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

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

According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year, and 900,000 of those bites become infected. The U.S. population is approximately 325.8 million people as of 2017. That means a dog bites 1 out of every 72 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.

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

  • Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year
  • Dogs that bite the most:
  • In 2016, there were an estimated 78 million dogs in the U.S.
  • 81% of dog bites cause no injury at all or only minor injuries that do not require medial attention
  • Dog bites sustained by children have been decreasing in the past decade
  • 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)
  • You have a 1 in 112,400 chance of dying from a dog bite or strike
    • You are at more risk of dying from:
      • Cataclysmic storm: 1 in 66,335
      • Contact with hornets, wasps and bees: 1 in 63,225
      • Air and space transport incidents: 1 in 9,821
      • Firearm discharge: 1 in 6,905
      • Choking from inhalation and ingestion of food: 1 in 3,461
      • Heart disease and cancer: 1 in 7
  • Most dog bites involve dogs who are not spayed or neutered
  • Fatal Dog Attacks states that 25% of fatal attacks were inflicted by chained dogs of many different breeds
  • The insurance industry paid more than $530 million in dog bite related claims in 2014

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 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 Institute, one-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 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?

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 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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204 Comments on "Dog Bite Statistics (How Likely Are You To Get Bit?)"

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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.
I reviewed the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and the Australian Shepard Dog did not appear at all, yet the Canine Journal listed this breed. Any explanation?
Kimberly Alt
We didn’t use a list of dog breeds that bite the most from the CDC. We used this source, which is also linked in the article.
There can never be an accurate assessment of pit bull bites or fatalities because, as the Huffington Post puts it, “It is commonly accepted that “pit bull” is not a breed but a loosely defined and general category. Definition of this category varies depending upon the source. Any blocky headed dog, or any mix of breeds that is between 35 and 100 pounds and upwards of 30 individual dog breeds may currently fall in this broad category through the use of visual breed identification.”

There are simply too many breeds, and mixes thereof, that make up the pit bull type. Thus, the three breeds that are commonly considered pit bulls cannot logically have dog bite/fatality statistics applied to them since there are so many other breeds (approximately 30) that contribute to the recognized pit bull type.

This doesn’t negate the issue but does require that we recognize that a much larger number of dog breeds are responsible for these horrific bites/fatalities. It’s not primarily “pit bulls”.

The individual referred to as pit bull demonstrates a clear lack of understanding the responsibilities of owning a dangerous animal by simply refusing to recognize what makes it such. I think the responsibility of a pets actions should fall on its owners. It clearly doesn’t at the moment and that’s why these silly pit owners feel empowered by owning such a pitiful creature. Use of responsible breeding methods should be utilized to permanently remove the
Inferior “breed” that is referred to as pit. Fix them all and they won’t be able to kill our pets or children.
This article is not consistent within itself. The first listing of PSI has a Doberman listed with a PSI of 245. Scroll down to the poster and the Doberman’s PSI is listed as 600. Who knows what the real statistics are partly due to the media? Other breed dog bites or fatalities are not always reported on the news or newspapers and if there is mention of a dog attack that is not a pit bull they usually don’t mention breed at all. In the 80’s and 90’s it was always the GS and Rotties that made the news whenever one of them attacked or had a negative behavior reaction and now the media has moved on to a different breed.

When one of my granddaughters was little, she was petting my mother’s Pekingese and when she stood up, Gizmo jumped up and bit her upper lip. I had to take her to ER for stitches and gave all dog info to the ER staff. An animal rescue friend of mine told me that the police and/or HS would contact me and maybe have him quarantined. Apparently the hospital never reported it because I never heard from anyone. But if I had said Gizmo was a Pit the police and HS would probably have beat me to my house. About 6 years later I ended up rehoming my mother’s Peke due to concerns of him taking advantage of my elderly mother. He had bitten her on the face – didn’t break the skin but caused bruising and swelling and would bite the caregivers and mother and even grazed the finger of a nurse when my mother was in a rehab facility and they told me to bring Gizmo to see her.

Maybe the reason why you think the article is not consistent with itself… is because you somehow saw “Doberman” listed twice, with two different PSIs?
It is listed once in the mail article as 245psi and once on the graphic as 600 psi
Kimberly Alt
To clarify, Doberman’s have a 245 PSI. I’m not sure why it’s showing up as 600 in the graphic for some. We updated our graphic and it shows up as 245 PSI for me. Perhaps it is a caching issue. I’m sorry for the inconvenience it has caused.
Dr. Michael S. Golinko, who completed the largest dog bite study to date, states pit bulls are a danger to children.
I have just read the entire article of Dr. Golinko and other doctors/veternarians. The article is fact!. As of Thurs. Feb. 16, 2018. Our little Deeto, a small Shitzu/Maltese was let outside to go to the bathroom. He is dead! Killed in our own driveway in Neenah, WI. 2 pitbull/boxer dogs were left out at there house by there owners to do the same reason. They came over here and just chomped him to death. These dogs had no collars on or any other identification. Neglect on the pitbull owners? I would say yes. I wish people who want these dogs to WAKE UP! They can be a family pet to you, but they are also extremely unpredictable and very strong! This breed and other dangerous/aggressive breeds should be labeled by vets as possible/probable dangerous animals to children, adults and other pets/animals. There needs to be more action from all cities to recognize this and do something to prevent this BEFORE it happens. To the owners who wish to keep an aggressive breed, you need to have a fenced in back yard. Have there dogs microchipped, Have them spayed or neutered. Have them alert their home owners insurance about the ownership of this breed. And take out additional insurance on them.
Our little dog Deeto is in our chest freezer waiting for burial in another place. We miss him terribly and so do the many people who have know him. He was 10 yrs. old.
Kimberly Alt
I am so sorry, Laurie. What a terrible story to share. Thank you for your courage in sharing it with us and our readers and please know we are thinking of you and your sweet Deeto.
Before I begin, I am sorry for your loss losing a pet is like losing a family member but that being said I want to let you on something, ANY dog can be aggressive not just a specific “breed” when I was younger my family and a black lab and he was one of the best dogs ever! But he get aggressive if you would try to touch or move him while he was laying down, I do agree it is the owners part of how a dog is treated and later on how that neglect or how it is treated is how the dog will be but after my lab passed away my parents were devastated and that following Christmas the most kind hearted lady told a shelter she would pay for every adoption from the 1st of December until the 30th so I took my opportunity and adopted a 10 month old pitbull(crazy right) and let me tell you since I’ve gave this guy a new life and home he has been the best dog despite the numerous threats given by neighbors and others. So this so called “aggressive breed” in my own opinion doesn’t exist, the media has portrayed a this breed as a monster and an article that I just read from an unbiased website stated that actually the top 5 most dogs bites came from dogs that were “family friendly” and weren’t even categorized has “aggressive breeds”
I agree! I had a chocolate Lab that was food-aggressive. We had to be VERY careful around her! I always raise my puppies with my hand in their food bowl while they eat, and in my 52 years, Coco was the ONLY dog who just couldn’t be trained! Still, we loved her for 16 years. Quirks and all. 🙂

We now have a Pit Bull, (and a Malti-Zhu, and a Cocker) and I raised him the same way… hand in the bowl. You CAN train a Pit how to have a soft bite, contrary to what Pit-haters think. He refuses to bite down if my fingers are anywhere near his mouth. As a matter of fact, I was being a goof and fed him a piece of chicken with a fork. (That’s because he thinks he’s human. LOL!) Anyway, the moment he sensed something ‘different’ in his mouth, he refused to take the chicken! I couldn’t believe it! He LOVES chicken! So I had to take it off the fork and hand it to him. But even then… he tested the waters to see if it was okay.

That ‘leave them alone while they’re eating’ thing should NOT be confused with proper training. (Strange dogs? Yes! Family pets? No.) You should have your hands in the bowl, in their mouths, touching them, interrupting them, taking the food away, but ALWAYS giving it back, and then leave them in peace. They need to learn that fingers aren’t food. I’ve had SO MANY dogs in my life! (I lived on a ranch for part of it), and have never had a problem. Until Coco.

These Pit-haters? They have NO IDEA what they’re talking about.

I rescued my Pit from a lifetime in a fighting ring. But the ONLY thing he fights now? Are his stuffed animals.

My Malti-Zhu, on the other hand, is a little monster. LOL! My Pit always just lays there, looking amazed. LOL!

Kimberly Alt
Emily that is such a great training tip for being in your dog’s business while they’re eating. This is so important and I love the way you worded it. Fingers are not food and this helps them learn it. And it’s so funny that your pup wouldn’t eat the chicken off the fork because the fork was unfamiliar. So stinking cute! Thanks for sharing!
Oh! Laurie! You must be having so many nightmares! Daymares, even!

If something like that happened to me while I was walking my Malti-Zhu, I would never be the same! I’m so sorry for your loss!

See, that, right there, is irresponsible ownership. Those Pits should’ve NEVER been allowed to do their deed on their own! All dogs require supervision… even if it’s just to be courteous and to pick up their poop! In all of my years, I’ve never allowed my indoor dogs to go out on their own. (My outdoor, ranch dogs were a different story. We lived on a MASSIVE amount of land, and they had a job to do. And we had no neighbors.)

Now, I live on seven acres, but STILL won’t let them walk, unsupervised.

A while back, I was walking my brother’s miniature Greyhound, when a hawk swooped down to try to get her. I saw this in time, and protected her. But if I wasn’t there? It scared the daylights out of me!

Another time, I was watering my garden… and came within a few yards of a black bear! (Thankfully, my dogs were inside. They think they’re bigger than they are!)

I have a Pittie. And not only is it my responsibility to have him on a leash and supervised (even though he’s a mush). I have to make sure that the people around me feel safe!

I also keep my Malti-Zhu and Cocker on a leash at all times while we’re walking.

They’re like my furry kids! (Not literally, of course.)

When my children were young (they’re adults now), I never let then go out, unsupervised. In this day and age, you never know what might be lurking out there.

The same goes with my ‘furry boys’. But different dangers. Hawks, bears, other dogs…

With the ‘big guys’, its courteous to those around you to keep them on a leash. It makes people feel more comfortable, because you can’t tell the temperament of a dog just by looking at them. (My Pit is 70 pounds and looks intimidating. But he’d rather curl up with a teddy bear and sleep.)

But not all Pits are like my Ozzy. ALL dogs are different! But whether they’re aggressive… or passive… it doesn’t matter. Those dogs should’ve been on a leash! They should’ve NEVER been free to do what they wanted.

That angers me!!!

And you should’ve been PERFECTLY SAFE walking your dog! I don’t know the laws where you live, but here? All dogs must be on a leash. And if they ARE the same for you? Than there REALLY was no excuse for those Pits to be out and about like that! ZERO!!!

My Jellybean, even though he only weighs about 7 pounds, thinks he’s a big guy, and tries to protect me from everything! Leaves, airplanes, the wind. Then he looks at me as if asking, “Are you proud of me? Did I do a good job?” And I always have to praise him and give him love.

I’d bet your little guy thought he was protecting you, too… showing you love! And even though that must’ve been the most traumatizing experience for you (I don’t know HOW you’re able to function… my heart goes out to you… TRULY!) these little guys are SO loving and loyal! I’d bet that, even though his little spirit is no longer here, he’s watching you, and he’s so happy you’re safe!

Oh… I mean I hope you weren’t hurt! My apologies if you were! And if you were, I hope you’re all healed up now.

The owners of those dogs did wrong by you! Yes, I love my Pittie. But I’m also a responsible dog owner. And even though my dog has a mushy temperament, I would’ve NEVER allowed him to be out there, unsupervised!

Just like THEY shouldn’t.

They really did wrong by you… AND your poor furbaby!

I’m so sorry!!! :’(

We are mourning the loss of our own Taz, who was killed March 10 in his own yard, ripped out of the hands of my little seven year old daughter, by a loose pit bull terrier. My daughter also sustained a bite wound on her hand. This dog was chained and left to get loose, which she did often. My daughter went outside before I could do anything to stop her, and it happened so fast that I couldn’t have prevented it. Our Taz was only 3, and his life was just beginning. I’m so heartbroken that she had to witness this kind of violence and that she lost her dog. Our family is devastated.
Kimberly Alt
Tammy, I am so sorry that your family is experiencing this. What a terrible event with such a great loss. We are thinking of you and your sweet Taz.
Eilidh Somerville
And these bite force tests. Were they done under controlled studies or were they done when the adrenaline was pumping during a full on sustained mauling? Testing during the latter would reveal something different and would no doubt put a certain breed nearer the top and that certain breed has certainly dismembered and disemboweled more than a few grown adults.
Connie Price
I am concerned about your link to “training collars” which goes to shock collars-which have been shown to supress or even exacerbate fearful or aggressive behavior, but not change it-remember that the 91 yr old woman killed last year was by a dog “trained” with a shock collar, sent home with that collar, and attacked shortly after the collar was removed. A more realistic plan would include basket muzzle training, management, and true Behavior Modification that includes Counter Conditioning and Desensitization, CAT or BAT training. This has been done many times with many dogs by many Veterinary Behaviorists, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists, and Positive Trainers, with dedicated and diligent owners, without the use of shock or prong collars.
I would also be interested in the testing perimeters for the dog bite strength numbers-how was it done? How was it measured?
This is a very volatile topic, I do not believe any breed is “bad” but do believe genetics can and do contribute to behavior as well as bad breeding and training/upbringing-there are also exceptions-I have seen dogs horrible abused still loving towards human and those where everything was done “right” turn out very dangerous. Overbreeding, and irresponsible breeding, have created aggressive dogs in breeds not normally known for aggression. Add bad training and upbringing to the mix and there are bites and deaths as a result. We have to communicate not attack each other to try and better this situation.
Kimberly Alt
You can learn more about the dog bite strength by viewing the source we found the information from and linked to.
Your source lists Dobermans at 245 PSI, not 600.
Kimberly Alt
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Looks like our source also updated it from 10 breeds to 12. I will be sure to update those breeds and numbers. Thanks again!
Naomi Carpenter
“Dog bite statistics are not really statistics, and they do not give an accurate picture of dogs that bite. Invariably the numbers will show that dogs from popular large breeds are a problem. This should be expected, because big dogs can physically do more damage if they do bite, and any popular breed has more individuals that could bite. Dogs from small breeds also bite and are capable of causing severe injury. There are several reasons why it is not possible to calculate a bite rate for a breed or to compare rates between breeds.”

Honestly, if a true study were conducted, using an equal number of dogs from each breed, the results would be different.

Good gosh the ignorance is disturbing. I got pulled into this because my best friends dog. They can’t have children so they got a pit bull and treated it like like their child. It was the sweetest dog until after six years, out of the blue, while walking past the sleeping dog that lives next door – like it had thousands of times – without warning it turned and killed it before we could reach them.
Quit trying come up with stupid stuff like “oh, Chihuahuas bite way more!” or “other dogs have a stronger bite!” Wow. And how many people have Chihuahuas killed? Gee that was a great comparison. And how many of those other dogs bite more than once, and once get a good hold lock down and shake to do maximum danger. Gee another great compassion.
So many of you are getting so angry right now without rational thought. Want to call me ignorant. And I’m not a pit bull hater. I am just not swayed by passion. Of course you can greatly help by conditioning a dog and good ownership. But a pit bull will turn and kill more than all other dogs in the US combined. All others combined! Are you really going to deny that? Really? Are you going to defend it with, “oh, everyone calls my mastiff a pit bull” or “my lab mix doesn’t fetch, so nah!” Really, everyone mistakes a mastiff for a pit bull… really, or maybe that has happened once or twice. Or because you had a lab mix that that wouldn’t fetch, that nulls the the fact that most deaths by mauling in the US are by pit bulls?? Even if you take out chained dogs?? Really??

Just say you like Pit Bulls. Just say that. Just say you like the breed and want to have one.

Guess what? A lot of horses kill people. I don’t know the numbers of horses to pit bulls IN THE US. Actually, the PERCENTAGE would be the honest tell. What has that got to do with trying to make up in your head that pit bulls even when raised well are more likely to kill than all other dogs in the US combined?? Don’t try to skew pit bull mauling by the population of the world.

Don’t just get angry because you like pit bulls and scream I’m ignorant. I’m just honest.

Thank you for saying this! I’m sick of this statement that it’s the owners and not the breed. If the statistics on pit bull attacks weren’t so completely beyond any other breed reported (along the lines of 70% of reported bites when the breed accounts for 6% of the dog population), I’d be more inclined to defend this breed. And I say this as the daughter of a woman who owns a docile pit bull. My mother still doesn’t let her dog off leash, keeps him inside as a family member, has a muzzle for him when he goes to the vet, doesn’t take him to dog parks, keeps a fenced yard, and doesn’t let him around any children without adult supervision. That breed needs cautious, conscientious owners who have them obedience trained, and still plan for the worst. A chihuahua isn’t going to rip a child’s throat out, and a chihuahua isn’t going to kill another dog just because it wants to in that moment.
Dear Pit Bull breeders and owners,
There have been 36 (thirty-six) cases of pit bull fatalities in the US so far this year (2017).
Two additional fatalities were caused by mastiff-mix dogs.
This number does not include people who were permanently disfigured and pets and livestock which were killed or seriously injured.
You (Pit Bull breeders and owners) have a very serious problem with your breed.
Why are the Pit Bull people NOT coming forward to research and make every effort possible to correct this very serious breed issue?
Where are you getting that number from? Wikipedia lists 13.

Secondly, any dog that has a short coat and a blocky head is called a “pit bull” by the media (which is where the CDC gets their info on dog breeds). Most of these dogs are NOT pit bulls and are be some sort of mixed breed of completely unknown origin (which may or may not include pit bull). Actually APBT breeders are breeding for human friendliness. So there’s nothing for them to “come forward” for or any need to research. The breed is MEANT to be human friendly. You can’t account for random bred mixed breeds (aka that “100 lb pit bull” that attacked someone when pit bulls aren’t nearly that big!).

Eilidh Somerville
Isn’t it funny that when pit bulls do something good, when they are receiving free spaying and neutering and when they are being portrayed positively by the media they are pit bulls and can be identified as such. Yet when they maul and kill and when BSL is being spoken about they all of a sudden aren’t pit bulls and pit bulls become impossible to identify!
Miss Jenn
Have you even considered that it is not a “breed issue” but instead a people issue? People need to be more educated on training dogs and dog behavior. There needs to be more accountability and harsher punishments for people who mistreat them and/or raise them to be mean. Pit bulls are more potentially dangerous because of their strength and instinct to hold on, however if raised, trained and treated correctly, they can be just as sweet, gentle and loving as many other breeds people revere. People are responsible.
Mr J
So you admit they are more dangerous and it takes more responsibility to own one?
I can’t believe you cited Dogsbite, which is run by a woman who hates pit bulls. Does Canine Journal support BSL? Because that’s the only reason I could see you citing DB. In the About Us section, the first sentence is: “ is a public education website about dangerous dog breeds, chiefly pit bulls.” The numbers Colleen cites are completely made up or deceptively given. She often cites Merritt Clifton, who has been outed as a fraud (faking his credentials). His numbers don’t add up (literally). Her blog has been up for 10 years and has been debunked many times. I suggest rewriting this and using credible sources. It’s a shame dogs get such a bad rep because people who claim to love dogs spread lies about them.
Kimberly Alt
Heather, thank you for bringing this to out attention. We have removed information in our article from DogsBite. We are saddened by what we found about the woman who runs the website. Canine Journal does not believe in breed specific legislation and we are pro all breeds. Thank you again for mentioning this to us and giving us the opportunity to correct it.
Thank you so much!! I really appreciate that.
Seriously you are going to believe that? I have researched the attacks that cites – every single one has a news story connected to it to prove they are legitimate. Heather’s supposed “debunking” has been debunked.
It is a complete shame that you would remove that data just because it is compiled by someone who is against a breed. I’m the daughter of a woman who owns a docile pit bull, and even my mother will tell you that the dog breed is a dangerous breed and needs a specific kind of handling, keeps her dog calmly restrained at all times, won’t let strangers on her property without putting the dog away completely, and has a muzzle for vet visits even though he has shown no sign of aggression at the vet. However, I will also tell you that as the mother of a pit bull bite victim, and the owner of a dog that was mauled to death by one in an unprovoked attack while my dog was on leash in my daughter’s arms, this breed needs to be controlled.
Eilidh Somerville
Would you please provide proof of all that debunking and please tell me how you can condone a completely unprovoked mauling! And no, running/jogging past a pit bull is no excuse for a mauling!
I’m not saying there were no unproved attacks by pit bulls (which isn’t even a single breed). I’m saying that the information is cherry picked and often the dogs in stories she cites aren’t even APBT or a bully breed. She also ignores other dog attacks, to make it seem like bully breeds are the top attackers. The media often falsely labels dogs in attacks too. The University of Florida completed a study fairly recently about how shelter workers commonly mislabel dogs as “pit bulls” when they’re not. Without a DNA test or papers from a reputable breeder, you cannot say what breed a dog is. “Pit bull attacks” gets clicks and sells papers. I know people who have been violently attacked (unprovoked) by other dogs, varying in size, and it never made the news. KC Dog Blog has written many great articles that break down the fake research on DB and by MC.
Eilidh Somerville
First of all there are only a few breeds that are considered ‘pit bulls’. In the US it’s the American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and dogs that conform to the majority of breed characteristics of the APBT. I am not including the American Staffordshire Terrier because it is the exact same as the APBT. The AKC would not register the APBT so the UKC was formed so that fighting pits (or ‘working’ as they like to call it) could be officially registered. The AKC did start registering pits several decades later, but under the name American Staffordshire Terrier. In the UK it is only the APBT and dogs that conform to most of the characteristics of it. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is considered a separate breed. So there is not a large number of different breeds that are considered pit bulls.

As for DNA. How do you think the breeds that the foundation DNA samples (to which future samples would be compared) were identified? They were identified visually. But, DNA is unreliable for testing for breed and that is why it is not permitted in court in a lot of countries. As I have said before it is only after an attack or when BSL is being spoken about that pit bulls become so hard to identify. At any other time (when pits do something good, when they are receiving free spaying and neutering, etc) they are easy to identify and their breed is never ever questioned. Besides identifying them has never been so easy. You’ve got the TV shows fronted by Cesar Millan, Pit Bulls and Parolees, Pit Boss, DogTown, It’s Me or the Dog and a whole host of other shows that feature dogs which all demonstrate what pit bulls look like. People have also plastered thousands of pictures of their pit bulls all over social media and countless more pictures of them can be found with a search engine. So all this talk about them being so hard to identify is baloney. It’s just a myth conjured up by advocates.

With regards to DogsBite. I have had a look at that blog and there is nothing on there that actually debunks the site. Most of the organizations it cites make money (and lots of it) from pit bulls. Do you really think they would speak out against something that makes them money? However, there are many dog professionals that are in favor of BSL or at the very least restrictions placed on pits. The blog also states that it is possible to teach a TWO YEAR OLD to be cautious around dogs. Really? Yes I am all for teaching kids to be careful around dogs, but it is impossible for a two year old to fully comprehend the possible dangers, to read and interpret body language and to have full impulse control. I am sorry, but such a suggestion is absurd! It also brings up science. What science would that be? The scientific studies that are often supported and funded by pro pit organization like Animal Farm Foundation?

DogsBite doesn’t cherry pick anything either. The site reports non pit bull fatalities and when it comes to identifying the dogs involved the media will often confirm that with police reports, veterinary reports, hospital records and the very people who had the attacking dogs. If breed cannot be confirmed then the site will state as such.

And would you please provide the names of those people you know who were violently attacked by non pits so that I can research to see if they were actually reported or not. Thank you.

Charlie is a legitimate source. Evidently you’ve never spent any time there checking for yourself if the stories they post are true or not. Try it. Every attack they post can be verified by Googling it – there will be a news story that corroborates it.

You are doing an injustice to truth. No one has legitimately “debunked” DogsBite. Anyone who has tried twists and spins everything. Shame on you.

By the way, the site also lists bites by other breeds. They are not “pit bull haters”. You, on the other hand, are a “pit bull nutter” – someone who denies the very existence of proof.

I really like this article. It helped me with my controversial paper in my english class.
Kimberly Alt
Glad we could help! Hope you get an A!
One day I answered the door to someone asking me if I had seen something outside, they were with there 4 year old yellow lab Trixie. I guess she had seen my cat through the door and rampaged into my apt. to get it by the throat. I was horrified and the owner was only yelling at it drop it Trixie drop it he said over and over. The dog ignored him she held down on my cats throat and i could hear the pain in my cats meow as he started to slip away. I told the owner of that dog you have less than a min to get that dog off my cat! He didn’t really try harder afraid to hurt his dog he didn’t do anything. So, I grabbed a pen that had been sitting on my night stand in the very room this was all happening in and i stabbed the dog in the eye! It cried and let go of my cat, my cat was saved and took a huge gulp of air i felt relieved. The owner of the dog was so mad he was saying WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY DOG? Yelling at me and i looked at him and said this is my apt. that dog just about killed my cat in my own home and you yell at me? I kicked him out of the apt. and kept his dog. I called the police and told them that the dog broke in with his owner at my door and attacked my cat. I told him the details and the cop gave the man a ticket for not leashing his pet, also the dog lived even without an eye and my cat had a crushed bone in his throat that Trixie’s owner took care of the bill at the vet for. My cat doesn’t meow anymore and stays away from windows and doors, I don’t feel bad for blinding that dog after all I was trying to kill it. Moral to the story if you don’t know how to control a pet then don’t own it and if it gets out of hand and your pet gets hurt or killed don’t get mad at anyone but yourself.
I believe the 2 biggest causes of dog bites are irresponsible dog owners & negligent parents
Bingo! That’s it right there, 100%.
yes 100% true exactly
David Kay
I have owned four Golden Retrievers. They were all bred, per the name of the breed, to retrieve. Throw a ball in front of a Golden Retriever and the dog can’t help it, they will chase it, and bring it back. Pit Bulls were bred to do what? They will do that, they can’t help it. If retrieving offends you, don’t get a Golden Retriever. If biting with unbelievable pressure, until the prey or child no longer moves offends you…
You’re an idiot David Kay
Dogs replicate there surroundings like everything in this world, influence and environment shapes personality please read the “chained” dog part
I bet you’d hate life if you were always restricted by 5kg of steel hanging from your neck.
I have 1 red nose x mastiff female and 1x mastiff x bull dog male and they are socialised daily with children at the local tennis complex and every week people’s opinions at developed in how beautiful “pit bulls” are as dogs.
David Kay
Phil, you can’t even write. You exemplify Pit Bull ownership: foolish, uninformed, and a danger to society.
I work at the local animal shelter, and I deal with hundreds of dogs daily! I have never been bitten by a pit bull…Greyhounds, huskys, terriers, labs, retrievers? Yes, but pit bulls? Never have I been bitten by one of them!!
I feel like you a danger to yourself and one day someone will make you look like the fool you really are and that is a shame
David Kay , just a thought but maybe you shouldn’t concern yourself about Phil’s writing prowess and worry about the fact your using a discredited , bias organization as your source. I’m going to have to agree with phil and Lanaa you are a idiot. Idiots like this organization who blatantly misinform are perpetuating unneeded hate and fear toward a great breed.
Never seen a pit bull herding sheep.
Back in the 1920’s and 30’s pitbulls were farm dogs, and were considered the all American dog. Some people used even leave them with their kids all day while at work. That being said, I have four kids that stay home with my pit all day long during summer brakes. With out any incidents. My dog plays, eats and sleeps with my kids, and never shows any signs of aggression. Now that being said would i trust my dog with a baby? No!

The problem with all dog owners, is that they humanize their dog. When you stop treating your pet like an animal, and start treating it like it completely understands you, that’s when the problems start. I know what kind of dog I own, and I train it and treat it accordingly. Also, I always remind my kids about the fact that our dog is an animal and not a teddy bear.

Slowly over time we may breed out the aggressive nature in pits but someone else can do it, I have children. I know a woman who will not own a pitbull because she had a bad experience with one as a girl. She got it as a puppy and loved it, her sister liked to hold its paws and make it “dance” with her, they took it with them when they roamed the neighborhood. One day they were walking about a mile from home with their dad and the pit when another man passed by with a dog on a leash, without warning the pit attacked the dog and got a grip on its throat. Her Dad was a tough man and known for being strong but could not get it to let go. It finally did on its own when the dog was dead. He took the pit home and shot it after that. She grew up with German Shepherds and Rottweilers galore and has had ones of her own as an adult but she says she will never own a pit after seeing hers suddenly turn into a monster. Thank God her pit’s offender was another dog and not a child!
dog aggression and people aggression are two different characteristics and shouldn’t be confused with one another
1. That wouldn’t have happened if they had actually kept the dog on a leash.
2. Dog aggression =/= human aggression. And dog aggression is a definite issue with the breed (and especially so with random mixed breeds as breeders are trying to breed such things OUT).
David, I’m going to have to agree with Phil on this one, you are an idiot. I have a Golden Retriever, and let me tell you what is the one thing that dog never does: retrieve. You throw the ball, she gets it and then she just stands there and waits for you to chase her, ’cause that’s how the game goes. It’s how you raise them, not what you think they’re bred for. We didn’t want an employee, we wanted a family member and that’s how we treated her from the beginning. So now, at eight years, she’s useless as a hunting assistant, but she’s the best dog one could ask for. Also a great substitute for a bed for our two cats who prefer sleeping on her.
Pit Bulls are what you make of them, every dog is what you make of it, you treat it as a killing machine, it’s gonna turn into a killing machine. You show it kindness and fun and just treat it as what it is, an animal wanting affection, and you’re going to get a friend for life.
Neighbors Pit was treated with much love and was part of family, next thing you know it barged in our house before I could stop it, killed our dog who did not even bark to provoke. Never know when the pits will turn. explain that. Sorry pits can go to hell.
Agreed. Neighbor’s dog attacked my child and killed my dog in my front yard. My dog didn’t do anything. My child did nothing to provoke. She was two feet from the home’s entrance. The pit was loose and killed just to kill. And I’ve been around plenty of pits, even docile ones. I’m still not going to trust a breed that accounts for over two-thirds of bites. (I didn’t get that from dogs bite.)
First of all, calling someone an idiot because you disagree with them is not a good way to communicate and it’s extremely disrespectful! It is the problem with computers. I seriously doubt you would say that to someone’s face if you were having the conversation face to face. Second; I’ll agree on one point… I have a 2 year old Golden that thinks that it is my job to fetch and retrieve, not hers. Third; I have to disagree on your point about showing a pit kindness and fun and getting a friend for life. I have an acquaintance who had a 6 year old pit… sweetest dog you could ever imagine… yada yada… long story short, he was standing in his living room about 5′ away from his 2 year old daughter and his pit, who was about 8′ away from the daughter, decided to charge and attack her face. He was watching the whole thing and it was completely unprovoked. The dog had never shown any signs of aggression in the past. Everyone loved this dog. The daughter never bothered the dog and they got along great. The dad killed the dog because he would not stop tearing and shaking and was going to kill his little girl. She was badly disfigured and received a med flight to a hospital and will never be the same. He will never be the same. This is an unpredictable breed. This is the first one that I have known the people, but this is not the first story I have heard where a pit bull has attacked a family member without provocation. This is the big difference between this breed and others. I can’t think of another breed that attacks it’s own pack. They are usually protective of their pack instead.
I see your point but by that logic you obviously don’t know why golden retrievers were originally bred for also what they are meant to do is not fetch your ball but heard and capture small live stock animals the funny thing is pit bulls were also bred for the same reason but they were meant to heard and control large live stock like bulls please know something about the breeds before stating things pick up a book and read so that you don’t look so foolish next time.
Obviously you’ve never encountered a loving pitbull. Assuming all pitbulls are bad are like assuming all humans are bad because they’ve hurt a person.
Pit bulls were bred to bait bulls and bears. When that was outlawed, they fought the dogs against each other. That’s why you see some with dog aggression issues. They were NOT bred to attack people (also the “pressure” of their bite is no stronger than most medium sized breeds and is weaker than some of the larger breeds, e.g. Rottweilers and Mastiffs).
Really? Pit Bulls were not bred to bite!!! Most Pit Bulls that bite it is because of the environment that they are raised. I have seen a pit bull puppy with chains hanging from it’s neck to make him stronger-why do you think the idiot that owned that puppy was doing it? My parents had a weimaraner that but my friend-and guess our dog had been teased outside of our fence by the kids in the neighborhood. I have a lab/mastiff that will bite smaller dogs-guess what I keep him away from other dogs…..I had a Labrador that would retrieve but also he didn’t like other dogs and would bite. And yes I have a pit bu!! I have a pit bull as well and he is so sweet, my nephew has a pit as well and he is also so sweet. So I believe any dog can bite and sometimes there is something wrong with the dog that can cause aggression like a Thyroid issue which my labrador had. BSL is bullshit and should not be in place and those who think that pits are bread to bite across the board are a special kind of crazy!!!!
That is completely true.
“Dog bite statistics” The only thing I was looking for is which dog bites the most. Bad job.
Kimberly Alt
Sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for. We’ve now added which dogs bite the most to our article. It may take 24-48 hours to show up in some areas due to caching.
you must not be able to read then because they clearly state these breeds that bite the most: Chihuahua
Pit Bull
German Shepherd
Australian Shepherd
Lhasa Apso
Jack Russell Terrier
Cocker Spaniel
Bull Terrier
Miss Jenn
They listed “pit bull” as one of the breeds that bite the most, then later said that “pit bull” isn’t actually a breed. So which is it? If it isn’t a breed they need better research on the different breeds mislabeled as “pit bull” and to be way more specific.
Kimberly Alt
Our source listed for dogs that bite the most is one of the sources that lists pit bulls as a breed. This is why we then explain in our article that pit bulls are mislabeled often. Unfortunately, there is a huge stigma associated with pit bulls and there is a lack of thorough research done. This is why we deemed it necessary for our readers to know that when a source says “pit bulls are responsible for X number of bites” they are aware that pit bull is not a breed and you may want to look into the source further or find another one.

We feel we did the best research possible for this article and tried to represent the facts in an unbiased manner. Unfortunately, we cannot do further research on the breeds mislabeled as pit bull because we do not have access to each specific dog’s genetic makeup.

These are the breeds that they label as Pit Bulls. It can be any one of the breeds or a dog that is a combination of breeds….American bulldog.
American Staffordshire terrier.
American pit bull terrier.
Staffordshire bull terrier.
English bull terrier.
Psi stats are bs, each individual dog have different bite presure. Just like each human has different strengths.
Mike Powers is a biased website that skews statistics. You should not be using them as a source. It is run by an individual with a vendetta against Pit Bulls.

Source: Care2 and various others. Do a Google search for Dogsbite bias

Victor R Peters
I have been a dog owner for 61 years. Have never had a dog that caused an injury requiring medical attention. I have had Rotweilers, German Shepards, Labs, Cockers, Beagles, hounds, Rhodesian Ridgeback and many mutts. The English Black Lab is the best dog I ever owned. They are more subdued than the American and absolutely LOVE children. I now have a Ridgeback. He nipped (no broken skin ) my granddaughter twice. Both were when she was playing rough with him. He is more dangerous than my labs. But not a killer. She knows how to act around him and no problem. Both times she was playing rough with me. He is VERY protective. She loves him now. Just train well and watch any dog around kids. I am 67 and want a protective dog, but I teach him and those around him how to react to each other.
Jim Page
No mention of Pakistani fighting dogs such as Bully Kutta, Gull Dong etc re strength of bite. Then there are also the various central asian & east european shepherd/ livestock guarding breeds eg caucasian shepherd, sarplaniac, etc
Just curious why African Wild Dogs are on there. And not hyenas or wolves?
Kimberly Alt
Hi Kelsey, great question. The source we sited is for the top 10 dogs. From reading the source, it seems like it is ranking the top 10 dogs that live with people. People don’t have too many hyenas and wolves in their homes. Hope that explains it! 🙂
I didn’t know people owned African Wild Dogs, but cool! Thanks
Hi, Hyena’s are actually not related to dogs they are considered more feline.
Hyena’s are more feline than canine.
Okay so I don’t proclaim to know much about Pitbulls as I have never owned one. There where quite a few where I live and some loose. I had run ins with some. Most of the fights were provoked by my dog a lab cross. Luckily the fights were not too hard to break up.
I study dogs and dog breeds in my spare time. I have noticed that mastiff type dogs are less likely to maul people. Why is this? I think it could be that mastiffs are understood more. People realize what those dogs are capable off and keep them away from strangers. Mastiffs are aldo more mellow tempered. Pitbulls are generally very well natured so lead people to believe they are safe. People tend to forget that they are terriers first of all and t erriers do tend to be more snappish then say mastiff and when a pit bites it tends to do huge damage. I remember a mauling in my country by a pit. The dog’s owners nephew who was over visiting quickly jumped off the couch and the dog reacted thinking that perhaps it’s owner was in danger. not the dog’s fault but the owner. I think that pitbull owner’s need to keep their pitbulls in a cage or tied up when strangers at around for safety’s sake. And realise that under that friendly layer is a dog that will fight to the death and protect the owner to the death. They turn off when fully angry. And its need a owner that understands the breed fully and not just generally. They can be the most amazing dogs in the right hands and the worst in the wrong hands.
Cheryl roberts
Hannah so your idea is to segregate pitbulls when people are around , mastiff on the other hand you believe should not. I speak as a owner of 2 pits ,2 bull mastiffs and 1 Pomeranian. First the 5 pound Pomeranian is the meanest. Both bull mastiffs are very protective and are not allowed out when strangers are around due to them being unpredictable as they are both young but big. Then my two pits are both rescue dogs from people who treated them poorly and tried to make one a fight dog, and now that they are in a loveing home they dont show any type of aggression and are the most mellow of all of them. In saying that though my point is it doesnt matter the breed but a responsible owner is cautious no matter who is around you should always protect your dog by knowing them and what triggers thier fears, that is the main reason most dogs bite fear, trapped or sick.just like humans they all can have a bad day.
Eddie Carroll
I also like how in the midst of the article there is an ad for Dog Bite Insurance. Gee, I wonder why that ad is there… maybe because the article has now gotten you afraid of pitbulls, so you’d better go get their insurance to protect yourself.

This reads like a sales ad for the insurance company more than an objective look into dog bites. Mark Twain once said “There are three kinds of lies: ‘A lie’, ‘A damn lie and a statistic.”

Kimberly Alt
People who are concerned with dog bites or who have “aggressive dog breeds” may not be aware of liability insurance and it is the best way to protect ones’ self financially. This is a free site with original content about dogs because we love dogs and want to share what we have learned over the years with other responsible dog owners. Ads and partnerships are how we are able to produce the free content you are reading.
pits were bread to fight , not be companions . hell my wolf dog is less likely to bite than my sisters pits . my dog just gets excited about other doggos and wants to play . hers have litterally jumped out of their home window ran the neighbors dog down and attacked her .
“Pit bulls” which is a TYPE not a specific breed, were bred (not bread – they are animals, not food), to be protectors of children. They were bred to be loyal and gentle to all and had nothing to do with fighting. Unfortunately, due to their loyalty, humans used this to their advantage in order to selectively breed a few for “sports”. This trait however, is not an innate behaviour and if raised for a family pet they thrive. If raised with little discipline, the fear creates an uneasy environment, as with any breed.
We adopted our first pit 3.5 yrs ago. She was a shelter dog brought in as a stray. She has all kinds of scars and we believe she was a bit dog. BEST DOG EVER! She is the love of my life. Loyal, affectionate, sweet, gentle and kind. I’ll always have pits from now on.
Kimberly Alt
Amanda, your comment brings a smile to my face. I’m so glad you were able to give her a loving home. Thank you for sharing with us!
June Bradford
The APBT is the only pitbull and it is a breed. Do your research.
no they were not. They might be bred that way now. but they were orginally bred to be fighters.
john zolis
Anecdotal comments have zero weight in debate!
Furthermore M.Vicks dogs were bred, trained and fought and after they were rescued 49 of 51 of the dogs went on to homes and became good canine award holders and therapy dogs so take your rhetoric about Pits are not companions you closed minded bigot!
A Andrews
Being raised around all large breeds specifically pits and having neighbors with half wolf dogs. Half wolf dogs are more likely to bite. By nature they know no bounds so you have to know the nature of the wild to protect yourself. My friend also adopts half wolf breeds all the time and I’ve been nipped just by them protecting their own space. I knew it was just an instinct, you can’t have thin skin and cry about not respecting a breed. My parents have adopted every large breed said to be “aggressive” and me and my siblings have never been bit. But growing up I know how to respect these breeds and how to act around them and how they should be treated. And I will tell you this, I’ve only been bit in my whole life by small dogs who were under 30lbs and were not respectful by any means. One you never show fear to a dog, and you never turn your back and run. You know those dogs were never picked up or reported on when I called the police to file a report. My sister was bit in the face by a Dalmatian as a child, supervised, and she was told numerous times to stop getting in the dogs face. She now knows her bounds and know takes in pits. Owners are the reason for lack of responsibility and training.
Andres Alvarez
Hav you seen the documentary Warriors? It is about those dogs and it is AWESOME!! I liked it especially because the ones who couldn’t get fostered were still able to find a home at The Sanctuary. I think that’s the name of it..
Andres Alvarez
My mistake, the movie/documentary is called The Champions.
Jesse James
Where did you see this documentary? I would love to see it. Thanks!
Ozzy\'s Owner
Then your sister needs to stop bullying her pits! I have had 3 dogs- my first was a beagle mixed mutt that had to be put down for biting people. My second was a cocker spaniel mix that was rescued and a great dog but had a penchant for biting people because she was abused and I currently have a 70 pound, 3 year old Brindle and White Pit Bull that we rescued and he is the most loving and kindest dog I’ve ever been around. I also have kids ages 14, 8, 8, and 3 and the 3 year old uses him as a pillow most of the time. I was hesitant with getting him thanks to the media and ignorant people scaring me and I do not regret getting him and actually want another one, just not as big! He’s too strong lol
Jesse James
Pits may have been bred to fight but that is not the case only if the owner trains it to fight. I have a pit mix whom i adopted when she was a bit over a yr old. I had a lab mix too that was 13 yrs old, who was super smart & well behaved. Using her as the role model for my pit mix, & thru socialization, she is now a very well behaved dog & friendly. I watch her signals tho, some people she seems leery of so i just keep her away. She minds me EVERY time i call her for whatever, she now just looks at a deer or rabbit that can be literally less than 100 feet from her. Maybe i just got lucky, but i still contest that in most cases, the owners have either not socialized or maybe want the dog to be aggressive. Most any dog will protect its owner so that is neither here nor there in the dog family. I have an aussie cattle dog mix that i think is more likely to bite than my pit mix or german shepherd i have. Just use common sense, learn to read a dog’s body language & socialize with people you know & trust & most likely you will get a better dog. I think my girl is dang near perfect! lol
Jenny oak
There is a misconception that you have to trqin a pit bull to fight. That’s false and does more harm than good. Some pits will want to fight because it’s in their DNA. Like border collies like to herd, pointers point etc. the fact that your dog doesn’t desire to fight doesn’t mean that another pit doesn’t too. Or the idea that it was trained to. You can manage a dog aggressive dog irrelgardless of breed. If a pit wants to fight don’t demonize it or it’s owner it’s just doing with its genetics tell it to do. If you can’t fantom the idea that a breed developed to solely subdue other animals wants to subdue other animals then you need to pick another breed. Pits are not some care bear sugar foot breed they were desgined to be powerful and willful beyond measure. You can use those traits for positive things like weight pull, obedience , search and rescue etc. don’t fret becuase your dog may not want to have doggy friends etc. some will some won’t but that doesn’t mean they have a bad owner it’s genetics. It’s better to be honest and properly mange a pit bull than to close a blind eye and become a statistic. Shelter dogs up for adoption are the most calm and water down pits. Shelters normally would rather adopt out a timid non assertive pit bull than to risk adopting out a dog aggressive dog. Which is fine but many ppl in the general public have created this false narrative based off of their adopted pet. Plus misrepresentation of the breed has done more harm than not. Any bully breed mix or the neighborhood blocky headed dog has been label a pit bull. Which does a major disservice to the breed. I wish more ppl would become fully educated on this breed and listen to ppl who have been dealing with the breed for alreast 10 years. No not backyard breeding for 10 years but ppl who are stewardess of the breed. They will tell you it raw the good ,bad and the ugly. This breed is not some generic pup but a lovable enjoyable but at times serious dog breed to own.
Am staff dad
EVERY DOG has the instinct to fight, as it is survival of the fittest in nature. Aggression is a trait that can easily be dealt with through socialization and training
However; just like people, sometimes there are just bad eggs. I’m sure dogs can be natural born psychopaths just as humans can.
I’m just so confused by all of this. I own a five year old bulldog/bloodhound/pointer/boston terrier cross (dna check!) and if you went by looks alone you would say she’s a fairly small pitbull cross. All terriers are dog aggressive, so I watch her around other dogs when I walk her and I avoid dog parks, because that just makes sense. My collie/blue heeler x of 17 years never went to dog parks because she never started fights but she wouldn’t hesitate to finish them. Blue heelers have dingo genes, so you can’t get anything more vicious than that other than a wolf. But she was a great dog, and as for herding she only ever corralled the cats when they tried to escape outside, but never herded the kids or nipped at their heels.

Our current dog is significantly more obedient, lazy and has a lot of the main breed traits. Very much NOT a fighting dog in any sense of the word. Boston terriers were originally bred to be pit fighters but that was bred out of them immediately when they were seen to be better companion animals. So if you’re using genetics as a way to explain the aggressive tendencies of dogs that *look* like pitbulls but aren’t, really, I can’t see how that is accurate. If the dog is full of fighting dog lines and DNA, sure, I can see that being a potentially dangerous dog (ie: full of American staffordshire terriers crossed with other bully dogs of angry lineage, bred to be huge with aggressive tendencies on purpose, etc.).

So unless you’re for sure getting a roided dog that’s from severe fighting lines of bully type dogs, you have a mutt, not a pitbull.

By the way, Scooby Doo, by today’s definition, would be a pitbull.

We call our pit/rotweiller Scooby… he looks and runs just like him.. lol
Pits of old were bred to fight other DOGS, and to be absolutely obedient and submissive to Humans.

When in the fighting ring, the handler wanted them to fight the other dog… but be ready to stop all action when the human intervened to end the fight.

Now that dog fighting is illegal in all of the civilized world, responsible pit bull breeders (aka American Staffordshire Terriers) are breeding for balanced, loving temperaments – and are slowly removing the dog-aggressive trait that used to be valuable.

June Bradford
Do you know what a pitbull looks like because there is only one pitbull and it’s the APBT and if you had clue about the history then you would know that they were NOT bred to be human aggressive. The dogs responsible for these attacks are pit mixed basically mutts. Educate yourself.
Actually…the APBT was NOT bred for fighting but to assist the butcher man way back in the day .(..before cattle were killed w/ guns) Back then the butcher would have to get up next to a bull & cut its throat to slaughter it for meat It was during this time period that the traditional bull dog w/ the flat face was bred w/a large terrier….creating a body type that was stockier, had a lower center of gravity, a tenacious spirit,a loyal & protective attitude, the bite strength to grip an angry bovine around its nose & mouth to inhibit its ability to breath & to provide a distraction so the butcher could do his job & remain uninjured by the bull fighting for its life….sort of like a modern day rodeo clown The breed was later a highly esteemed family /farm dog & was commonly referred to as a “nanny dog” because they were commonly left at home to watch over & protect young children who were too young to go work in the fields or go off to hunt for food They were prized for there gentle loving nature, their loyalty to family, as well as their fiercely protective attitude & willingness to come between a child and ANY DANGER no matter how great the risk to themselves They are so loyal that they have been known to risk their own lives to save as total stranger These dogs are couragous, strong, loyal, tennacious, loving, smart ,protective & live to please & protect their families….all very admirable & noble qualities in my opinion I have had APBTs most of my adult life, my 3 children were raised w/our dogs sleeping in their beds w/ them & all 7 of my grandchildren (ages 2-16 y/o)are living in homes w/1 or more pit bulls & mot only are they not in danger but to the contrary they are quite safe , secure & well protected
June Bradford
Those were bulldogs not APBT.
US population is not in the billions.
Kimberly Alt
Whoops, sorry about that typo 😉 It is corrected now! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
I’m not smart man but I know 22 is not 71% of 41
Kimberly Alt
Sorry about the confusion. Originally in the article we found the figures from it says there were 31 dog bite-related fatalities in 2016 and 22 of them were from pit bulls. Then later it says, “In 2016, eight fatalities involved dogs from two or more different breeds, thus producing a “death credit” total of 41 rather than 31.” This is a bit confusing so we removed the percentage next to pit bulls. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
Stats seem to be the last thing the writer was thinking about when writing this article yet it was named “dog bite statistics” As far as I can remember labradors are the biggest (registered) biters (stats don’t lie! Look it up).

To all the pitbull haters: even I would like to bite you ignorant morons, almost every dog bite can be attributed to irresponsible owners. It barely has anything to do with the breed at all (every dog has a prey drive), when small dogs bite its usually considered “cute”… Stop discriminating!

stats are numbers that are made up there is no actual number because there is those that don’t report it don’t report actual numbers.
Another reason dogs bite: simply to kill. Why not mention this? In the past two weeks our small community has seen three separate unprovoked pit bull attacks (these are just the ones reported by the victims on our local neighborhood website). Two of the attacks happened one week ago today.

These were three separate incidents (one pit bull was brown and white, another young and gray, another had three legs- accompanied by people of different descriptions from one another)

In all three incidents, the pit bull charged from a distance of approx 50 yards to attack and kill: 2 small fluffy dogs taking a walk on leash, one small mixed breed dog on-leash at the park lying in the sun next to its owner, one small chihuahua sized dog taking a walk on leash in a different park.

In all 3 incidents, vet bills were in the thousands ($2,500-$5,000). The chihuahua type dog almost had his neck severed.

None of the reasons listed above apply here. These dogs were not provoked, afraid, etc. They simply charged from a distance intent on killing these little dogs.

Andres Alvarez
Do you have something valid to cite, say like a newspaper article or something? I ask because if we go by just people’s words, I could say you murdered 3 small kids and it is true because that’s what I said. Now something tells me I would not survive in your community. That you have a local gossip, I mean neighborhood , website speaks volumes. Why would you need a website if your a small community? All those details seem made up. Your hate group must be proud.
On the other hand, living in your small community would save me a ton of money. $5000 for an almost severed neck? My dog got heart worms, luckily we caught it early, and it cost over $6000!! I really should move to where you are at. I can deal with the neighborhood chatter if it saves money.
Deb A
Are you claiming that anyone who believes an animal, in this case your beloved pit bulls, is dangerous belongs to a hate group. And only your words are correct. If you paid 6000 for heart worm treatment maybe think about changing vets. And I’m so sure if it doesn’t come from a newspaper article it can’t be true. I am sure the person writing this was just lying to spread hate about pit bulls.
Pitbulls are known to have a prey instinct. I can honestly attest that my pit gets aggressive with small dogs. However, as a responsible dog owner I am aware of this and don’t bring her around other dogs. She’s an angel with people. Doesn’t know a stranger, but doesn’t particularly like other dogs. At the same time I have a back yard full of Canadian Geese and she lays out there while they do their thing and there’s never been an issue. They don’t even fly away, she doesn’t even pay them any mind. A squirrel on the other hand gets her full attention.
Ozzy\'s Owner
So all 3 separate incidents involving 3 different dogs happened the same? A 3 legged dog sprinted 50 yards? I’d love to see the website that has this. Why bring up the website if you aren’t going to cite it?
They happened within a two week period, not exactly simultaneously. Two of these stories were in the local news – they both took place near the Santa Barbara Mission, one at the Mission Rose Garden, the other at Alice Keck Park. The other was posted on my neighborhood website called Nextdoor. I recognized the dog owner in a photo (that a bystander took) and helped my neighbor locate the family to seek reimbursement for her her vet bills. My neighbor befriended me following the ordeal.

The reason I didn’t cite more specific personal information is because I am more afraid of pit bull owners than the dogs themselves.

I believe the nite statistics are referring to bites to humans….very small dogs can easily appear as prey to a larger dog What I would like to know is …where either of the dogs (victim or aggressor) on a leash ? If not why? A sturdy leash should be all that is needed to prevent such a disturbing tragady. If either dog was in public w/out a leash I would say that the party to be blamed would be theNegligent owner I have a pit ball and I cannot count how many times a little tiny dog has come running up to my dog without a leash and the owner says it’s OK and I tell them no it is not please get your dog Because I don’t wish to have my dog blamed when someone’s aggressive little dog comes up barking and nipping her And in the end to have her blamed for fighting back on someone’s little dogRunning around without a leash comes at her like that And then have her be blamed for defending herself when it could all be prevented by Both dogs being on leashes
Not sure if you’re responding to my March 24 post or someone else’s.. I agree with what you’re saying. All dogs should be on leash and under control in public places. I wouldn’t have cited the pit bull attack incidents if the little dog had rushed up barking/biting at the pit bull – that wouldn’t have been fair. No, in these incidents, the small dogs were on leash and walking on a sidewalk, in the park, or lying next to its owner in the park. In all three incidents the pit bull broke free of its owner’s control to charge at and (apparently) kill the small dog that was just minding its own business.

It is true that small dogs can be obnoxious. I am a first time owner of two small dogs. We also have one big dog, and have always had big dogs. Our little dogs are more defensive and fearful of big dogs towering over them (one more than the other), being trampled by 100 pound German Shepherd puppies at the dog park, any breed dog looking at them like they want to eat them, and they are very protective of me. I’ve taught them not to be irritating barking little dogs, but they still have their moments.

Regarding biting, albeit totally unacceptable, little dogs have less potential to kill and maim. My dogs have never bitten anyone, however my son’s roommate has an unpleasant 6 pound Yorkie who bit my ankle while I hugged her (the roommate) goodbye! I couldn’t believe it. However, the bite didn’t hurt and left no mark on my leg whatsoever.

To train my overly excitable 11 pound poodle I’ve been taking her on pack walks run by the local dog trainers, who work mostly with muscle breeds and serious behavior problems. These pack walks include approx 20-30 pairs of dog+owner, usually 2-3 Huskies, 4-5 German Shepherds, 1-2 Dalmatians, 1-2 Rottweilers, and yes, 5-6 Staffordshire Terriers/mixes in the crowd, who all walk in a very orderly double file line along the path (two dog+owner pairs next to each other). Certain dogs are noticeably more aggressive and reactive during these organized events…

Recently, we encountered a horse+rider along the trail and I was shocked that, one by one, in an attack frenzy, each of the Staffordshire Terriers/mixes had to be pulled away from the group by their owner, as they became highly agitated and were lashing out at whatever was within reach. This scared the living daylights out of me, and since then I’ve been more protective over my more vulnerable small dogs. Since then, I don’t care anymore if I’m offending anyone when I walk away as quickly as possible.

I dd enjoy this article it is well written but is seems to paint a picture that all dogs are dangers waiting to happen and I do not agree with that. Personally from living with dogs as long as i can remember I do not agree with heightening laws on dogs and forcing people to take them to obedience training if they are “more than 30 pounds”. In my experience little dogs are the worst behaved because when a tiny dog jumps on you people say oh how cute how cute. I have been bitten on my ankles by little doges more than big dogs, and I used to do a lot of food deliveries to peoples houses. The big dogs never even growled when the little dogs nipped at my heals. I do also understand the difference between a tiny dog bit and a big dog bite as I have never owned a dog that weighed less than 70 pounds and played football with our dogs but I am just saying. And that is what I love about the US unlike Europe who ban breads we do not. I mean I looked at a small number of countries and some of the dogs I have owned mixes of they are the best dogs I have ever owned. We have a German Rottie mix and she is the sweetest dog in the world. We also have had 100 pound labs. But the German Rottie she is my favorite and possibly the best dog I have ever owned. And with her I have done everything the people in this article say not to do and she has NEVER once even growled at me. I have pet her back while she eats I have walked up to her and pet her and not wait for her to come to me like some people say we need to and she has never nipped. It is all about knowing your dog and its behavior you can tell easily when a dog wants to be left alone. I have been left alone with our 100 pound lab when I was 8 and that dog never once shown any aggression. I am a dog owner and will be for the rest of my life and it is a sad day when this country refuses my insurance because of the breed. I will always have big dogs and will raise and train them the way I see fit because the way I have been doing is doing great because everyone who loves dogs loves my dogs because of how tenderly and playfully they act so I do not need people telling me how to train my dogs.
Lori Ann Reese
All dogs are dangerous. Golden Retrievers are statistically almost as likely to bite as other dogs. People need to 1) Spay and neuter to reduce hostility 2) Be required by insurance companies to attend at least level 1 of dog obedience for dogs more than thirty pounds in weight. 3) Understanding that chaining a dog in the back yard is the same as deliberately creating a possible serial killer; they are unsocialized, unhappy, isolated and frequently mentally unbalanced from the horrible life chained up. If you have to chain your dog, rehome it… you are not a responsible pet owner. 4) NEVER leave kids or elderly unsupervised with dogs. Ever. They are weaker and more susceptible to attack. 5) Make it illegal for anyone who has been an irresponsible pet owner (raising a violent dog) to own another animal in the interest of public safety.

It is the laws that need to change to make owners even more financially responsible for their lack of pet responsibility. Its not breed specific… but it IS even more important for large dogs who can do a lot of damage.

Kimberly Altman
Seriously..?? Over thirty pounds..ive been chased n bit by poodles n Chihuahuas! Little dogs where the owners did not control the yapping 50 lb precious princess pitt is a darling..i raised her from a pup putting my hand in n out of her food bowl..she has no aggressions and is always on a leash outside my fenced yard..even walking to the all matter size..should be..because like ALL canines they are indeed animals..its their nature ..a responsible owner makes the best dog.plain and simple
This is rediculous. Where do you get your stats?
Andres Alvarez
Changing laws has never helped in any situation. Do you have any idea what the criteria is for lvl 1 obedience training? Do you know how much it would cost? Are YOU, personally, going to pay for everybody with a dog to attend training? How about the hours folks lose from work? Are you going to reimburse them?
I didn’t think so.
What if a recluse, as you described it, doesn’t become a possible serial killer? What if they joined the military, went to combat, did something brave and got the highest award possible? I guess that can’t happen because as you so blatantly said, they’d be a serial killer.. Oh but wait, it did happen.

The only thing you said that is close to being true is all dogs are dangerous. Close but it should be all dogs are capable of being dangerous. So are cats, snakes, scorpions, ferrets, rats; all animals, plus more unsaid, with a history of attacking humans that were kept as pets can be dangerous.
Even people who think they are right are a danger. Sadly, it’s not just themselves they’d be a danger to.

I believe that statisticly a person has more to fear from…& is more likely to be attacked, injured or killed by another human than by a dog of ANY breed
I agree with most of what you said. My dog (pitbull) hasn’t had any formal training, but she’s a doll. I agree about chaining them up though. Why have a dog if you’re going to leave it on a chain? My girl sleeps in our bed, heck I even let her sit at the dining room table with me when it’s just us. She’s very well behaved over all. But she has nipped at kids, so now we don’t allow kids in the house unless she’s crated. I think it’s all about being a responsible pet owner which we try very hard to be.
Drema Fowler
I read many articles on dog bites. I post regularly. I read “insights” on all dogs bite, they say–‘there are more things that harm a child more than pitbulls such as marbles, car accidents, or choking on food”. When a pitbull bites, it is not a part of normal life. As to say- whoops my dog accidentally killed this child. These dogs should not be in a home with children, in a neighborhood with children, elderly or anyone. They are like a down power line waiting to strike. I can not tell you how many news articles or postings I read daily on these breeds. They are kept by people (usually the 20 something) who have zero structure for the animal or they baby the dog where it has zero boundaries and than call victims names when we tell them the statics of how many children have died as a result of pitbull attacks. I think it is over 150 as of 2016. There is no “how you raise them” there’s no “Chihuahuas bite more” crap. I never see someone in a coffin from a Chihuahua bite. In the European countries they ban vicious dogs for the peoples safety and it works. The US is the biggest problem for these breeds. Just like anything else, we go on and on until so many die, than years later someone does something. It’s a shame.
Destinee VanHorn
You have no absolute right to talk about pit bulls like that. Have you ever owned one? No. Have you ever seen a pit bull attack someone? No. Most people who claim to be bitten by a pit bull is lying because they don’t know the breed and it’s easier to pin the crime on a “well known biter” than to just say it was a dog. I have been around pit bulls all my life they came from bad situations. Ginger (one of my dogs) was a former champion fighting dog and yes she is a pit but she is great around kids and puppies. She is very gentle and playful and has never bit a person since we have had her. Now Isis is another pit we have and she is great with kids and other dogs really she is great with everyone and loves playing. I have had pit bulls all my life and never once been bitten or seen anyone get bit. So before you start judging get to know a pit bull before you talk crap. And yes chihuahuas do bite more than pit bulls but they aren’t fatal so these ugly annoying ankle biting rats are responsible for biting just as much as pit bulls. You just have your head up your a** and are too busy with that to see how great and amazing pit bulls are.
“No right?” Where are we Russia? North Korea? Your argument is a joke and does not follow logic. I don’t have to own a cobra to know that just having it around me is dangerous. Fact: Pit Bull Terriers are responsible for more deaths and more attacks that ALL OTHER BREEDS COMBINED. Only an idiot would put a former “fighting dog” around children and only a fool would choose a breed with the potential to hurt humans around their family and especially children. If you were walking in an alley at night and came up against three pit bulls you would react much differently than you would against three chihuahua’s. Your argument is moronic.
Kimberly Altman
Id rather come across the pitbulls..ur moronic!
Eddie Carroll
Just to be clear – Pitties are a category of breed, not a breed itself. The stats that say Pit Bull Terrier are wrong. There is no “pit bull terrier”. There is an American Bull Terrier, but most of these “pit bulls” are a combination of breeds and anything that remotely resembles one is labeled as a Pit Bull. Even this article calls them Pit Bull Terriers. Therefore to say that Pit Bulls are responsible for 22 deaths is probably inaccurate because eyewitnesses often misidentify dog breeds and if it’s close, they just call it a Pit Bull. Owners are mostly the reason why dogs, or any animal for that matter, act the way they do. Lack of training, abuse and training to be aggressive by a**hole owners are probably the reason for most attacks and that isn’t the animal’s fault, it’s the human who owns it’s fault. It’s like anything else, you get what you give. If you abuse you get aggression and if you love and nurture them you get love in return.
Andres Alvarez
How are you going to say someone else’s argument is moronic when you just did the same thing? You are an idiot.
Who walks down an unknown alley at night? Forget there might be dogs there, I’m talking bout dealers and dope heads. So you are dumb for that bit.
Where’d you get your stats from? How far back do they go? Is that the same time frame when Rottweilers were the top of the evil list? Or maybe when dobermans were? Or German shepherds? All these have been top of the list as well. I don’t see you attacking their owners?
If you are going to attack a breed, get it right. My service animal is a Staffordshire. Idiots like you who can’t distinguish different breeds always talk crap and then look stupid when you’re proven wrong. Your dog is what, a chi-poo mix? Or you don’t have one which makes you a bigger idiot for trolling here.
Russians have freedom, citizens of the Soviet Union didn’t. Again, you are an idiot.
North Korea? They believe The Glorious One invented the car. And again, you are an idiot.
Your post is completely logical. It seems that this site is for pit bull advocates.
Andres Alvarez
What logic? Where did you see anything remotely resembling logic? Even your last sentence was illogical. When a biased opinion (not even you can say the story was unbiased) attacks a “breed,” folks have every right to say something back. Do you honestly believe you could get away with talking about someone without them striking back? That is not logical. However, just like the trolls, you pick and choose what to believe. You don’t have a dog, do you? What’s the name of your hate group? Are you and Fowler in the same group? There’s just too many of you troll groups to keep up with.
Andres Alvarez
Victoria, Please disregard the post starting with What logic? That one went through before I could delete it. I sent it without seeing if it was right. I had/have other questions and meant to ask them. Instead of the question mark, I hit return. I’ll have to wait if it’s approved or not and see if I can delete it.
Kimberly Altman
GOTTA GIVE YOU A BIG…WRONG.a friend of mine had half his face bit off by a Chihuahua mix..he had to be put down years laterl the other family all american pitbull terrier had never once growled at anyone.
Avery Little
It is very sad to see people discriminate in such a way. This is the exact same logic as those who claim that a certain race is more violent than another, as if their environment did not contribute and some genetic makeup is the answer. My pit loves children, the little ones down the street try to ride her like a horse. Doesn’t sound very “vicious” to me… however, my chihuahua hates children. She snaps whenever they try to pet her, it has been this way since she was a puppy, likely because they are generally not as gentle as an adult would be. The solution? To be a responsible pet owner and ask children to not pet her. The other solution? For parents to teach their kids to ask before petting someone else’s dog. It is easy to forget that these animals were not made for us, we took a wild breed and domesticated them, and then brought them into our homes. It is only through responsible ownership, training, and respect for the animal that attacks can be reduced.
I have to agree with you. My pit is the sweetest girl, but she isn’t used to children and has shown a lack of patience with them. So we don’t allow young kids in our house unless she’s crated (which with the mile high pile of blankets and pillows she doesn’t mind at all, although the door is rarely ever closed except during such visits). My kids are 18 & 19, so they understand and respect our Lola.
At the same time I was attacked by Chihuahuas. Been terrified of them ever since.
We don’t know her history (she’s climbing into my lap as I type this, lol) except that she was brought into the shelter as a stray and stayed 272 days before we found her. Best dog I’ve ever had. She’s sweet, affectionate, protective, and loyal. But what a lovey. My friends come over to see her instead of me! Lol
More children are killed by their parents or primary caregivers than by any non human animal
Drema Fowler
As we sit here, a toddler was mauled over the weekend by pit mixes, a couple months back a family pit bull attack and killed a 3 day old infant simply from crying, do you hear of retrievers, or even Rottweilers, doing this damage? These dogs are dangerous.
Sara Brown
My childhood pastor’s 1 year old was attacked by their Labrador. They had him for years before they had children. My dog Oscar ( pitbull) loved all children ( and cats too) He was always super gentle and calm when a kid was around even though he was a very hyper active. I miss him every day. He was my very favorite dog. A little girl was on the beach, crying because her sandcastle had washed away. Oscar ran up behind her, gave her a giant lick on the head and continued on his way happy as can be. The girl was so surprised she stopped crying. It was cute. RIP bestest buddy.
Yes I have heard of those dogs attacking. And, yes they can do as much damage. I am an instructor of Dog Aggression. Socialization, spay and nueter is a must. Chaining creates a monster. And allowing young children and toddlers to “play” with any large breed dog is a recipe for disaster! My Grandchildren never allowed to “play” with any dog. They are taught to respectfully give all dogs space. They are taught to not make eye contact or approach any strange dog. They are taught to let the dog approach them if it wants to. People expect dogs to be robots. They are animals and should be given respect for the fact that they can not tell us what they want or need. They speak body language. If human would take the time to understand their language you would see a large drop in attacks. Breed can be a factor, but it’s only a piece of a puzzle. The number of attacks will not improve unless humans put together the whole puzzle!
Michael Fargo
I think a good place to start this discussion is “yes, the general population is ignorant about dog behavior.” So, if that’s the case, why bring an animal that can cause lethal damage into that situation? There are many people in the population that don’t like dogs and they have that right. They have no obligation to learn about “dog body language” (or be killed or mauled). It’s the owner’s responsibility–entirely–to make sure the public or his family is protected from an animal. Owners who believe that their pet is a product of their environment are ignoring the obvious: certain breeds exist because humans bred them to be killers (of other dogs). But those breeds don’t discriminate between their targets. And spreading the “myth” that “my pit bull” wouldn’t hurt anyone is the biggest problem. People’s positive experience with the breed is obvious. But so are the statistics that pit bulls are over-represented in the death of humans. It’s irresponsible to ignore the latter. And, to own a pit bull requires special awareness and training. And we all know human beings aren’t equal in being responsible in dog ownership. I agree that with this breed there should be special training (or licensing). That would go a long way to restoring faith in the breed.
Kimberly Altman
All you idiots are really making me so angry ..any freakn animal can growl..bite ..or attack..not my all american pitty would bite you..BUT I SURE AS HELL WOULD!
Well said by a person who would know
Did you know that home owner liability claims are only 2.7% of total claims? How it is stated makes all the difference. That bites correlated to population is 0.005% Did you know there were 66,000 unintended accidental deaths and 19,900,000 medical consulted injuries? With 77.8 million dogs in the US I would have to say pretty good safety record compared to humans.
Insurance industry does not support that claim of 1 billion. I know of no study that shows definitely about the type of dog involved in bites. Dog bite claims accounted for 0.005 percent of the population. Three time more likely to be hurt on a bicycle. Please don’t misrepresent this issue.
Kimberly Alt
Thank you for your comment. We sourced all of our resources in the article. We did not come up with these numbers on our own. We are sorry if you feel we are misrepresenting the issue. We are all huge dog lovers here at Canine Journal and we want pet parents to know the facts about dog bites. That is all we tried to do with this article.
Then provide the facts not just posting a poorly written article that accepts Insurance company statements without putting them in context. The statement one third of homeowner liability claims is true but disingenuous. My stats are from the Insurance Industry Institute.
There is a web site, by Allstate insurance, if you enter your zip code, or any zip code, it will tell you what the most expensive and the most common claims for that area are. Dog bites, barely made the list, of the more than 10 zip codes I entered. They are far from being 1/3 of liability claims, as far as Allstate claims. I think the insurance companies are just looking for a way to save money. Here is the link, check it out yourselves.
Hey, according to the Allstate site you references, dog bites come up as the #3 highest cost per claim, $28,342. So is your point that you, have no point other to defend some dangerous breed of dog?
Kim B
“Studies confirm that while Pit Bulls may be considered a higher-risk dog, most of their owners themselves are higher-risk people, thus creating a recipe for a dog-bite disaster.” Please provide info on these “studies”. I believe, based on facts (myself and several hundred other people I know who are owners), that this statement is false. It is ridiculous and it perpetuates myths about this breed type. The “pit bull” might be considered “higher-risk” by people who believe everything they read in the media (ignorant) and who don’t know how to properly act and/or approach dogs, but that doesn’t make it true. I enjoy your website, but I am extremely disappointed when I read statements like this one. Oh, and by the way, most of the pit bull breed owners are not “high risk” (whatever the hell that means).
Kimberly Alt
Hi Kim, so glad that you enjoy our website and thank you for your comment! Attached are the sources where the “high risk” information comes from. We did not make this up, it is information we found so we chose to share with our readers. I believe by “high risk” the author means that pitbull owners are more likely to have a criminal background and may display antisocial behaviors. However this isn’t true 100% of the time. We love pitbulls and think they’re great dogs. 🙂

Kim B
Thank you for your response. I do appreciate it. However, I firmly stand by my belief that the statistics are ridiculous and I believe it is irresponsible to make the statements I referred to in my original post. The first study cited is dated 2009 and is based on: “A total of 869 college students completed an anonymous online questionnaire assessing type of dog owned, criminal behaviors, attitudes towards animal abuse, psychopathy, and personality.” Really?! Not very inidicative of the real and “complete” world we live in and definitely not based on our knowledge now in 2016. Do you really think it’s fair to say most pit bull owners are “high risk” based on a survey of 869 college students (or most anybody’s opinions in 2009?) I think it’s safe to say that most pit bull owners are definitely not college students, do not have criminal backgrounds, and are not anti-social! I didn’t bother checking the other cited studies and I did not pay to read the entire first cited study. Please dig deeper; research real-life pit bull rescuers, read their blogs, talk to them personally; research the lives of some of the surviving fight and/or bait dogs, from rescue to where they are today; read social media sites of owners, rescuers, foster families, forever owners. Again, I stand by my objections; I respectfully disagree with the statements and the information (and lack thereof) cited.
Kimberly Alt
Thank you for respectfully sharing your thoughts. This article was originally written in 2013 and the author who wrote this article uses the word “studies” so there could be some articles that she looked at that I did not give you. She no longer writes for us and to be honest, it’s difficult to remember your sources as a writer after 3 years have passed 😉 .

Along with the 869 college student study you mentioned, there’s another study of 355 people that I’m aware of, which is one of the resources linked. Granted, both of these studies are now dated 2009 and 2006 so it wouldn’t hurt for some new information to come out on this subject. As you mentioned, I’m sure things have changed since 2009 and 2006, whether it’s more or less “high risk” people owning pitbulls, I’m unsure. Like you said, we’d need to dig in again on research for this, however, we do not conduct our own studies.

I’m sorry you see a “lack” of information in our article, but we stand by what is written for the time being. Although you yourself are not a “high risk” owner nor are the people you know there may be a large population of “high risk” pitbull owners. And to note, in the studies a traffic citation may be considered a “high risk” person.

I mean no disrespect by my statements and appreciate your honest feedback.

Kim B
Thank you, Kimberly. I mean no disrespect either. I am simply urging and encouraging serious review/editing of comments regarding pitties. I believe your publication means well from what I’ve seen, but that’s not enough. I am just asking for deeper, newer research (I know you don’t do your own studies!). But, thorough research of current events, owners, and the animals themselves will elimate statements that are out-dated or simply not indicitive of the majority. And it doesn’t take days and days to do that research. That’s all I ask. I think that’s fair. Thanks for your time and patience. I really do appreciate it!!
Wayne Frederick
Just came across this site after reading an article about a pit bull attack on a small child. I read your posts. You blew right past the fact that the article wasn’t about Pit Bulls and instead zeroed in on just that small part. Your comments come across loud and clear as the typical response from folks such as yourself. It yells out “I’m a Pit Bull owner and my friends own Pit Bulls. We say they’re fine. Everyone else is wrong.” You question the author, her work, and the validity of statistical results and polls from multiple legitimate sources, yet only offer anecdotal evidence in your response. By that I mean you want everyone to simply believe and trust that, because you and your “several hundred other friends” own Pit Bulls and have never had a problem, that the breed is just fine. There is overwhelming evidence supporting the arguments that Pit Bull breeds are high risk, and widely considered one of the most dangerous breeds. This comes from highly reputable sources such as the CDC, the AMVA, the APPA, to name a few. I trust those sources far more than I trust your naive and denial-based arguments.

Now, to be fair, Pit Bull breeds aren’t the only high risk, dangerous dogs out there. Rottweilers, Presa Canarios, Dobermans and German Shepherds are also dangerous. I wouldn’t own them any more than I’d own a Pit Bull. I certainly wouldn’t allow them around my children or grandchildren. If I see that someone in my neighborhood has one of these breeds I guarantee you I’m watching them like a hawk.

Lastly, I do agree 100% with you that the media has grossly over-covered the stories about Pit Bulls, and also that people who only rely on the media for information about high risk and/or dangerous breeds are behaving ignorantly.

There were 16,550 bite claims last year, 33,169 gun related deaths and 33,000 deaths from poison, but which one do we regulate?
You’re entitled to your opinion but not your own facts. For example CDC has this to say. The very scientists who have authored studies trying to determine a link between breed and aggressiveness oppose breed discrimination and BSL. In many of the CDC studies, the scientists cautioned against using their incomplete data on attacks to make knee-jerk legislative or policy decisions based solely on breed. They pointed to the lack of reliable data on bites per breed (the “numerator problem”) and the absence of a reliable count of dogs per breed (the “denominator problem”).

Dog bite statistics are not really statistics, and they do not give an accurate picture of dogs that bite. Invariably the numbers will show that dogs from popular large breeds are a problem. This should be expected, because big dogs can physically do more damage if they do bite, and any popular breed has more individuals that could bite. Dogs from small breeds also bite and are capable of causing severe injury. There are several reasons why it is not possible to calculate a bite rate for a breed or to compare rates between breeds.

Kim B
No, I’m not not saying I am right and everyone else is wrong! And, no, not all of my friends own pit bulls…actually, only one of them does. I am saying to research the facts. The facts are pit bull type dogs are no more dangerous than any other dog. Fact: they are mis-identified over 90% of the time because it is FACT that correct visual ID is impossible. I could go on and on with the FACTS. Like, I am not saying it’s okay to believe me. My dog has been attacked by a “pit bull” and my kid has 9 stitches in her face because of a “pit bull”; I’ve got a 2-inch scar on my mouth from a poodle bite. You should watch ANY dog like a hawk that is around your kids or grand kids. THAT is the point you are unfortunately missing.
Wayne Frederick
I didn’t miss that point at all. But we’re not talking about ALL dogs, are we? We’re talking about Pit Bulls. Stay on topic. If you’re going to claim everyone research the facts then you need to do the same. It is NOT a fact that Pit Bulls are no more dangerous than any other dog. That’s a ridiculous statement. They’re considered dangerous dogs for a reason, and the reasons are real and valid. I can’t help that you either don’t get that or won’t get it. The final word is yours but I’m moving on.
Well Wayne, since according to you only the breeds you listed are dangerous, you are seriously ok with your children or grandchildren being around any other breed of dog unsupervised? You would be ok with them approaching and petting an unknown random dog on the street as long as it’s any other breed? Common sense should tell you to “watch them like a hawk” no matter what type of dog it is. Of course, like what many anti-pit bull people will say on any subject regarding pit bulls, you’ll say that all that matters is the likelihood of death occurring. It doesn’t matter if they just get bit and need stitches. It didn’t matter the black lab that lived next door to me when I was a kid tore off the lower lip of a little boy trying to pet him on the other side of the neighbor’s backyard gate, he just needed reconstructive surgery, no biggie! And if that were to happen to your child or grandchild, I guarantee you’d be the first to sue. I mean if we are basing danger off of just fatalities, explain to me why it is so common place then to euthanize most dogs for biting people.
Kim B
I found some great resources on my lunch hour today…wish I could attached files here. Check out the Animals and Society Institute website, specifically, their study “Dog Bites: Problems and Solutions (Revised 2014). Also, at the end of this study is a long list of resources. I hope you don’t mind this info, but I found it and wanted to share!! Thanks, Kim
Kimberly Alt
Thanks for sharing the information Kim! We will take a look at it! 🙂
Insurance Company Institute shows 16,500 dog bite claims in the same period where your quoted study states 4.5 million without a source. Please don’t just post click bait articles. If as you state you don’t conduct your own studies perhaps you could at least verify what you do post. I am not trying to attack you specifically but there are so many articles like this one that keep getting repeated when they are at best questionable. It is only because I love my dog. The extensive studies that have been done all state that it should be on a dog by dog basis.

Not condemning an entire breed and their owners. AKC CDC VETS

Neither science nor statistics support policies that discriminate based on breed or physical appearance. What the Humane Society states:
754 college students? I will stick with CDC, Humane Society and AMVA. While I may agree the some bites are attributable to bad owners not everyone that has a dog that bites is a criminal and or deviant behavior as your links suggest.
Kimberly Alt
We agree with you, “not everyone that has a dog that bites is a criminal and or deviant behavior”. We know that there are great pet parents out there as well as not so great pet parents. As stated in our previous comment, we merely found this information and decided to share it with our readers.
kimboley kay
But the wording your writer used to share this information implied something far different then what is really happening in the world. Most dog owners in general have to be responsible people. And when you own a breed that is hated and restricted, you have to be even more responsible. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people own these dogs all across the country. Hundreds of thousands are abused by not responsible dog owners and sick mean people, these dogs have certainly earned the right to bite and yet they bite no one. You don’t hear about these dogs in the news and your reference study does not accurately reflect the type of person that owns a Pit bull.
The purpose of these articles appears to be analyzing psychopathic behavior potential in humans (college students as the survey subjects). It is not geared toward analyzing dog breeds and is not an appropriate resource to cite for the Canine Journal story.

The website of the first two cited sources is devoted to forensic science, i.e., scientifically analyzing criminals (human), crime scenes, etc.

The last cited article also pertains to human on human violence, and whether ownership of high risk breeds is linked to deviant (human) behavior.

I’m a new visitor to the Canine Journal website, and I’d deduce that CJ journalists have a pro-risky-dog-breed (e.g., Pit Bull) bias.

Avery Little
Wow… not only are pits discriminated against as “high risk”, but now their owners are “criminals” and “antisocial”… I have learned so much about myself (a pit owner) through this article! Fascinating
Kimberly Alt
As I told Kim above, this isn’t the case for every pitbull owner.
Kimberly Altman
FINALLY…..I SO AGREE WITH YOU..thank you from me and my darling people..child kittycat..guinea pig loving all American pitt bull terrier
Amy Robinson
So it’s important to pet a dog only when the dog shows he wants it, normally by resting his head on your hand, brushing it with the side of his head, or turning sideways to show you his body; a gesture of trust and acceptance. Also, pit bull stats are whack because there are so many more of them, estimates vary from 3 to 6 million in the US compared with about 800,000 German shepherds. Good article Sara.
Amy Robinson
So it’s important to pet a dog only when the dog shows he wants it, normally by resting his head on your hand, brushing it with the side of his head, or turning sideways to show you his body; a gesture of trust and acceptance. Also, pit bull stats are whack because there are so many more of them, estimates vary from 3 to 6 million in the US compared with about 800,000 German shepherds. Good article Sara.
There are about 3.5 million registered German Shepherds in the U.S. That doesn’t include the unregistered or mixed Shepherds.
Second favorite according to AKC I would think more like 4.5 and a fine dog. Just for perspective 3 x more likely to be injured on a bicycle than bit by a dog.
Gary Johnson
Wow! Dog bite injuries equal almost 1/3 of total bicycle injuries. I didn’t realize the numbers were that high. Glad you put it in perspective!
Not what I said. Do you have a valid point?
And, then there are the 2015 dog bite fatality statistics. Together, pit bulls (28) and rottweilers (3), the second most lethal dog breed, accounted for 91% of the total recorded deaths in 2015. This same combination also accounted for 76% of all fatal attacks during the 11-year period of 2005 to 2015. And, since a high court has ruled that any intelligent human can identify a pit bull breed, don’t say the media has gotten the offending breeds wrong. My son is a police officer and they, I assure you, can identify a pit bull breed and there are police officers, EMS as well as animal control at the scene of every dog attack called in to 911 (whether pit bull or other) who give breed identity information to the media.
Andres Alvarez
Identify my dog as a pit bull and not only would you be as wrong as all the other “experts” who swear they are right, but you’d have to tell the AKC, the NSAR, the ADI, and the Department of Justice that they are wrong.
Why? Because my service dog is a Staffordshire, not to be confused with an American Staffordshire. She is AKC registered. So many “experts” say she is a pit bull. I laugh because it’s that or throat punch them. The cops know by now when they get a call about her, they just refer the people to the DoJ’s number. The offended parties can then explain to the FBI why they are discriminating against her. Seems kind of dumb to report yourself for a hate crime. Keep thinking with your narrow mind. Just please don’t throw EMS and police under the bus to try and inflate your argument. Just say, “I’m close-minded and ignorant” and move on.
Gary Johnson
It looks as if your ‘stats’ are a little whack there Amy!

I work in insurance and I know people who have had their homeowner's insurance canceled because their dog bit someone, who then filed a claim.  I also know that certain insurance companies will refuse to sell homeowner's insurance to people who own certain breeds of dogs (usually pit bulls, rottweilers, etc), which I think is totally unfair.

Baruch BenAvrohom
It’s perfectly fair. It’s based on accurate statistical analyses of recorded attacks and fatalities instead of emotion-based but factually-unsubstantiated opinions and anecdotal examples.
Show me the accurate statistical analysis you quote.
Jan Anthonisz
Whatever the statistics the important issue is for all animals owners to be diligent and responsible. What angers me is that many owners assume their dogs are friendly especially when letting their dog or dogs off a leash in a public area where children are or in the case where other dogs are around are attached to a lead.

No dog is friendly as in this instance I encountered when two little children in a park playing with their dogs. They were ripped by chance when caught in between their two dogs when on the opposite side another two dogs off the lead ran towards their dogs and matters got ugly.

The mother of the children and her two dogs was too engaged and distracted on her mobile-phone texting without due care and attention.

Her two dogs were off the lead and the man on the other side had his two dogs off the lead. I know this as I was walking with my 14 year old Belgian Sheppard when his two dogs approached us as I quickly ordered him to put his both dogs on a leash. His reply, “It’s okay they’re friendly”. I responded, “My dog is not”.

It was evident my dog Willow was snarling and showing her teeth in order to protect me. Before walking away I had no choice to deter both his dogs with my walking stick which annoyed him, The Bloody idiot,

What saved the day when then his two dogs was then distracted by these two other dogs approaching he and his dogs from where the children were playing.

With sigh of relief Willow and I left pronto, helpless and unable to prevent or come to the aid of the children and the dogs in question.

A lesson to all dog owners: Do not assume your dog is friendly and always be diligent and responsible.

Dog Bless. Jan and Willow.

Kimberly Alt
That’s a great reminder. And even if you think your dog is friendly it doesn’t mean that every other dog you come across is friendly. Thanks for sharing Jan and Willow.
Andres Alvarez
Well said, Jan. Best comment with an example I’ve seen. Thank you.
Kim B
There are minimal accurate stats of recorded dog bites and/or attacks per PROFESSIONAL organizations. There ARE, however, many, many organizations who have performed accurate and fair studies that PROVE that “dogs of targeted breeds (such as Bull Terriers, American Stafordshire Terriers, Staffordshie Bull Terriers, Rottweilers & Dobermans) are statistically NO MORE LIKELY to show inappropriate aggressive behavior.” REF: 1) Journal of Veterinary Behavior (2008) 3: 97:103; “Is there a Difference…..Regarding Aggressive Behaviour?” (2008) 3:134-140; Dr. Esther Schalke
Kim B
Spit out your stats….oh, yeah, you have no “accurate statistical analyses”, I have several to dispute your comment.
Ophiuchus Oversoul
I don’t think its unfair. If a pit bull or rottie bites it can and often does result in serious expensive physical damage. If a german shepard or collie bites it’s usually just a bite that needs a few stitches and the dog backs off. The insurance company will have to pay a lot more money out if the victim ends up in ICU vs just a visit to the ER for some stitches.
Children go to the emergency room for injuries from bicycles and poisoning more often than they do from dog bites. I don’t see the insurance companies restricting bikes or poisons kept in the home. How about a mandatory education class in you want to be insured and own a dog. Any dog can bite. Yes, the bigger ones can do more damage, so the owners need to be more responsible and more educated. Education is the only way to prevent most of the dog bites that happen on the owner’s property and could have been prevented with some education.
As someone who trains Belgian Malinios for personal protection work, I beg to differ. German shepherds, Malinois and Collies can and do inflict serious damage. I know of at least one person requiring 10+ stitches from a well placed Chihuahua bite. The breed doesn’t dictate the severity of the bite, the attitude and intention of the dog does. It depends if it is a “warning nip” or if the dog means serious business.
Ophiuchus Oversoul
Right well pit bulls have a tendency to not give warning bites, they are either all in or all out. I have a relative who works at a children’s hospital in the ER and from her mouth I have been told “every serious life threatening bite case we get is by a pit bull”. She has no reason to lie, so I have no reason to not believe her. My own job puts me at risk of dog bite and the only time I have been genuinely concerned about a biting dog (nip vs a genuine attack) was with pit type dogs. I have a lot of personal experience with dogs and when a dog is ‘serious’ there is no mistaking the body language or energy they are giving off.
Kim B
There is a reason she doesn’t know that it’s a “pit bull” because the facts are that even professionals can’t identify a dog as a pit bull breed type simply by looking at it. So, she’s not lying; she just doesn’t know the facts. And, unfortunately, she is spreading untruths out of ignorance.
Michael Fargo
You’re talking about a trained animal. I think the issue is when a dog bite is unpredictable/unanticipated and usually triggered by protective behavior, a perceived threat, or some other behavior that triggers an attack. As well, the reaction of the person or animal that’s being bitten can unknowingly escalate the attack.
Most of the cost of claim is lawsuits.
Kim B
So not true
Ophiuchus Oversoul
Well my children’s hospital nurse, niece, and plastic surgeon’s father in law would really disagree with you because of their real life experiences with dog bites.
And does anybody wonder why dog bite claims are like the third highest liability claim to a home owner? Opportunity. Look at how many times a person interacts with a dog each day. Each interaction is an opportunity for something to happen and the dog to bite. A child may interact with the dog 25 to 50 times a day. They may only ride their bike once or twice a day. The housekeeper may only come over 2 times a week, limiting her opportunity to slip and break her leg. Considering the overwhelming numbers of opportunities that there are for a dog bite to happen, I think the actual number of bites is pretty darn low.
Consider that in the same time period there were 19,900,000 unintended accidents in the home that required medical attention. compared to 16,500 dog bite claims.

Source Insurance Industry Institute

Agreed. I’m working out of town and having to live in a hotel because none of the RV parks will allow me to stay in their park, in my RV because I own an “aggressive” breed. This is costing me $1000 more a month out of my pocket. Good, hard working citizens with well behaved, well trained dogs should not be treated like second rate citizens.

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