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Last updated on Thursday, May 17, 2012
(UNDATED) - Indiana and Illinois rank among the top ten states for dog bite insurance claims, according to newly-released data from State Farm Insurance.
The company reports that, in 2011, Illinois had the second most dog bites reported to the company of all states, with 309 reported bites. Indiana ranked eighth with 139 bites reported in 2011.
The company reported that bites came from a wide variety of breeds.
Of all the bites reported to the company nationally, more than 60 percent involved children.
Ty'Waun Burks, a dog trainer who specializes in dogs who've shown violent behavior, said that makes it all the more important to teach children proper behavior around dogs.
"Parents need to make sure they always have control of their kids," Burks said. "If you're meeting dogs that you don't know, or a friend's dog, one thing you don't want is for the child to run up on the dog. Don't ... go up and grab the dog. You want the dog to come to you."
Burks also said dog owners can help reduce cases of dog bites by socializing their dogs and getting them used to humans.
"Growing up, the more a dog's socialized and put into new environments, the less likely you will have a dog that's timid, scared and aggressive towards people," Burks said.
That socialization can include anything from walking dogs through parks to bringing them indoors.
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