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It’s National Dog Bite Prevention Week!

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MEDFORD, Ore. — If Monday afternoon seemed to be a good day to take the family dog for a walk to the park, keep in mind that this is National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

A study released today says that Oregon is 15th in the nation in the number of insurance claims paid for dog bite injuries in 2012 – that’s up from 21st place the year before.

The U.S. Postal Service, State Farm Insurance and several other companies are sponsors of National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Medford State Farm Agent, Rory Wold, says any breed dog can be a biter, so homeowners and dog owners need to be careful, especially around small children.

“Doesn’t necessarily mean what breed,” Wold explains. “Good dogs in each breed. There are bad dogs in each breed, just as there are responsible owners in each breed. So, it really comes down to how you train the dog. How you socialize the dog. How you care for the dog, and then just, you know, use common sense and caution.”

Owners we talked with at the Bear Creek Dog Park agreed that the training of dogs and people, especially kids, helps prevent many dog bite situations.

Wold says State Farm paid out $1.2 million in dog bite injury claims last year in Oregon. It is estimated that all insurance companies paid about $489 million nationally last year for dog bites.