In West Virginia and elsewhere, the debate about the inherent danger of certain breeds of dogs is one that neither side will win. However, looking at studies and reports can reveal some interesting statistics about the potential damage dog bitesfrom certain breeds can cause. Small dogs with long, thin mouths may inflict a painful bite that is susceptible to infection, but the size and strength of a larger dog’s jaw may mean the difference between life and death.

Scientists have tried to measure the pressure certain dog breeds can exert when they attack and bite. However, it is an inexact science because bite force in artificial situations does not accurately replicate the strength of a deliberate, aggressive action. Nevertheless, the most powerful bites seem to come from dogs with broad heads, wide jaws and heavy bodies. Mastiff breeds, for example, can bite with pressure exceeding 550 pounds, which is comparable to the bite of a great white shark or a lion.

Of course, the power of a dog’s jaw may not be as important as the dog’s likelihood for biting. While reports show that pit bull breeds are the ones involved in most attacks and injuries, mixed breed dogs come in a close second. However, many studies agree with dog lovers that the irresponsibility of breeders and dog owners plays a critical role in whether an animal will bite.

Children are the most common victims of dog bites, and the damage a dog can inflict on a child can be catastrophic. Any dog bite may result in debilitating injuries, disfiguring scars, numerous surgical procedures and severe emotional trauma. West Virginia victims of dog bites have every right to seek compensation for their suffering with the help of an attorney.