organizations. The coalition notes, however, that without a statewide census of the number and breed types of dogs in Colorado, as well as participation from every animal-control group in the state, some of the results offer only enough information for informed speculation.

For example, there may be some disparity in reports on breed types because it's considered likely that bites from large dogs are more often reported, the coalition says. "Because of the this, the percentages of bites from large breeds will be overestimated, and the percentages of bites from small breeds will be underestimated."

Still, the study reveals some interesting data on the breeds studied, bite circumstances and characteristics of different canine age groups.

Overall conclusions show that running-at-large was the greatest factor in bites, and that children were more likely to be bitten than adults. The coalition states that dog owners need to be responsible for their pets and that children should be taught how to interact properly with dogs.

The study shows that certain breeds are more likely to bite under certain circumstances, but emphasized that any dog will bite in some situations, though most often because of factors originating with the victim.

Read the July issue of DVM Newsmagazine for a more in-depth look at the study, or view the entire study online here.

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