The news article chose to translate the statistic into 8 dog attacks a day by including attacks on other animals. In reality, about five humans were bitten a day during that time period.
New South Wales puts out quarterly bite reports here. Here's the breakdown of attacks based on severity and age of victim for the entire year of 2009.
|Adults ||Child > 16 ||No Injury ||Minor ||Med Treat ||Hospital ||Death |
|291 ||75 ||196 ||85 ||61 ||23 ||1 |
|355 ||86 ||213 ||120 ||84 ||24 ||0 |
|375 ||108 ||218 ||123 ||126 ||16 ||0 |
|355 ||115 ||222 ||122 ||106 ||20 ||0 |
|1376 ||384 ||849 ||450 ||377 ||83 ||1 |
There were 1,760 attacks, most of the victims were over the age of 16. Nearly 50% of them resulted in No Injury to the victim. 25% resulted in Minor Injury. That means in 2009, 75% of dog bites were minor injuries or not injurious at all. About 4.7% of the victims required hospitalization and 21% required medical treatment. Less then 33% of dog bite victims required medical treatment or hospitalization. One person, or 0.05% of victims, died from the bite wounds.
You can look at the breed data yourself. I'm not including them because they don't delineate between attacks on people and attacks on nonhumans. I think there is a big difference between an attack between two dogs and an attack on an adult human. Further, I don't think they're useful. Most dog attacks are committed by dogs of an "unknown" breed or by "mixed breeds". The severity per breed is not included nor are the circumstances - all would be useful in even considering making judgments based on the phenotype of a dog (I say phenotype, or the physical appearance, because that is what eyewitness accounts go off of - they don't have pedigrees or genotypes available to them, so it's an iffy assessment at best).
Including attacks on other animals, 72% of attacks were committed by one dog and 25% were committed by two dogs. There were 23 other attacks involving 3 or more dogs. Most dog bites were committed by solo dogs, not by packs.
New South Wales has a population of 6.9 million. In 2009, 0.0255% of them were bitten by dogs. And again, 75% of that 0.0255% of the population required no medical treatment or hospitalization - that is, they were either uninjured or incurred a minor injury.
Most dogs don't bite. When they do, they tend to show incredible restraint. Most dog bites are not severe in nature. This, to me, is always an amazing feat.