Many cities and counties have enacted breed-specific legislation meant to regulate or restrict dog breeds that are considered dangerous or aggressive.

Two examples of these breeds include Rottweilers and pit bulls. From 2005 to 2012, pit bulls and Rottweilers accounted for 68 percent of all fatal dog attacks. Half of these victims were children.

Supporters of breed-specific legislation believe that the only way to prevent dog bites is to eradicate dangerous breeds from communities. However, studies have shown that the breed isn’t as responsible for the violent behavior as the situations that create dangerous dogs in the first place.

Although studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, the American Veterinary Medical Association and The National Canine Research Council all concluded that breed-specific legislation was ineffective in preventing dog bites and attacks, they found four factors that were effective in stemming them. Education, enforcement of current law aimed at all breeds of dog, spaying and neutering, and better bite reporting could all help identify dangerous dogs and prevent future incidents. Researchers also found that increased supervision, socialization, restraining dogs to prevent them from wandering, and not keeping dogs chained up also reduced their probability of being involved in an incident.

If a strange dog bites you, apply first aid to the bite immediately. You should get information from the owner, including the dog’s breed and shot records. You may also want to get information for their homeowner insurance carrier if you think you may want to file a claim.

Even if the bite is minor, you should see a doctor for antibiotics and to have the wound looked at. The risk of infection is much greater than with other injuries, and the doctor will also need to report the bite to authorities.