Dogs Bite But Balloons and Slippers Are More Dangerous by Janis Bradley
Dogs are dangerous and they are more dangerous to children than to adults. Not as dangerous, of course, as kitchen utensils, curtain cords, five-gallon water buckets, horses or cows. Not nearly as dangerous as playground equipment, swimming pools, skateboards or bikes. And not remotely as dangerous as family, friends, guns or cars. Here's the reality. Dogs almost never kill people.
A child is more likely to die choking on a marble or a balloon and an adult is more likely to die in a bedroom slipper-related accident. Your chances of being killed by a dog are roughly one in 18 million. You are five times more likely to be killed by a bolt of lightning. The supposed epidemic numbers of dog bites splashed across the media are absurdly inflated by dubious research and by counting bites that don't actually hurt anyone.
Even when dogs do injure people, the vast majority of injuries are at the Band-Aid level. Dogs enhance the lives of millions more people than even the most inflated estimates of dog bite victims. Infants who live with dogs have fewer allergies. People with dogs have less cardiovascular disease, better heart attack survival and fewer backaches, headaches and flu symptoms.
Petting your dog lowers stress and people who live with dogs just plain feel better than people who don't. Yet lawyers and insurers press for less dog ownership. This must stop. We must maintain perspective. Yes, dogs bite but even party balloons and bedroom slippers are more dangerous.
About the Author:
Janis Bradley is an expert dog trainer, educator, speaker, and program designer. She was a founding faculty member at The San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers, where she spent a decade as an instructor and program developer, working with colleagues to prepare more than 400 students for careers as dog professionals. Before this, Janis enjoyed a distinguished twenty-year career in academia, frequently lecturing at education conferences on subjects like critical thinking and experiential learning.
Janis has written about a range of subjects from education to dog aggression, and is the author of Dogs Bite, But Balloons and Slippers Are More Dangerous, an authoritative and entertaining examination of the fallacies and media frenzy that surround dog bites. In addition to being a must-read for professionals in the training and animal shelter world, the book is an oft-cited source of information and statistics for journalists.
Janis lives in Oakland, CA, with her rescued Greyhounds Henry and Annie.