Dogs That Bite Other Dogs

Just days after the one year anniversary of the dog attack, I am angry to report another situation last weekend where 4 dogs were running wild in our community and behaving aggressively through the fence towards my 3 dogs who were playing with me in the backyard. You are new here. This is at least the third time they’ve been roaming free in recent times. The situation included 4 German Shepherds, 3 adults, 1 juvenile/puppy.

That’s why I’m particularly interested in this new study on dogs that bite other dogs. It examined demographic details of the dogs that bite other dogs, the nature of those bites, and the impact of those bites (such as the need for veterinary care). The study did not examine motivations or triggers. As Stanley Coren wrote in his Summary of the study“In other words, trying to answer who, what and where, but not why.”


Bites from dog to dog inside and outside the household of the biting dog

study quote

Lenka Pillerova, Eva Koru, Kristyna Holcova, Zdenek Havlicek, and Petr Rezac. (2022). Dog-to-dog bites inside and outside the biting dog’s household, Journal of Veterinary Behavior, doi:

study details
  • Data were collected from 3 veterinary clinics in the Czech Republic
  • Between January 2014 – December 2017
  • Research members interviewed owners of biting dogs directly
  • Recording required the dog to have bitten another dog within the past 2 months
Study the population of dogs that bite other dogs
  • 347 dogs in total
  • 261 bitten another dog outside of one’s own household (i.e. in public).
  • 73 bitches
  • 188 males

Dogs that bite other dogs

Bar graph shows that most dogs that bite other dogs are not spayed or neutered (99.5-96%), 96% dogs bite in public, 79% were off-leash, 75% were male dogs, and 57% were large dogs dogs were

The demographics of dogs biting other dogs in this study doesn’t surprise me:

  • 99.5% of male dogs that bite other dogs have NOT been spayed
  • 95% of bitches that bite other dogs have NOT been spayed
  • 96% of these bites happened in public (i.e. not in the biting dog’s home)
  • 79% of dogs that bite other dogs were NOT on a leash
  • 75% of them were males
  • 57% of these were large dogs

Dogs that bite other dogs provide information on the most common site of the bite on the victim dog – 42% neck, 35% trunk, 23% other

The location of the bite wounds in the victims of dog bites is interesting:

  • 42% neck
  • 35% trunk space
  • 23% other (including limbs and head)

But even that varies depending on the size of the dog, with large dogs being more likely to bite the other dog’s head.

Graphic stating that larger dogs are more likely to bite the dog victim's head, based on a study

The same applies to bitches who bite other dogs. Regardless of their size, they’re more likely to “aim for their victim’s head.”

Graph stating that female dogs of all sizes are more likely to bite the dog victim's head, based on a study

Recap – More Findings From Studying Dogs Biting Other Dogs

  • Without considering breed at all, the researchers found that a dog’s size, age (mostly adults, no puppies, no older dogs), and gender are linked to an increased likelihood of a dog biting other dogs.
  • The sex of the biting dog predicts the severity of the damage to the victim, with bites from male dogs being much more likely to require veterinary attention. “Dogs bitten by male dogs outside of the biting dog’s household were 2.5 times more likely to seek medical treatment than those bitten by female dogs.”
  • Not being spayed/neutered refers to the likelihood of a dog aggressively biting another dog.
  • “Compared to hunting dogs, companion and guard dogs were 2.7 and 2.8 times less likely to bite limbs than other areas of the body, respectively.”
  • “Small and medium-sized dogs were 3.4 and 2.2 times less likely to bite the trunk than other areas of the body when compared to large dogs, respectively.”
  • “Compared to large dogs, small dogs were 3 times more likely to bite the head outside of the home and 7.8 times more likely to bite a limb when inside the home than other areas of the body.”
  • “Females were 3.1 times more likely than males to be bitten on the head in their household than on other areas of the body.”

other discussions

Our community participated a lively conversation on FB on why the 4 German shepherds running amok in our neighborhood are SO dangerous, especially the more it happens. Might be worth a look if you’re interested.

Last word? Please fence/contain all dogs properly and leash them.

It is important for the safety of other animals and people.

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