In 1981, more than 3,200 Pennsylvania children, ages 4 to 18 years, were surveyed about their dog bite histories and attitudes toward animals. Dog bites were much more common than previously reported: 45 percent of children had been bitten during their lifetimes, and 15.5 percent had been bitten in 1980, more than 36 times the rate reported to health authorities. In 1980, the highest bite rate occurred among children 7-12 years old (20 percent). Children were bitten more frequently by the dogs owned by their neighbors, followed by their own dogs, than by strays or by dogs whose owners were not known. Boys were bitten twice as frequently as girls by neighbors' dogs and strays; the bite rates from family dogs were identical in boys and girls. Despite the high bite rates, being bitten was not significantly associated, in most groups of children studied, with a dislike of dogs. These positive attitudes toward dogs may lead to inadequate precautions against bites and to biases in the reporting of bites to health authorities.