This is something I wanted to figure out for quite some time, so it certainly is work-in-progress, don't expect this to be the 'final wisdom' (beta indicates this). Since no one else seems to have come up with a Dog Bite Risk Assessment, this first attempt will benefit from further calibration.
However, experience tells us a Dog Bite Risk Assessment (if achievable) is very helpful indeed - particularly when we have children!
So, what is 'Dog Bite Risk' anyway?
I consider the Dog Bite Risk as the sum of three individual risks:
Likelihood that ANYONE's dog bites YOU or a family member
Likelihood that YOUR dog bites ANYONE (third party)
Likelihood that YOUR dog bites YOU or a family member
This MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL will address all three, so the totalDog Bite Risk.
Note that if somehow we could reduce Risk 3 to zero, then the Periodical How to save the relationship when your dog bit you wouldn't have been necessary. But frankly upfront: We can't. While almost every dog owner believes that their dog "would never bite" them, strangely, there is indicative evidence that many family members do get bitten by their dog at some point in time.
Indicative because no statistics seem to exist: Even if the family member seeks medical assistance, understandably rarely they admit that their own dog bit them, fearing the dog would be put down!
Similarly, if somehow we could reduce Risk 2 to zero, then the Periodical What to do if our dog injured someone? wouldn't have been necessary. But frankly upfront: We can't. Like with us humans, even the most docile and well-behaved dog can become unpredictable when challenged or threatened by some nasty passerby.
Risk 1 we will actually address in a future Periodical (ie how to avoid that we get bitten by anyone's dog). But note that many months back, the Periodical GSD and Children - Best Practice already touched part of this topic.
Each of these three risks is subject to very different risk factors indeed. For a comprehensive Dog Bite Risk Assessment we need to consider all these risk factors to be able to assess all three risks.
The ultimate goal of this Periodical is to provide you with a PRACTICAL TEST that you can use yourself to assess your personal dog bite risk (incl. that of your family members). Cool, eh? Yes, VERY cool indeed!
If we can make the assessment reasonably good (and take action on the assessment!), then we should be able to significantly reduce ALL THREE RISKS mentioned above, and thus your overall dog bite risk. That's the goal, okay?
This is a beta because it is the first attempt at such a unique idea/topic! Over time, together we should be able to improve it further, particularly if you share your feedback at the end. - Will you?
Finally, note that if you struggle with any subsequent terms, then you missed out on a past MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL! Because each Periodical in the 'Dog Risk' series built on one another - and the next three Periodicals will as well.
The Goal of the Dog Bite Risk Assessment
The goal is best depicted like this:
Assessment of Dog Bite Risk
Our Behavior and Action Steps
Mark that: Without modifying our own behavior and taking Action Steps that bring the assessed dog bite risk under control, there is no risk reduction. Ie, after our assessment, then we must take action!
Jonathan: "Thank you for your period advice. It is excellent! My GSD puppy is now 8 months and we read your advice regularly."
Dwayne: "I love this site and the info you post onto it. Thanks again!!!!"
Penny: "Thanks for making your great articles available to all of us. it's nice to know that a recommended product is actually available in my country."
Stay with us and your dog will stay with you, both of you healthy and well-behaved.
If you are ever unhappy with anything we write, do or don't do, we want to be the first to know, thanks.
Disclaimer: Always apply your own common sense when you follow anyone's suggestions. As much as your dog is special (s)he may react different too.
There's nothing quite like a healthy and well-behaved German Shepherd who freely guards every corner of your home, who brings you peace, who brings you joy! Welcome to MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG - we help you that YOUR DOG does not end up in a(nother) shelter!