Are Some Dog Breeds More Likely to Bite? Interview with:

Dr. Garth Essig, MD Otolaryngologist The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. 

Dr. Essig

Dr. Garth Essig, MD
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Dog bites are a significant yet modifiable public health concern, but the true magnitude is difficult to estimate with such wide ranges in reporting, severity of injury and varieties of breeds that bite.  We reviewed bites from reports in the literature and from two regionally distinct medical centers.

We concluded that bite frequency and severity could be attributed to certain breeds in this sample, if the breed is known. Our study also acknowledged the significant risk of biting with the mixed breed population, which creates a dilemma with identification. What should readers take away from your report?

Response:  Readers should understand that all dogs have the potential to bite, no matter the breed, and that children are at an increased risk for bites and in particular bites to the face.  These injuries range widely from superficial wounds to complex injuries requiring reconstructive surgery or even death.  We need to work on ways to reduce incidence of these bites and remember that these injuries are largely preventable. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response:  This study represents a combined analysis from two medical centers looking at breed and how this may relate to bite frequency and severity.  We would recommend expanding this type of data collection to provide more meaningful data so that we can make more educated recommendations to dog owners and hopefully reduce the number of dog bite injuries in the future.

No disclosures 


Garth F. Essig, Cameron Sheehan, Shefali Rikhi, Charles A. Elmaraghy, J. Jared Christophel. Dog bite injuries to the face: Is there risk with breed ownership? A systematic review with meta-analysis. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 2019; 117: 182 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2018.11.028

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD