Dog Bite Statistics (How Likely Are You To Get Bit?)

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Two dogs playingNote: This article is based on third-party statistics. It does not necessarily represent the opinions of this website.

According to a study from the Center For Disease Control (CDC)1, approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and 800,000 of those bites result in medical care. The U.S. population is approximately 325.7 million people as of 2017. That means a dog bites 1 out of every 69 people.

These are scary statistics. But scary becomes a lot less so when you’re armed with the right information. From the top breeds to be wary of, to accounting for your own behavior around animals, to why dogs actually bite in the first place, we’re giving you an arsenal of information in this article so you can bite back in the dog bite debate.

Article Overview

Why Do Dogs Bite?

Before we start profiling dogs or analyzing your behavior around them, let’s talk about the question everyone should first be asking: why does a dog bite?

  • Dogs bite as a reaction to a stressful situation.
  • They may be scared or threatened.
  • To protect themselves, their puppies, or their owners.
  • They’re not feeling well or if they’re startled.
  • They may nip or bite during play (which is why rough play should be avoided to ensure you don’t overly excite your animal).

Keep these triggers in mind anytime you’re around a canine. Your awareness of their mental state will help you recognize a potential bite situation more quickly.

Dog Bite Statistics

Video: Dog Bite Statistics

The video below discusses more dog bite statistics.

What Breeds Have The Strongest Bite?

Below are the top 12 dogs with the strongest bite in terms of PSI (pound per square inch or pound-force per square inch), as reported by PetComments.com11. This list is not indicative of any specific animal and should only be viewed as a scientific study.

We certainly recognize that there are many well behaved and sweet dogs of these breeds, especially when paired with responsible owners.

  1. Kangal: 743 PSI
  2. English Mastiff: 556 PSI
  3. Wolfdog: 406 PSI
  4. Rottweiler: 328 PSI
  5. African Wild Dog: 317 PSI
  6. American Bull Dog: 305 PSI
  7. Doberman: 245 PSI
  8. German Shepherd: 238 PSI
  9. American Pitbull: 235 PSI
  10. Dutch Shepherd: 224 PSI
  11. Chow Chow: 220 PSI
  12. Malinois: 195 PSI

How To Protect Yourself Against The Risk Of Dog Bites

Dog liability insurance is a special policy that you can get to insure yourself in case you have what a landlord or other important person in your life might consider a “dangerous dog breed.” If you have one of these dogs, you most certainly know it as some people are probably a little scared of your pup. It is unlikely that they need to be, but better safe than sorry in case a situation ever were to arise where your dog bit someone.

Why? Because with liability insurance you would merely file a claim and it would cover the cost of the situation. In many cases, we have heard of dogs’ lives being saved by the ability to cover these sorts of incidents by proactively seeking insurance rather than reacting after a bad situation occurs. Better safe than sorry, right?

According to the Insurance Information Institute8one-third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claims (in dollars) result from dog bites or dog-related injuries, and the average cost is more than $37,000.

InsureMyCanine logoIf you are interested in protecting yourself with dog liability insurance, visit our partner at InsureMyCanine.com to learn more and get a free quote.

Decreasing Your Chances Of A Dog Bite Attack

While we’re not absolving the canine completely of its own responsibility in a dog-bite situation, there are always two sides to a story — even a bad one. When it comes to your side, there are more than two things that you can do to decrease your chances of an attack.

Things To Consider Before Getting A Dog

There are a few key things to consider before bringing a new dog into your home, especially if you already have other animals or children. Below are a few factors that, if considered, can help decrease your chances of an unwarranted attack before an animal ever walks through your front door.

  • Dogs with a history of aggression are not appropriate for a home with children. Period.
  • Before choosing a dog, research and consult with a professional (a trusted vet or dog trainer would be an excellent resource) to find the best breed for your needs.
  • Proper socialization and training for your pup is key.
  • Spend time with your prospective pet before adopting to ascertain aggressive tendencies.
  • Spay or neuter your animal to reduce aggressive tendencies before bringing them home.

How To Prevent A Dog Bite

Just like people, there are always good pets that snap. Even though the dog never displayed any aggressive attitudes, even though you didn’t provoke him to attack, there are still those unaccountable instances that no one can explain or rationalize. However, more often than not, this isn’t the case.

That’s why, when dealing with any dog, you should maintain confident, but cautious body-language. Below are a few things you can do to make sure your attitude doesn’t trigger an attack.

  • Don’t approach an unfamiliar animal.
  • Do not run from a dog, panic or make loud noises.
  • If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, remain motionless. Do not run or scream. Avoid direct eye contact.
  • Don’t disturb a dog while they’re eating, sleeping, or taking care of their puppies.
  • Allow a dog to sniff and smell you before you attempt to pet it. Afterward scratch the animal under the chin, not on the head.
  • Report strays or dogs displaying strange behavior to your local animal control.
  • If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and remain motionless. Be sure to cover your ears and neck with your hands and arms. Avoid eye contact and remain calm.
  • Don’t encourage your dog to play aggressively.

Dog Bite Statistics Infographic

Dog Bite Statistic Infographic

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Be Mindful Of “Breeds”, But Not Fearful

You’ve likely heard of the Pit Bull, touted as the type most responsible for dog bites. But you can dismantle much of your fear of them with our Pit Bull Facts article.

Unfortunately, claims against Pit Bulls account for the majority of reported fatal attacks in the United States (again, many of these are misreported due to a lack of understanding of dog breeds and types).

While there’s no denying that one should be more vigilant around a large dog than say, a Beagle, there’s also no denying that an animal is part product of its environment.

Remember that any dog can bite, no matter how well-trained it may be. Many popular family dogs have caused fatalities including Labradors and German Shepherds. So it is always a good idea to be a responsible dog owner and make sure pets are supervised at all times with others.

Finally, if you have a dog that’s prone to biting, consider a training collar or online training courses to help change their bad behavior.

Have you had an issue with dog bites before?

Sources: [1] Center For Disease Control: United States Dog-Bite-Related Fatalities, [2] Puppy Lover News, [3] Statista, [4] National Canine Research Council, [5] National Safety Council, [6] Humane Society, [7] Fatal Dog Attacks: The Stories Behind the Statistics (United States) by Karen Delise (Author), [8] Insurance Information Institute, [9] U.S. Postal Service Releases Annual Dog Attack City Rankings, [10] AVMA, [11] PetComments.com.

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new pet health insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Sara is a writer for Canine Journal. She adores dogs and recently adopted a rescue pup named Beamer. Whole she may be adjusting to life with another being to care for, she needed no time to adjust to all the extra love.

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Papillons
Where are you getting this information from?? You are totally incorrect to put Papillons on a list of dog biters. This is Not correct AT ALL. Do you own a Papillon? Wherever you got this information from it is not right. Papillons are one of the Smartest and Sweetest Breed around. Please fix your information or make sure you know what you’re talking about before you write things that are TOTALLY INACCURATE!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
You can see our source for Papillons being one of the most common biters here.
Papillons
That is another website that is totally inaccurate
My question to you is do you own a Papillon, do you actually know anything about the Breed so you just copy information from another inaccurate site to yours. In that article its claiming rage syndrome which is a joke. Not once does it mention BITERS. THE ONLY WAY A PAPILLON WOULD EXPERIENCE THAT IS FROM READING GARBAGE LIKE THIS. !!!!!!!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
No, I don’t own a Papillon. We don’t own every breed we write about. We sourced the website in our article. It is up to each reader to decide if that source is reliable or not. We respect your opinion and appreciate you sharing it with us.
Anonymous
I feel this article was really helpful. Thanks!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Glad you found it helpful! You’re welcome! 🙂
Matthew
Your statistics are way off. wonder who paid you to put them on there. please refer to a more accurate list of dog bites on humans.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
No one paid us to write this article. We site every source we used, they are not sources we made up. They are sources from reputable websites.
Liz
What is the cite for the 30+ breeds and mixes are included incorrectly in pit stats?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Liz, thank you for asking us this question. The source for our originally stated stat, “30+ breeds of dogs and mixes are incorrectly identified as “pit bulls”* in dog bite incidents, attributing the pit bull with an unfair and overstated number of incidents (*pit bull is not technically a dog breed; breeds that are commonly referred to as pit bulls in the U.S. are American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bully)” was the AVMA. However, we misstated the statistic and have corrected it in our article. If it weren’t for you, we probably wouldn’t have caught this until our next audit. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have since reworded the statistic to read as, “Over 30 breeds and dog-types were associated with dog bite-related fatalities.” We are sorry for this error and any confusion it may have caused. Thank you for your understanding.
Stephanie Wooley
Now for the crickets
A.M. Child
This article states that when choosing a dog one should be mindful of breed but every Humane Society and Animal rescue says breed doesn’t matter and that all dogs are individuals. The truth is that breed does matter and pit bulls and their mixes kill and maim more people and animals than all other breeds combined. How many people have to die before the pet industry in the US including veterinarians tell the truth- when choosing a breed for a pet caution is forgiving but regret is a life sentence. Pit bulls kill and maim more people and animals than all other breeds combined. There were 6 people killed by pit bulls and their mixes in October of this year. The latest death of a child by pit bull is the heartrending mauling of one year old Triniti Harrell of Rocky Mount, NC killed by the family pet, a six yr old pit bull. Miranda, Tiniti’s mother can be heard on a 10 minute 911 call desperately trying to get the dog to let go of her child even stabbing it with a knife to no avail. It is horrifying but it is also becoming all too common. Close to 30 people have been killed by these dogs this year. In Mobile, AL on November 1, 2018 a 51 yr old woman lost both hands in another horrifying attack by the family’s pet pit bull. She is still alive but her life has been irrevocably altered by her debilitatingand disfiguring injuries. Stop writing about opinions and start writing about the actual people killed or maimed by the dogs. Follow DogsBite.org for a month or Daxton’s Friends on Facebook. Those are two organizations trying to raise awareness of the mounting toll of death, dismemberment, scalping , degloving, defacing injuries unique to pit bull attacks. Those are not opinions they are actual people whose lives are irrevocably changed or ended by pit bulls and/ or their mixes. For those of us who are aware, the knowledge is unbearable. Something needs to change. We should not accept as ok that a person in the US is mauled to death by a pit bull every 10 days and that dozens more are maimed and disfigured for life. Saying you are more likely to be killed by some other method as justification for placing pit bulls in homes as pets shows an alarming lack of empathy and human compassion for the unimaginable suffering of a victim of an attack by a pit bull. The comparison to being more likely to choke on a hot dog is flippant and insulting to every person whose loved one had actually experienced being ripped to pieces by a pit bull. No one should ever have to die that way, especially an innocent child. Pit bulls and their mixes kill more people than all other breeds combined. That is why they are banned all over the world. It is indisputable that pit bulls and their mixes kill more people than all other breeds combined. They also kill more pets and livestock than all other breeds. Why would anyone take the risk of having a pit bull especially in a home with children? I challenge you to write an article naming all the people killed by pit bulls in 2017. That information is not hard to find nor is it someone’s opinion. Then write an article on all other breeds that killed a person in 2017. Get up close and personal with the facts, get to know some survivors of pit bull attacks. The recommendation to have a break stick near by at all times comes with no other dog. Where do you get the idea that breed is misreported ? You know the people killed by dogs in 2017 are real people. You can get to know their families and interview them. You can get in touch with their grief. It is a cold hard fact and not an opinion. Get real. Start with DogsBite.org and Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education And Awareness. Then go on to Put Bull Victims Awareness. All of those are on Facebook. There is no doubt about what kind of dog killed the people written about as half the time it was the family pet or the babysitter ‘s dog or the next door neighbor ‘s dog. It is way past time to give the Victims or their Families or the First Responders or the ER Doctors a voice in this matter. You may be confused by opinions you’ve read but they are not confused about their actual experiences.
Matthew
you are so wrong.. though pit bulls have one of the strongest bites and can do the most damage they are one of the breeds that bite humans the LEAST. get your facts right.
jack
hey were did you get the info i really need it
Jonathan Lawrence
Yup its on facebook its a fact… 90 million dogs in the US and dog attacks by a pit is so rare. I have several friends with pits and have always raised pits for hunting and to have in the home. No attacks, no children killed…other breeds are confused as a pit in dog attacks, i had some one call my friends dog a pit and it was a boxer….
Stephanie Wooley
You’re reading more into the verbiage than necessary. Be mindful of the breed because you need to meet its physical needs. Hyper dogs need more exercise, some are more non-social, some landlords are bigots and will not allow a bully in a rented abode. If you have children, smaller dogs are more likely to bite (I know you think different but I can’t help you with common sense.
Grambler
You can philosophise as much as you like as to whether a dog is more, or less, likely to bit. However, on behalf of children, I say this….. as with road-deaths, a single dog-bite is too many.
David Stovall
I just read about another woman being killed by her pit bull. The pit bull defenders got the newspaper to change it to mixed breed. Beagles are bred to trail rabbits, bird dogs to point, Labradors to retrieve, pit bulls to kill. Non aggressive pit bulls are not bred, this is to maintain the most ferocious gene pool. The apologists quote statistics that are misleading. Sure , one is not likely to get attacked because one is not in the vicinity of a pit, but the likelihood increases dramatically when you are in their path.They are not just bred to do it, but to also be good at it. Massive head, mouth, neck and chest to bite and shake. Here in Memphis they tore a man’s hands off, and they could not be reattached. Warn people to stay away , especially children and elderly.
Matthew
Pittbulls were not bred to kill. please learn your history of the breed before you run your mouth.
Kathy Key Fitzpatrick
I believe the parents/guardians of children who opt to have a pit/pit mix dogs in the home whereby a child is injured, maimed or killed should ABSOLUTELY be charged with child endangerment, and/or child neglect/abuse.
Parents are compelled by law to ensure their child is properly restrained while traveling by vehicle on the off chance that they MIGHT be involved in an accident, and faces charges if they do NOT have their child properly restrained, so why should the owning of a potentially aggressive dog be any different??!!
No one is implying that the parent PLANNED such an attack by a pit or any other breed, but the statistics don’t lie, even if HALF of them are accurate as to breed!
Parents warned about pedophiles living in their neighborhoods, about running into the streets while chasing a ball, and all manner of dangerous possibilities that can occur at any time and in any setting.
WHY are parents so nonchalant about bringing an animal into their HOME that has the documented propensity to injure and/or attack, especially the smaller family members??!! And those younger family members are the LEAST educated regarding THEIR OWN behavior/treatment toward the dog, placing themselves in even GREATER danger of being harmed!!
(We’ve all seen the videos that an idiot parent has taken of their small child repeatedly pulling on the tail or ears of a dog, or cat, while laughing, which teaches the child the absolutely HORRIFYINGLY WRONG AND DANGEROUS way to treat ANY animal!!
IDIOT PARENTS, are YOU willing to gamble with the life of your child?
Just TODAY, I saw a news report of 5 DAY OLD INFANT, ATTACKED AND KILLED BY THE FAMILY PIT BULL.
The parents and/or guardians should, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, be held accountable.
Rosalynn
Why the absolute heck is a website called “canine journal” recommending a shock collar for training a dog who has a history of aggression. I’d strongly recommend changing that to “consult your local certified training to discuss training and management options”
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
We aren’t recommending anything. We’re just telling our readers about options they may like to consider.
Einstein Mcgregor
This article is so misleading and you know it.The facts about pitbulls is out there.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
What parts in this article do you feel are misleading?
Pat Garrett
I’m in my 70s and grew up with dogs…terriers, boxers and basic mutts. The terriers would grab onto vlothing and shake their heads madly, since these dogs go after animals that burrow, or rats, etc. and grab onto the neck and shkectheir heads ripping out the the throat of their prey. It’s a natural instint in terriers. Luved with German Shepherd, 80 lbs of pure muscle, trained to be a guard dog and trained not to bark. When she stood on her hind legs, she was eye to eye with me…I was 5’8″ tall, 150 lbs. and she could knock me flat. I was never afraid of her, I walked her and fed her. I was not afraid of her but I respected her abilities and treated her well. I had another dog, small mized breed that my husband brought home without discussing it with me, as a favor to some friends. I did not like or trust this fldog. I’d seen him in action…he was a mean SOB. He tried to attack me one day and conveniently decided to leave the premises. I wished him well. I’ve met all kinds of dogs over 7 decades, most of whom were very nice, well behaved animals. As a single adult living in an apartment, I own cats. I worked for lawyers, sometimes long days and nights over the years. Cats don’t care, as long as they have a nice place to sleep, food svailable water and a clean litter box and their toys. Dogs need way more attention and exercise to stay sane and healthy. If you have very young children, you need to supervise the interaction with a dog…most dogs seem fairly tolerant of even small, grabby kids, as long as they can get away from them when needed. Never leave young children alone with dogs. Make sure the dog is spayed or neutered, not disturbed while eating, and not pounced on while sleeping. Mostly, it’s common sense. Humans seem to lack that sense, so work on it. All dogs can bite under the right circumstances. Keep uour animal well fed, well rested, and don’t forget regular health exams, shots, and training. And choose your dog wisely, based on you ability to give the dog your time, live and exercise. Don’t condemn all dogs becauae of situations which probably were out of the dog’s control…but not yours.
V Serrano
I love dogs, and dog sit all the time. I did encounter one dog however, part papillon and Australian Shepard. He was fine at first, our first meeting then promptly bit me me several times. I learned he was a rescue, a couple gave him up, after having their first child, the dog bit the infant. The owner decided to try another dog sitter, (they thought my fees too high) who he also bit. He ended staying at a dog kennel, where they just keep him
enclosed, while they went on a trip. And at a cheaper rate! They took him to dog training, but the biting is still ongoing..I feel sad for this dog, but what can be done?
Georg Cheatham
I don’t like dogs, hate dogs. I do not believe that any type of animal that shows the propensity for violence as do dogs should be allowed in human society as pets. They are smelly filthy animals that soil parks and city streets with their feces. They attack people without any apparent reason. Some dogs bark incessantly on a whim. Dogs as a group cause about 4.7 million bites a year in the USA, and about 800,000 of those bites require medical care. Who in their right mind would take the chance to allow these dangerous animals in their homes where numerous children have been mauled and killed by dogs? The fact that you agree that dogs do attack and bite people, and children, yet you support their ownership, means that you are not using reason in judging dog ownership. Some people even seem to think that dogs are just hairy humans, are they insane?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
While I respect your opinion, I have to respectfully disagree. I know many dogs who are extremely friendly and lovable. Just like people, there can be some bad eggs when it comes to dogs. Holding all dogs responsible for the low number of dogs who are violent is not the solution. That would be like saying all women are criminals because one woman broke the law. One person (or dog) is not responsible for defining the entire group. That’s how prejudices occur.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with our community. We always appreciate hearing all views.

BRENDA FERNANDEZ
I would say 99% of the time it is the owner at fault for dog bites and misbehavior. I have had 3 dogs consistently since I was a child, now 53. That would be a total of 12 dogs. From Jack Russell’s, Labs, Shepherds, Bulldogs, Wolf Hybrid, Husky, and Malamute. I have dealt with one dog bite from my Jack Russell who bit a friend of my daughter because he was reaching for my daughter and his face was right in the dogs face. The dog reacted out of protection for daughter. The police even told the friend that was poor judgement. Regardless, the only other dog bites I have seen have been neglected, untrained, or put in situations that could have been avoided. Dogs are way more loyal and loving than most humans. Had humans been more responsible from the beginning to get dogs fixed and vaccinated, we would not have so many abused and neglected, and less bites in the end. It is the fault of mankjnd…not the dogs.
Michael Budde
“In the end we conserve what we love. We love what we understand. We understand once we are taught.” I saw it on a sign at SEA WORLD I am very sorry you feel that way you do. My heart goes out to you.
Disgusted
Online training course?! Training collar?!!!!
Laurie
I totally agree that dogs are a product of their environment, but I think that everyone can agree that when any dog is stressed they can revert to their basic instinct and bite. Unfortunately some pits in this country have been intentionally bred to fight to the death, which does make the breed seem less reliable to me. What no one addresses is the difference between most dog bites (puncture wounds) and the pit bite. Pits’ skull shape and jaw musculature allow them to “lock on”. They cannot lock their jaws (no mammal can do that) so they can release if they want to, but the worry is that they will be in a frenzy and refuse to let go. When this happens they rip and tear what they have bitten onto, causing much greater harm than a puncture wound. My daughter is a pediatrician in a large metropolitan children’s hospital. Puncture bites are usually treated in the clinic. If the docs know a pit bite victim is coming they are sent directly to the ER and met by plastic surgery physicians. These children usually undergo multiple surgeries to correct the damage done, and are often left with disfiguring scars, not to mention emotional wounds. I have know some lovely, sweet dogs with pit in them and enjoy interacting with them. I am, however, quite wary of any dog that looks like they might have pit in them that I do not know. If every dog owner understood breed characteristics and knew how to control their animals dogs biting humans would rarely happen. As with most problems education is the key….
NanaMom
If It doesn’t work to ban Power breeds, then why can’t we pass a law that requires all owners of power breeds or any powerful dog to have extensive training and to have a license. Cars and guns hurt and kill people too so the government requires a license to operate it . People should be required to have a license that requires training for the owner and for the dog. It should require a fee to own a power breed and a costly fine and or jail time if someone gets hurt or if they are found neglecting care and proper keeping of the dog. People would not let their dog run loose if they knew it was gonna cost a lot of money or jail time. Why not? Why have they not done this already? It should be the same as DUI!
It doesn’t seem realistic or possible to ban all power breeds from the earth. So why not? And who am I? I was the owner of a wonderful, loving pitbull that I loved very much. I held him in my arms as he passed away from an illness. We loved him but we worked very hard to keep both him and others safe. He was either in our home or on a leash. He was never even allowed to bite a toy that squealed or looked like an animal. It worked too because he brought me a baby rabbit from our yard unharmed. We need both training and accountability to own a power breed. A powerful dog should also require and pass training and temperament tests. They are as potentially dangerous as owning a gun, alcohol or a car. I was the owner of one but I am also a mother.
Makenzie M LaPack
Sure, start by banning all breeds that have killed people and bitten people. Oh wait, that’s all breeds. Oops. Especially since most dogs on this list are under 45 lbs, why do you think it should stop at just what you call “power breeds”? Are my huskies included even though in the US they aren’t even on a list for dogs that kill people? Seriously though, I don’t want anyone telling me what animal I can and cannot have. If I do something wrong, take it away and charge me. But don’t make me pay for other’s mistakes (which is what a licence is). In Australia you can’t even own native reptiles without a license. I’m not going to let that happen in America. Besides, if your dog does hurt someone, you do face jail time. If it kills someone, you face lifelong prison or the death penalty and your dog is shot. Everything you ask is in place, short of me paying more for an animal (via a license) for no real justifiable reason other than you don’t trust other people to make the same decisions you did about your pet. I personally have been bit by 3 small dogs, and my husky has been attacked by multiple small dogs, 2 labs at once, and a golden retriever through the years, you know, good ‘family’ dogs. The ones you don’t want people to have to get a license for. I have yet to be bit or have anyone I know be bit by any “power breeds”. Anecdotal I know, but that’s the point. Labs account for 5% of the bites and killings of humans, so what do you do with that? Nothing, if I have my way. No special license. The only people it hurts is those who want to follow the rules. Just like gun free cities have the most gun violence, so will areas with ‘dog licenses’.
Jon Mosher
How many thousands of people need to die before people stop this Pit Bull love affair? Even this article tries to deviate and states pro pit propaganda. Pit Bulls have killed 8x more people than all other breeds combined in the past 3 years.
Arielai
First off, it all depends on what type of environment and type of owner a pit bull has. It’s always the fault of the owner, never the dog. Bad owners give the breed a bad rep. Pitbulls can be the most sweet and kind loving dog if raised right. They should never be left to an irresponsible and inexperienced owner or an owner that will use them for things such as fighting or bad behavior. Your most common breed that is known for biting is a Lab. Most underground breeders are breeding for all the wrong reasons and making the gene that causes aggression stand out more.

My family has had pitbulls for most of my life. They were all sweet and very mindful of everyone around them. The only time they got aggressive were when my ex step dad was being a violent arse towards my mother and little sister.

Again, pits can be the absolute sweetest dogs IF given the proper environment and training by a RESPONSIBLE owner.

Stop being an idiot and actually brush up on your facts before you start dragging an entire breed through the mud.

Scott
There’s no greater example of nature over nurture than the dog. How many children die every year from the family pitbull “that was always so nice and gentle”!? These dogs need to be eliminated and breed down or out altogether.
Mallory
Haven’t you heard of the many pit bull stories where “the happy family pit bull just snapped and scarred/ripped apart/killed the 8 year old kid?” Or the female owner who raised it from birth and was even a trainer and one day the dog freaked and bit her? You should check your own facts and read up on these instances. Sometimes nurture can NOT beat out decades of aggressive nature. Get over yourself. It’s a dog and it’s known well for being a triggered, unpredictable one at that.
sherri
I think you need to do a deeper dive into these statistics. I am currently doing a research paper on pit bulls and public perception. It is people like you that spout off negative comments when you don’t have the full facts. I am an owner of a Staffordshire Terrior and a Pit/Boxer mix. These dogs have been raised in a loving environment and have been through training classes. I have NEVER had a better dog than these two. There are cases where Pit bulls have attacked and caused serious harm and even death. Please do more research and get your facts straight. They are not as dangerous as they have been perceived to be by the propaganda. It truly is a case of nature vs. nurture and just like humans are susceptible to their environment so are dogs. This is a fact!
Yvette
You hear more about pitbull type dogs in the news in the USA for two reasons. Media tends to cover more stories when it involves a “pitbull.” Pitbull isn’t a breed but a type of dog. Many breeds are often labelled pitbulls including the American pitbull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier and American bullies. Also, there are many other breeds mistaken as pitbulls that don’t have any bully breed plus mixed breed dogs are often mislabeled pitbulls because of their appearance. Taking all of this into consideration, the estimated population of “pitbull” type dogs is 18 million or 20% of the total dog population. Some organizations undercount them as only 6%. These are some of the reasons you will hear about these breeds more often. In Canada, only one or two deaths on average each year are attributed to dog attacks, the breeds most involved are Husky/sled type dogs as they are the most popular strong breeds. Breed bans in Canada have always been against pitbull types even though Huskys are responsible for the most incidents probably due to influence from certain “studies” from the USA. The UK has seen increasing incidents involving dog attacks and dog bite related fatalities even though many strong breeds are banned. The fact Is, there will unfortunately always be dog bites and fatalities by dogs no matter what. With increasing dog and people populations, there will inevitably be increases in attacks and fatalities. With that being said, it is still very rare to be attacked seriously and even more rare to die from a dog attack.
Maryska Giunta
I guess I didn’t see. Where does it say thousands of people are dying from Pit Bulls?
Paul
A more telling statistic is the percentage of deaths from dog attacks according to dog breed. The prevailing belief is that once a pit bull begins an attack, nothing short of killing it will stop the dog. That’s probably an exaggeration, but likely not that far from the truth.
Sherri
Actually, while still very terrible, the number of fatal dog bites is only 1% of all dog bites over a 20 year period study that was done here in the US. These dogs were bred for hunting and there is somewhat of a natural instinct I’m sure, but with proper training and not abuse of their owners these dogs are quite lovable. Again, it is the owners responsibility to learn about their dog breed and if they aren’t responsible this is where the breakdown occurs.
Yvette
Paul, an even more telling statistic is factoring in breed risk rates. The more popular a breed the more incidents there will be (strong breeds of course.) Breed risk rates are a universal standard and only scientifically accepted method for statistics. Some organizations do not factor breed risk rates, they record numbers of incidents only.
betty who
once I had my dog in the hallway of our condo and he was not on a leash but he was barking and the mail lady was on the phone yelling “OMG PEOPLE PUT YOUR DOG ON A LEASH!” and I was like “excuse me, you’re inside and this is my home” – It’s so crazy to me that people are scared of dogs but I get that they can be mistake as “intruders”
Randy
1st – If it’s the “Mail Lady” then she isn’t an intruder.
2nd – Just because a dog is inside, it’s OK to be aggressive? B.S.!
Yvette
Randy, I’m sure she meant that the dog was just barking not being aggressive. Dogs often bark when somebody enters their “territory” it doesn t mean they are aggressive.
Tara
When i was a kid i had a lovely family dog who didnt mind me teasing him just a lil bit before i threw the toy id toss it from hand to hand well.i met a new dog and no one ever told me thats not ok to do.well i was 8 and teased this dog(he was a good boy it was the adults fault for leaving a kid alone with the dog) but i tesed him to much and he reached up and bit me in the face and gave me three puncture holes in my face.no stitches just a bunch of blood.he went on to never even snap at anyone else ever and be a great family dog.he was a sheltie.and i love ALL dogs.my favorite animal <3
Jen
When I was a child I had no knowledge of how to behave around dogs. Neither one of my parents ever had a dog so, they were also ignorant. My friend had a German Shepherd named Burrito. She was a good dog who loved her family and her family loved her. My friend and I were in the front yard and the dog was in the backyard. My friend reached through the fence and told Burrito to shake and she put her paw in his hand. My friend encouraged me to do the same. The dog didn’t know me tho and didn’t want to shake with me. In my ignorance, I reached down to the ground where her paw was and tried to grab her paw with my hand. She, of course not knowing me and wondering why a stranger was trying to touch her paw, didn’t like that. She growled, I started to pull my hand back, but I was too slow and she bit my finger. I have a small scar today. I was definitely terrified of her after that. It is my fault for not respecting her personal space.

As an adult, I’ve owned two shepherd mixes, one pure bred german shepherd, a doxie/pit mix, and two malteese mixes. (All rescue dogs) I’ve never had a problem with them biting or trying to bite anyone. I’ve never put them in a stressful situation that would cause them to react poorly with people and they were well trained. That is a big part of it.

One day I was with my friend and we went to her family’s home. They invited me inside. I was standing just inside the door with them and something growled at me from under the couch. I asked what was that and they laughed, saying it was their Chihuahua. Sense they were not taking it seriously that their dog was growling at a guest and correcting its behavior, I said I was going to leave. They said, “no, no, it’s ok”. Then the dog ran out from underneath the couch, bit my ankle, and ran back under the couch. They thought that was acceptable behavior from their small dog, they were laughing. If it had been a large breed, would the still think it was funny? Probably not. It’s a double standard. I was furious and I left. The little dog drew blood with that bite and they didn’t care.

Most of the time, people are to blame with their actions and/or lack of training for dog bites.

Pit victims - laws on your side
Maybe pits bite less than a few other breeds. However, a pit bite causes much more damage than a small dog. Pit maulings account for 75% of dog-attack deaths, according to dogbite.org (I think about 50 people a year). They also kill thousands of other pets every year, but pit apologists either blame the victim (the cat or other small dog) or the owner (which is ridiculous; the owner didn’t bite, the dog did. Should we jail the parents of human criminals?) I carry a small .380 when I bike in the country and just shoot aggressive pits in the legs when they attack. Their legs often shatter to pieces; even the best or strongest dogs are no match for a .380 bullet. Since I live in a conceal carry and stand your ground state, it’s perfectly legal and there’s nothing the owner can do about it. I don’t like shooting them, but how are we to defend ourselves when a pit runs in the road and bites me or my bike?
George
How many people have guns killed this year?
Giveadogabone
How many people have killed with guns? I don’t know, but the person made the choice, NOT the gun!
Just keeping it real
Yvette
George, I believe the average is 36000 each year from guns.
DH in VA
zero…. guns are objects tat have to be loaded and the trigger pressed to fire. Only people fire guns, see?
Bane
dogbites.org Does no use factual information. I stopped looking at that site once I saw the outlandish statistics. I work in animal control and most of our bite quarantines are not pitbulls. I havent had a pit on bite q since I have been working there. There is some dog aggressive pits, but most of the dogs there bark at each other. The media pisses me off, they did the same thing years ago with german shepherds, and dobies. If people raise their dogs inside or in the backyard with no socialization around people, children esp, other animals, then theyre creating a timebomb no matter what breed, speaking from experience of actually dealing with different dog temperments/breeds and mixes daily. You sound like a shill from that bogus dogbites.org website.
Chip
Let me shoot you in you leg and watch it shatter.. pits are wonderful pets, service animals, and law enforcement animals. When they have the right owners and training. Yes it’s sad when a owner trains them to be aggressive, or to kill, or doesn’t train them at all. Cause that gives pits a bad name, but chiawana bite more than pits, the are more aggressive they are just smaller and there bite just draws blood a pit bites harder and is more severe. Train your dogs… and train people how to approach dogs.
Sherri
Your stats are wrong….I am currently during research on this exact topic and Pits do NOT cause 75% of the dog attack deaths. In fact there are less than 1% of the attacks that are actually fatal period. Please use credible sources and look at actual statistical data. Reputable sources such as the American Veterinarian Society and the CDC and others in the like are where you should be basing your information. You are ignorant about these stats and you are wrong about shooting someones pet. The fact that you shoot the dogs legs is beyond comprehension. So let me get this straight, there is such an epidemic in your state for this particular breed to just come out and attack you! Seriously, either you are making things up or you just love to abuse animals.
Joyce
This is wrong. Your 75% is way off. Where do you get your statistics?
Yvette
Pit victims, the average dog bite related fatalities for the USA is 28 per year involving several breeds. Since 2016 at least 24 breeds have been involved in fatalities in the USA. Dogsbiteorg mentions how many pets and livestock are killed each year by pitbulls (information they got from Merritt Clifton of animals 24/7.) There is no data base in which this information is available. There are many more reputable, credible research organizations with accurate non biased statistical data. Dogsbite and animals 24/7 Are not scientifically peer reviewed research organizations and have a clear agenda to try to push BSL. Fortunately BSL is crumbling rapidly and being replaced more comprehensive breed neutral laws that actually work. BNL holds the owners responsible and it focuses on all dangerous dogs regardless of breed rather than focusing on specific breeds regardless of behaviour.
Toni sherman
Just wondering what source or study was used to decide that Chihuahuas bite the most? I notice that NO numbers are associated with that ridiculous statement. Appears to be someone’s opinion. I would think that there are bite reports or numbers that go along with that info. And let’s face it. This article is skewed in favor of Pits even though all real evidence with numbers says otherwise. Could it be because it’s author is a Pit Bull advocate and owner!! Even the photo at the top of the article runs a disclaimer about third party information. Just another fluff piece with little to no unbiased information. Waste of time.
Kat
And you’re clearly biased against Pit Bulls.
Toni
And the author is clearly pro Pit so where’s the accuracy in reporting. I’d like to see why Chihuahuas bite the most. If they are offering that as a fact, they must have proof. So let’s see it.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
We’ve linked to our source stating that Chihuahuas are one of the 11 breeds that bite the most in the article above. Here it is again for you to reference.
Joyce
They actually do bite a lot but they don’t thrash you to the ground either
Jerry
I’m biased against pits too. The breed should be eradicated.
Joyce
Please, most are sweet loving and gentle. Why do people never give them credit for all the lives pits have saved? There have been lots.
Taylor trust
Ur a goof. Saying apbts are to be whiped off the Earth is as euthoess as saying the race of humans that does the most crime n murders and deaths every yr should be … People get brainwashed by headline and mainstream mentality and the reason lots and most of these studies are favouring the pitbulls is because there realizing how wrongly and mis informed people are and because it makes good news n sells copies is why it’s in the paper not the shit shu bitting someone because it’s fucking lame.. it’s like saying because when men or tough people can do more damage then a women or a whimpy man that it’s worse when they assault someone … And so many breeds are piled on the apbt and creates biased statistics against the pits because 95/100 people can’t even identify what a real apbt is.. they see any short haired muscley breed is a pit… When actually when my friend who has a purebred pitbull terrier people don’t even think it is cuz they think all these 100 beasts with huge heads are or presas and corsos and bully breeds and am.bulldogs etc etc..so so lump all the strongest n tousgest breeds and call them all pit bulls it’s like throwing every kind retriever in a group and saying golden retrievers lead the way in some stat when 8/10 it’s a yelliw lab or Irish setter or golden doodle or any kind of dog looking like them.. real pit bulls should be 35-60 pounds(male) and have lean builds and proportionate heads with slimmer snout… So like I started it let’s eradicate every coloured person off the planet because they lead in crime and gang murders… They are the most dog agress. But poor guard dogs cuz very people friendly..all the tards who no nothing make me lmao hehe
Nikki
I have myself been bitten by three chihuahuas and never been bitten by a potluck I have had several pits during my fifty years and they are so good with kids and are well mannered check your facts dude u are wrong
Toni
I have been attacked by a Pit, but never bitten by aChihuahja or any small breed dog.
Kathy
I was given a Chihuahua, and after I let it sleep in my bed, she had an accident. Then a 2nd accident, then the third time I banned her from my bed to her own bed. She snuck under the covers and when I uncovered her to put her in the bathroom, she attacked me and Drew blood in several places. She also bit me and Drew blood the first time because it was raining outside and I tried to pick her up and dry her feet with a towel before letting her back in the house
Jonathan Mosher
If that was a Pit Bull you’d be dead.
Julie Weingand
No she wouldn’t because they hate the rain. Really. Next time it rains try and get your pitty to go outside. They hate to get their feet wet.
Licity
I’ve also owned several Pits and never been bit. They have all been really sweet and caring dogs however, the Chihuahuas I’ve come in contact with 3 out of 4 have bit me. Then to add to that one of those Chihuahua’s literally started chasing my cousin without any reason.
Whitney
Sorry, As a dog groomer. Chihuahuas are almost guaranteed to bite a stranger. Mostly because people don’t think the toy breeds need training…the only breed missing is a Chow Chow.
Dave Barry
I guess Toni doesn’t have much to say now that someone who works with these dogs daily has chimed in. “Chihuahuas are almost guaranteed to bite a stranger.
Jonathan Mosher
Chuahua’s haven’t killed anyone or even mauled anyone. Pit Bulls have killed 3,400 people and mauled 10,000
Chip
Look up on Google dog that bites people the most. And that rat dog has more bites for no reason than any other dog…. and the owners laugh it off and think cute…. but be a pit the want to kill it. If a rat dog comes up barking trying to bite my ankle my foot’s going right in its mouth…. better yet I probably was the only ankle it has bitten… whether small or not, euthanize it, you would a pit after 2 bites isn’t that what they do. So why not a rat dog those taco bell dogs
Yvette
Tony Sherman you say that numbers involving pitbulls say otherwise. Number of incidents does not determine a breeds risk rate, they are simply just numbers of incidents. Regardless of the two organizations that say that pitbulls only account for 6% of the dog population, reputable scientific research organizations have estimated that the pitbull population is actually 20%. Scholarly reports are more credible than reports from flimsy biased groups that have no experts. These anti pitbull organizations have an agenda and that is to ban pitbull type dogs and push BSL because they have had personal negative experiences with this type of dog.
Martin
Giving the bite strength in psi is not a good guide – this depends not only on how hard the animal bites, but also on the area of contact. Bite force would be a better measure than the pressure.
matt
Really?
It’s the same thing. PSI=Force….
Lonnie
Oh I know the Wild African dog is a must to have…Lordy, what a dumb list
R swig
Obviously the writer is a bias dog lover
Dayne Creveling
Yes, there are a about 20 breeds that comprise ‘Pit BUlls’, and they are responsible for what percentage of dog-related deaths? Care to share that number? The fact that this site does not give the actual numbers for dog bite by breed (it’s even available on Wikipedia ffs) leads me to believe this is yet another ‘it’s not Pit Bulls’ website.
Jonathan
“Pit Bulls” or associated breeds are supposedly responsible for 70% of the fatal dog attacks in America according to Dogsbite. However In a 2000 review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which examines data from both media reports and from The Humane Society of the United States, pit bull-type dogs were identified in approximately one-third of dog bite-related fatalities in the United States between 1981 and 1992. However, the review notes that studies on dog bite-related fatalities which collect information by surveying news reports are subject to potential errors, as some fatal attacks may not have been reported, a study might not find all relevant news reports, and the dog breed might be misidentified.The AVMA has also noted fundamental problems with tracking breed in dog bite-related fatalities. In a 2013 study of 256 fatalities in the United States from 2000–2009, the AVMA determined that valid breed determination was possible for only 17.6% of cases.
Mark
dogsbite is a bull**** organization who’s only real agenda is the eradication of all pit bull type dogs
Jennifer
You take the words of one stupid person saying dogsbite is a bad site and delete info about them, but gobs of others who confirm that dogsbite is legitimate, and you ignore theirs and stick with the one dumb idiot who spoke against them??? I will not send anyone to this page now that you’ve done this. You are an ignorant fool.
david
please research that “site” for yourself….there is nothing legit about it.
Toni
Care to elaborate? Can you choose just one fatality report from dogsbite and prove it false? I doubt it. None of the Pit Bull zealots who just repeat what they’ve heard can.
Julie Weingand
Oh how I wish I could post a screen shot right now because i do have proof.
Claudia
My baby brother was mauled by a neighbors pit when he was 8yo, this dog was kept in a tiny cage with raw meat hanging over it all the time and when the chance arose, he jumped a 5’ fence and charged my brother who was just playing in OUR fenced in yard with a friend and our other brother. The pit “locked” onto my brothers face and did a lot of damage. I had to sit and hold my brothers eye in his face until the ambulance arrived. This event made me deathly afraid of pits my whole life. I am now 51yo and 4 years ago I adopted a 4 month old pit from a kill shelter the day before she was to be euthanized. I have raised and bred Rottweilers and Boxers and I have to say I honestly feel that I am a great pet owner. I have had 2 situations where one of my dogs bit someone. The first one was a Rottie that was leashed as we were walking at a rest stop when a man came out of the trees and approached us at a rather quick pace. My dog turned to protect us and bit the mans hand. I wanted to call the police and the man quickly excused the dog and ran off (I can only speculate what his intentions were). The other incident occurred when I was disciplining one of my children and my Boxer grabbed me by my arm and pulled me away. Yes, she broke the skin and my husband was ready to put her down but I told him that she was only doing her job, to protect my kids even if that was from me. I never had any other problems from ANY of my dogs. My vets were always complimenting my dogs as they were very well behaved. My pit sleeps with 2 cats that totally adore her, she shares her food with said cats and I can take her food away without so much as a growl. I totally and completely believe that a dog’s behavior is controlled by the way they are treated.
I am constantly being asked if my pit bites, and my response is always the same… “She has teeth and she is a dog, she has never bitten anyone as of yet but she can.” I have respect for my dogs and what they can do and they in turn respect me and what I do for them.
Comparing a pit to other dogs simply because of their breed is no better than comparing a man of color to other men simply because of the color of his skin. There are good and bad in all walks of life.
Jack Sprat
Very well said and thank you for being kind and brave enough to take a chance.
Claudia
No need to thank me, I love my baby and just wish others would see that judging people or animals based on anything other than what they have personal control over is just ridiculous.
Sherri
Agreed, very well said. Just like raising children into adults, it applies to dogs as well. It is definitely nature vs. nurture theory. Your dog will turn out based on several factors including how they are raised, socialization, general training and the owners knowledge of the breed. Dogs attack for specific reasons, they do not just “snap” and attack for the hell of it. Thank you for sharing your story. I have 2 pit babies and they are the kindest, gentlest dogs I have ever owned. They are spoiled rotten but I have educated myself on how to raise and train my dogs.
Toni sherman
Anecdotal evidence of your single dog is evidence of nothing. But to compare dogs to the racist issue that affects people ONLY is ridiculous and makes you sound like a racist yourself. Dog breeds are purpose bred. Selectively bred for decades or even centuries to look and behave in certain ways. That’s why we have breeds. People procreate at random so no specific traits can be attributed to them.
Jason
No, that doesn’t make her sound at all racist. What sounds racist is believing that breed determines innate behavior…you know, like how racists believe people of other races are innately “XYZ.”

Now if you want to talk about selective breeding, by all means, do so. But if you do, you should be really clear about the difference between a breed and specific lines.

Pit bull science
I passed 4th grade science, so I know breed plays a significant role in behavior. Dogs were bred by people over thousands of years for specific jobs. The idea of a dog as a pet is a relatively modern idea (and as secondary to their roles as work animals). Schnauzers bark more bc they were bred as guard dogs, hounds and beagle tend to wander off bc they were bred to track scents, and pit bulls were bred to grab livestock by the face and pull them to the ground. Do they bite more than other breeds? Perhaps not; the evidence is not conclusive. But this evidence is pretty solid — they have a vicious bite and kill more people than any other breed. It’s not racist to say people are different (my skin has evolved white to compensate for vitamin d deficiency) but it is racist to say one race is better than the other ( my white skin does not make me better). But, if the trait that was selected is specifically correlated with killing people, then pits are awful, bc they kill more than any other breed. And that is how 4th grade science and logic work.
Tonj
Absolutely! People procreate at random, so no behaviors can be attributed to any race. And, humans are complex beings; having an understanding of good and bad, right and wrong, ethics, morals and consequences for ones actions. Comparing people to dog breeds is a fools errand. Dog breeds have been selectively bred for centuries to look and act in certain predictable ways. It is a desired goal of uniformity and breeding true. That why we have breeds. Collies herd, sight hounds chase, retrievers retrieve and bloodsport breeds fights and view other animals, and often people, as prey.
Dave Barry
I’d imagine what I’m about to say is going to go over your head since most have zero clues about the real APBT. The real (you’re unlikely to run into one) APBT were bred NOT to bite humans. In fact, according to one of the all-time best breeder’s, Louis Colby, it was their number 3 goal of every breeding to breed a dog that does not bite humans…period. Why? Because back in the day, the handler would enter the “pit” with the dogs so they could not have man aggressive dogs.

The dogs that people call “pit bulls” are a far cry from a pure APBT as it’s the “backyard” breeders who are breeding unstable dogs that are simply more likely to bite. I’d guess if there are 100 “pit bulls” at a shelter, maybe 3-4 are the real deal and those are the ones much less likely to bite a human.

Also, remember an APBT male typically weighs as low as 35-60 lbs on the HIGH end and that’s not what you are seeing biting others is it? NO, I didn’t think so. So if you are going to blame a breed, at least have a basic understanding of the actual breed you are blaming.

Giveadogabone
100% Agree
Toni
How very racist and insensitive of you to compare a dog breed to the social injustice of race discrimination. The problem with that thinking is a total lack of understanding of either. Humans procreate at random, so no certain behaviors can be ascribed to any race. Humans also possess the ability to understand good and bad, right and wrong, ethics, morals, and the consequences for their actions. Dogs do not! Dog breeds are selectively bred for centuries to look and behave in certain predictable ways in order to serve humans. Collies herd, sight hounds give chase, Setters point and flush game, retrievers have a soft mouth for retrieving, etc., etc. In dog breeds uniformity and form to function are the goals. Pit Bulls and their ilk were bred for bloodsport. It called genetics. To deny it, is ignorant and the height of disrespect for the dog. Your one dog not having bitten anyone AS YET, does not mean she won’t. Pits have lived in loving homes for many years before until an unknown trigger sets them off. They don’t recognize their actions as “bad”. It’s who they are.
Chip
Pits are loving,trainable and loyal… before the owner trained them to fight, blood sport as you say, they were nany’s for children. It’s howthe owners brings them up how theyll be. Get it
Giveadogabone
100% FACT
Sherri Bingaman
you are a very loving and educated pet owner. As a dog groomer for 30 years I would say the most aggressive breeds I have encountered are labs, and Shepard and surprisingly saint Bernard. I am sure I will get slack for saying this, but it is only my experience. And that is the big ones. most little dogs do not like strangers and can bite. like the one man said they have been breed for a job. ratters, so aggression is breed into them. and I believe that is a big part of it. but so is nurture. all the labs sheps, are so beloved that people do not train them and they can be very scary.
Taylor trust
Well put Claudia . One of the better posts.. n u more than anyone have a reason to stereotype pits..but really it could been any breed they kept in small cage n made like that..