Dogs get hurt

Aggressive four-legged friends : More than 500 people injured by dog ​​bites in Berlin

At least 67 people were seriously injured by dog ​​bites in Berlin last year. In 452 reported cases, people were bitten and slightly injured. This comes from the dog bite statistics 2020, which the Senate Department for Justice and Consumer Protection published on its website.

In addition, there were 116 registered incidents in which people were aggressively jumped at or attacked by dogs - the authorities call it "dangerously jumped at". Then another 430 cases were listed "in which only dogs were injured".

The numbers are roughly at the level of previous years. In 2019, 71 cases of severe and 500 cases of minor injuries landed in the statistics. In 2018 there was only a total of 625 bites and aggressive jumping or attacking. In 2017, the number of such incidents was slightly lower at 584. The statistics are based on reports from the regulatory authorities, including reports from the police. In addition, there is certainly an unreported number.

Most of the bites and attacks, 209, were from mixed breed dogs. This was followed by 56 cases with German Shepherds, 51 cases with unknown breeds, and 29 incidents with Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers. Breeds classified as dangerous dogs, such as Pit Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, also known as attack dogs, and crossbreeds of these breeds were statistically not particularly noticeable with 36 bites and attacks.

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These numbers say nothing about the basic danger of a breed, because some dog breeds are very common in Berlin and others are very rare. However, large breeds of dogs are usually responsible for the severe bite injuries, such as collie, boxer, mastiff, doberman, bulldog, shepherd dog, mastino, rottweiler, mountain dog. However, dachshunds are also mentioned twice.

Animal rights activists and dog trainers emphasize again and again that the guilt for attacks does not lie with the dog, but with the owner, who is responsible for the education of the dog, supervision and the assessment of critical situations.

Public order office employees often ignore dogs running freely

According to the regulation that has been in force since 2019, dogs in Berlin must be on a leash. There are exceptions, however: Anyone who has passed a test, the so-called "dog handler license", can continue to run it in quiet areas and on fallow land. Owners of the so-called dangerous dogs had to prove a certificate of good conduct, liability insurance, proof of competence and a character test for their dog beforehand. There has been a special leash and muzzle obligation here for a long time.

The district regulatory authorities are responsible for controls. Probably because of feared disputes with the dog owners, the people from the public order office very often ignore dogs running freely, as you can see.

[Mandatory leash and driving license: How Berlin controls its dog laws - or not.]

According to the Statistical Yearbook, the number of registered dogs in Berlin increased slightly by the end of 2019: to 111,024 dogs, about 3 dogs per 100 inhabitants. In 2016 there were 104 750 dogs. However, previous estimates suggested that there are considerably more dogs in the city that they are just not registered.

Most of the dogs (4 per 100 inhabitants) were registered in the outskirts of Reinickendorf, Marzahn-Hellersdorf and Spandau. In Mitte and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg there were only 2 dogs per 100 inhabitants. (dpa)

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