Health. Why can a dog bite you?

According to a 2007 report, around 10,000 bites per year were placed under health surveillance. Underestimated figures according to ANSES, which accuses the regulations in force. This is based solely on the breed of the animal to identify dogs at risk and prevent accidents. However, this element alone does not make it possible to reliably predict the risk of bite.

Why this dog?

In addition to race, ANSES considers that other elements should be taken into account to prevent bites:

“Its sex, male dogs being more aggressive than females”;

“Its age, adult dogs (1 to 7 years old) being more at risk than young dogs (less than 1 year old)”;

“Its developmental conditions, separation of mother and siblings too early or contact with humans too late being associated with higher risk of bite”;

failure to respect “their well-being, needs and expectations” contributes to an increase in risk;

a deterioration of “his mental and physical health: painful ailments, deterioration of the emotional state and behavioral disturbances” favor an aggressive behavior;

“The education received and the way of life can contribute to the emergence of aggressive behavior. For example, a large dog living in too small an apartment and not having the opportunity to let off steam enough can develop an aggressive attitude;

“The owner’s lack of understanding when faced with signals of aggression or threat expressed by the animal. »Licking the nose, repetitive yawning, looking away in particular, if they are ignored, are signs of discomfort that can lead to a reaction by biting.

Are some people more likely to be bitten?

People at high risk of bites can also be identified using several criteria. Thus, age comes first because young children constitute a significant proportion of victims. This is why “you should never leave a child alone with a dog without the active supervision of an adult”. And this even if it is the dog of the household or that of the grandparents for example. Indeed, “the majority of bites of young children (…) take place in private space”.

Other categories are also exposed to a significant risk of bite: professions in frequent contact with dogs – veterinarians or nursing staff, animal keepers, dog handlers or dog trainers – and people using special function dogs, guard dogs and defense.

Note: ANSES is proposing “the creation of a bite observatory which would make it possible to enrich the available data, to feed into research work but also to formulate more targeted advice adapted to the existing risk”.

Source: A la Une – Le Progrès | Le Progrès by

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