Fischer et al listed a number of criteria that can be used to help distinguish human from dog bites. The authors are from Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit and the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office in Pontiac, Michigan.



(1) shape of the teeth markings

(2) depth of the bite

(3) number of incisors

(4) number of canines



Human Bite

Dog Bite

shape of the teeth markings

elliptical or oval

long arch with a short, straight anterior segment


superficial abrasions or contusions

deep punctures with tearing of tissues


4 incisors producing rectangular marks

6 incisors


2 short canines producing triangular marks

2 long and curved canines



• The canines of a small dog will be small.

• A person may be missing one or more teeth.


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.