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Dog biting manAnimal control deals with problematic dogs of all breeds. Sometimes, smaller dogs such as poodles and Chihuahuas have somewhat of a Napoleon complex and can be of the most vicious. In general, certain dogs are known for specific qualities. For instance, German Shepherds are regarded for their intelligence, Labradors for their sense of smell, and St. Bernards for their size. One notorious breed known for its violent tendencies is the Pitbull. Among having razor sharp teeth and a jaw that locks once it sinks into a target, the dogs are also known as a notorious threat. Does this threat hold true? Are Pitbulls more prone to bite than other breeds? In general, does the breed of a dog factor into its potential for danger?

Pit Bull Bite Statistics

In order to understand the overall statistics for dog bites in America, it is best, to begin with the Pitbull. No dog carries a more heinous reputation, but are these fears clouded in myth or reality? Let us check the statistical period of 2005 to 2017. According to Canine Journal, an organization that compiles and analyzes all of the dog bite attacks in the country, Pit bulls accounted for 284 deaths in those years. This is a staggering 65% of the overall dog related deaths, at 433 Americans killed between 2005 and 2017. Another dog known for its brutal reputation is the Rottweiler. If you combine the figures for both dogs, you’ll find 76% of the total fatal dog attacks. These numbers may appear shocking, but they could say something else. Instead of arguing that Pitbulls bite more, one could say they are more efficient once they strike. Whereas a bite from a smaller dog might not be fatal.

chart of fatal dog bites by breed

Death by Dog Bite from Other Breeds

Let’s look at some other statistics as we rank the breeds of dog most likely to bite or attack according to the data. The German Shepard produced 20 fatalities in total, mixed breeds accounted for 17 deaths. Another massive dog, the American Bulldog produced 15 fatalities and are known for not liking strange company. Mastiff’s which are known for their usage as a guard dog killed 14 people. Rounding out the list of most dangerous dog breeds is the Husky with 13 recorded fatalities from 2005 to 2017.

Speaking of wolfs, the Wolf-dog hybrid breed can be very dangerous. These animals pose a threat because they are more wild-animal than a domesticated friend, even under the best guidance from a trained master. The Husky-wolf hybrid can be extremely unpredictable. This dog is often sought out for its majesty, but with unqualified or lack of training, Huskies will be very aggressive. This is not a deterrent, as Huskies are among the smartest breeds. Simply, owners don’t give them the attention they deserve. German Shepards are the third most likely dog breed to attack. However, their fatality statistics are more a result from helping humans than harming them. As mentioned above, Rottweilers and Pit bulls are the second and first most dangerous breeds.

Dog Bites by the Numbers

Dog Bite Statistic InfographicAccording to Canine Journal, there were an estimated 78 million dogs in the United States as of 2016. Of those, we saw 4.5 million dog bites, 19% of which resulted in an injury. Totaling $530,000,000 in insurance claims for dog bite-related injuries.

What Are the Safest Dog Breeds?

Dog being friendly with puppy

Statistically speaking, there are two dog breeds that are known for their safety. Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers are the breeds least likely to bite or inflict harm on a human. Consider that these dogs are used for hunting. Their soft teeth are not meant to penetrate the fowl they capture. By that logic, their teeth would hardly penetrate human skin. The Retrievers understand their bite is not fatal, so they hardly even attempt it unless prompted by danger. Retrievers are also among the friendliest and most sociable breeds for human companionship and work-related partnerships.

Train for Safety

Being that some of the most dangerous dogs, statistically speaking, are also among the most popular breeds for domestication, a question may come up in pet owners’ minds. That is: how can one make sure their dog will not bite? The battle will begin when the dog is still a puppy. Vigilant dog owners will ensure that mouthing, chewing, and nibbling on items is frowned upon. When the dog tries to sink its teeth in, one should draw back their hand and scream out of pain. This will teach the dog that its bite is dangerous to your safety. It is also important that your dog socialize with other dog and human friends on a regular basis. The more company is expected, the least dangerous the dog will be. Let him see that most humans mean him no harm. Also, keep the dog active in healthy exercise throughout its upbringing. Pent up aggression can get the dog (and its owner) into trouble later on. If all else fails, one should call a professional dog trainer to set proper limitations for their furry friend.

Final Thoughts

Pit bull licking man's face

In short, there is some truth to the myth that Pitbulls are a dangerous breed of dog. However, under the right guidance and loving household, even the most aggressive dogs are a welcome addition to the family. Some of the most dangerous dog breeds are very popular for pets, including Huskies, German Shepherds, and of course, the aforementioned Pit bulls. If one worries over their safety, a Retriever is always an option. But a lot of the dog’s behavior is learned by its upbringing. No two dogs are alike, even of the same breed. For more information on dog bites, contact our personal injury attorneys for dog bites.