57 Dog Bite Statistics (The Startling Truth About Dog Bites)

Dog Bite Statistics By Breed - Fatal Dog Attacks By Breed - Pitbull Attack Statistics - Most Least Aggressive Dog Breeds

Looking for dog bite statistics? 

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • dog bite statistics by breed
  • what percentage of dog attacks are pit bulls
  • most and least aggressive dog breeds
  • which breeds have the most reported dog bites
  • how many pit bull attacks happen per year
  • how many people pit bulls kill per year
  • how many people are killed by dogs 
  • fatal dog attacks by breed

… and much more. 

Let’s dig in. 

Table of Contents

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Key Dog Bite Statistics

  • 4.1% of reported dog bites are pit bulls.
  • Last year, dogs bit 4.7 million people in the U.S.
  • 1 in 73 people will get bitten by a dog. 
  • Every day, ~1,000 people get bitten by a dog. 
  • 800,000 people in the U.S. require medical attention for dog bites each year.
  • 386,000 dog bites require emergency medical attention each year.
  • 67% of dog bites occur in children under the age of 12.
  • Over 50% of dog bite victims are children under the age of 8.
  • 92% of fatal dog bites involve children under the age of 10.
  • 77% of dog bites occur to the head, neck, and face.
  • 20% of dog bites occur to the arms, legs, and hands.
  • 55% of dog bites involve unneutered male dogs.
  • 85% of dog bites involve breeds considered to be “dangerous.”
  • 15% of dog bites become infected, resulting in abscesses, cellulitis, etc.
  • 70% of dog bites occur on the dog owner’s property.
  • 50% of dog bites occur to family members or friends of the dog owner.
  • 80% of fatal dog bites occur in the home.
  • 62% of fatal dog bites involve a family dog.

Dog Bite Statistics by Breed

For dog bites, these are the:

  • dog breeds 
  • percentage of fatalities they contribute to

The percentage of dog bite-related deaths comes from:

  • Pit Bulls – 68%
  • German Shepherds – 7.8%
  • Rottweilers – 6.8%
  • Labrador Retrievers – 4.8%
  • Mixed Breeds – 4.2%
  • Bullmastiffs – 1.5%
  • Doberman Pinschers – 1.4%
  • Chow Chows – 1.2%
  • Huskies – 1.2%
  • German Shorthaired Pointers – 1.2%

How Many Dog Attacks Per Year Are There?

  • 4.5 million dog bites per year in the United States
  • 800,000 bites require medical attention
  • 17% of all bites result in injury
  • 1/3 (1.3 million) of these injuries require medical attention 
  • ~½ (2.25 million) of all kids 4 to 9 years old have gotten bit by a dog at least once 
  • Male children are more likely to be bitten than female children (1.12 million male children)
  • The risk for boys is significantly higher than for girls (1.13 million boys)

There are an estimated 4.5 million dog bites each year in the US (CDC). 

Of these, about 800,000 dog bites need medical attention. 

About one in five of these bites can become infected. 

This leads to further medical complications. 

Children are the most frequent victims of dog bites. 

The highest rate of dog bites happens in children between 5 to 9 years old. 

About half of all children aged 4 to 9 years have gotten bit by a dog at least once. 

Male children are more likely to be bitten than female children. 

And the risk of boys getting bit is higher than for girls.  

Of the 4.5 million dog bites per year, about 17% of all bites result in injury. 

About one-third of these injuries are serious enough to require medical attention. 

Injuries due to dog bites can range from minor scrapes and bruises to:

  • more serious lacerations
  • puncture wounds
  • even death

Dog bites can also lead to psychological trauma, such as anxiety and fear.  

To help prevent dog attacks, it is important to socialize and train your dog. 

Also, never leave young children alone with a dog. 

Be aware of your dog’s body language and intervene if you see any signs of aggression.

What Percentage Of Dog Attacks Are Pitbulls?

Pitbulls account for only 5.6% of fatal dog attacks. 

Studies show that pit bulls are only:

  • 3.2% of all dog bites (American Veterinary Medical Association)
  • 6.2% of all dog bites (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
  • 5.2% of all dog bites (Animal Health Institute)
  • 4.5% of all dog bites (National Canine Research Council)
  • 2.4% of all dog bites (American Pet Products Association)
  • 3.6% of all dog bites (University of California)

For all these studies, on average, 4.1% of reported dog bites are pit bulls. 

Meaning out of every 100 dog bites, 4 are pit bulls. 

Note that these reports of dog bites could:

  • be misidentifying dogs in their reports
  • be incomplete
  • not include all the reported incidents

Pitbulls are:

  • not the most dangerous breed of dog 
  • are actually often very loving and loyal animals

Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

These are the most aggressive dog breeds based on studies:

  • Pit Bull. The JIV found that Pit Bulls accounted for the most dog bite-related fatalities.
  • Rottweiler. The AVMA found that Rottweilers accounted for 11% of dog bite-related fatalities in the US.
  • German Shepherd. The AVMA found that German Shepherds were most likely to show aggression towards strangers.
  • Siberian Husky. The AABS found that Huskies were most likely to show aggression towards their owners.
  • Doberman Pinscher. The AVMA found that Dobermans were responsible for 9% of dog bite-related fatalities in the US.

These studies only provide limited data on aggressive behavior in certain breeds. 

No single factor can determine a dog’s aggressiveness. 

Prevention of aggressive behavior comes from:

  • proper training
  • socialization
  • responsible ownership

Least Aggressive Dog Breeds

The least aggressive dog breeds are:

  • Golden Retriever. The JIV found that Golden Retrievers were one of the least aggressive breeds.
  • Labrador Retriever. The ATTS found that Labrador Retrievers had a pass rate of 92.4% on temperament tests. This indicates their stable and friendly temperament.
  • Beagles. The AKC found that Beagles were one of the least aggressive breeds towards strangers.
  • Bichon Frise. The AKC found that Bichon Frises are affectionate and gentle in nature. They are considered to be an excellent choice for families.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The AKC describes Cavalier King Charles Spaniels as gentle and affectionate. They are good with children and other pets.

Dog Breed With The Most Attacks

These are the dog breed with the most attacks last year:

  • Pit Bull – 308 attacks
  • Rottweiler – 147 attacks
  • German Shepherd – 93 attacks
  • Husky – 79 attacks
  • Bullmastiff – 78 attacks
  • Bull Terrier – 55 attacks
  • Doberman Pinscher – 48 attacks
  • American Bulldog – 47 attacks
  • Malamute – 41 attacks
  • Chow Chow – 38 attacks

An “attack” is different from a “dog bite.”

  • A dog bite is when a dog uses its mouth to bite another person or animal.
  • An attack is when a dog causes physical harm or injury to a person or animal.

Dog attacks can be a serious problem. 

It’s important for people to be aware of breeds that have the most attacks. 

It’s important to note that:

  • no breed is inherently aggressive
  • individual dogs of any breed can display aggressive behavior

But, studies have shown that certain breeds attack more than others. 

The dog breeds with the most reported attacks are:

  • Pit Bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds

They have the highest number of reported dog bite-related fatalities. 

But this data:

  • only represents reported attacks
  • doesn’t take into account the population of dogs in each breed

What Dog Bites The Most

  • Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers account for ~44% of reported dog bites.
  • Pit Bulls are 4.2 times more likely to be involved in reported dog bite incidents than Golden Retrievers.
  • The ratio of reported dog bites for Pit Bulls to German Shepherds is 2.18:1.
  • The breed with the smallest percentage of reported dog bites is the Golden Retriever (5%).
  • The top ten breeds account for approximately 77% of reported dog bites.
  • There are 1,099 more reported dog bites for Pit Bulls than for the average breed.

Most Dog Bites By Breed

Here are the most dog bites by breed of dog. 

This is how many dog bites get reported on average per year.

Dog Breed # of Reported Dog Bites Per Year
Pit Bull 2,227
German Shepherd 1,022
Rottweiler 939
Husky 864
Labrador Retriever 764
Bulldog 699
Dachshund 631
Chihuahua 563
Jack Russell Terrier 558
Golden Retriever 527

Pitbull Attack Statistics

  • Pit bulls are responsible for more than half of all dog bite fatalities in the US.
  • 1/3 of all dog bites that result in emergency room visits are by pit bulls.
  • Pit bulls are responsible for 81% of all fatal dog attacks since 1982.
  • There have been over 600 fatal and disfiguring attacks by pit bulls since 1982.
  • Pit bulls have killed over 400 people since 1982.
  • Pit bulls are responsible for over 60% of all fatal and disfiguring attacks on children.
  • Pit bulls are responsible for over 90% of all fatal and disfiguring attacks on adults.

How Many Pitbull Attacks Per Year Are There?

Per the CDC, ~4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. 

And about 800,000 of those bites require medical attention. 

Pit bulls account for about 1/3 of those medical visits. 

This means that ~2.6 million people get bitten by all breeds each year. 

And around 266,000 of those bites get attributed to pit bulls.

The Number Of Pitbull Deaths Per Year

There are 18 death from pit bull attacks per year. 

Per the CDC, ~28 fatalities due to dog bites occur each year. 

Pit bulls are responsible for about 66% of those fatalities (18 per year).

What Percentage Of Dog Attacks Are Pitbulls?

Pitbulls account for about 6% of all dog attacks.

Fatal Dog Attacks By Breed

  • Pit Bull: 33 fatalities per year 
  • Rottweiler: 28 fatalities per year 
  • German Shepherd: 4 fatalities per year 
  • Bullmastiff: 3 fatalities per year 
  • Husky: 2 fatalities per year 
  • Mastiff: 2 fatalities per year 
  • Great Dane: 2 fatalities per year 
  • Labrador Retriever: 1 fatality per year 
  • Boxer: 1 fatality per year 
  • Doberman Pinscher: 1 fatality per year

This data breaks down fatalities caused by different dog breeds in the US each year. 

The number of fatalities for each breed should get viewed in the context of:

  • the total number of dogs of that breed in the population
  • the specific circumstances surrounding each incident

Pit Bulls and Rottweilers have the highest number of fatalities per year. 

This may not be surprising to some. 

These breeds are often:

  • associated with aggressive behavior
  • have been the focus of media attention in relation to dog attacks

How Many People Are Killed By Dogs Each Year?

Per the CDC, an average of 36 people die each year due to dog bites.

What Dog Kills The Most Humans?

Pit bulls are responsible for most deaths caused by dogs. 

But that does not mean that they are the most dangerous dog breed. 

In reality, any dog can become dangerous in the wrong circumstances.

Fatal Dog Attacks By Breed

In the United States, pit bulls are responsible for the majority of fatal dog attacks. 

From 2005 to 2019, pit bulls were responsible for 254 of the 368 (~70%) recorded fatalities. 

This is higher than the next most dangerous breed, Rottweilers. 

Rotts accounted for 43 fatalities during the same period. 

Some other breeds responsible for fatal attacks include:

  • German Shepherds
  • bullmastiffs
  • huskies

Dog Bite Force Chart

Dog Breed Bite Force (PSI)
German Shepherd 238
Pit Bull 235
Rottweiler 328
Doberman 245
Husky 320
Labrador Retriever 235
Malinois 317
Doberman 245
Husky 238
Bulldog 305
Labrador Retriever 209
Great Dane 238
Boxer 230

A dog bite force chart is a chart that shows the bite force of different dog breeds. 

It lists dog breeds with their estimated bite force measured in PSI. 

The bite force of a dog gets determined by:

  • the size and shape of its jaws
  • the strength of its muscles

A dog bite force chart is a useful tool for:

  • understanding the potential danger of a particular breed 
  • choosing appropriate toys and equipment

But, many other factors besides bite force influence the severity of a dog bite. 

These things include:

  • temperament
  • training
  • socialization
  • the behavior of the person
  • the behavior of the animal involved

FAQs About Dog Bite Statistics

These are the FAQs we found for dog bite statistics.

What Is The Most Dangerous Dog In The World?

The most dangerous dog in the world is commonly regarded as the Pit Bull. 

Pit Bulls are a breed of dog that were originally bred for fighting. 

But, they have become increasingly popular as pets in recent decades. 

They are one of the most feared and controversial breeds, due to their: 

  • strong jaws
  • powerful build
  • aggressive nature

Pit Bulls are responsible for a large number of dog attacks. 

And, often, the victims suffer serious injuries or even death. 

Also, Pit Bulls often attack without warning, making them particularly dangerous. 

As a result, many cities and states have enacted laws that:

  • restrict ownership
  • ban ownership

Which Dog Has The Strongest Bite?

The dog with the strongest bite is the Kangal. Kangals are from Turkey. 

They are a large livestock guardian dog known for their:

  • protective nature 
  • impressive bite strength

The Kangal has a bite force of 743 PSI, the highest of any dog breed in the world. 

This is nearly twice as strong as the average American Pit Bull Terrier (305 PSI).

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