Study Says Worrywarts More Prone To Dog Bites

Personalities Have A Significant Influence On Dog Attacks



You read the title right! Dogs are more likely to take a bite off neurotic people, those who areprone to worrying or are less emotionally stable.


Vacation Turned Disaster



Summer last year saw my whole family in one of the beautiful shores of Laguna Beach, California. While there, I struck a friendship with a young couple who were there for their first wedding anniversary and stayed in the same hotel as us. Both were nice and friendly albeit filled with nervous energy, the man primarily.

One late afternoon, we ate out with them and were coming back to our hotel when we chanced an encounter with two women with three dogs on leashes, probably walking them. The biggest one, the mutt looked like a boxer-mix, suddenly turned to the man and sunk his teeth into his leg without preamble. The following hour was chaos. We had to rush him to the nearest clinic for treatment with the owner who was crying in mortification. The dog, she said, never attacked anyone before. My new friend was the first.


StatsOn Dog Bites


Approximately 1 out of 72 people get bitten by a dog, says the Center for Disease Control (CDC). About 4.5 million dog attacks happen every year in the country. 900,000 of these cases get infected.

Many factors key in as to why dogs bite. The most common are:

  • They’re protecting their pups or owners
  • They’re stressed out, felt scared or threatened
  • They don’t feel well or were startled
  • They think it’s still part of the play

Recently, however, a group of scientists adds one new causative factor to dog bites, and that’s PERSONALITY.

Dogs do see postmen’s nervousness as invitations to attack as recent study confirms that people who are less stable emotion-wise are more likely to get bitten by the four-legged canines.


The Basis

For the undertaking, the team from the University of Liverpool took into account the information given to me by over 700 individuals. Aside from asking about dog bite-related questions, necessary demography details were also made, and the participants were asked to answer a short test to measure their Big Five personality traits.

After gathering and collating all the data, the researchers found out this fascinating bit from among their findings – personality does factor in dog bites. Those who had high scores in the Big Five personality traits short test the team doled out were 22% less likely to be bitten by dogs compared to those deemed less stable emotionally.


The Link Between Neuroticism And Dog Attacks

The team let out these three suggestions as to what makes people with low emotional stability or neuroticism more prone to dog attacks:

  • An unknown pattern or behavior present in neurotic individuals makes dogs more inclined to attack them.
  • Neurotic dog owners are more likely to own anxious dogs, and it’s a fact that dogs which are stressed out or threatened bite.
  • Those involved in the study became fearful and anxious after getting bitten by dogs.

While the reasons aren’t fixed, the team ultimately made this conclusion from the study they conducted: individuals who are emotionally stable, relaxed and calm can get away from dogs with just a sniff.