The occasional media coverage of a severe or fatal dog attack causes upheaval in the public about pet owners. However, these reports fail to convey the statistics on how dog bites occur, the severity of the attack, and what breeds are more prone to be a problem.
Dog bites in the United States do not often lead to hospitalizations. Nearly 81% of bites do not require medical attention and cause little to no injury. A person is far more likely to die from choking on food or dying from heart disease than from being involved in a fatal dog attack (1 in 112,400).
With this said, there is still a risk of being engaged in a dog bite attack. The statistics of dog attacks by breed, the severity of bites, and what causes these attacks are all in one place for you here.
If you happen to be involved in a dog bite attack and need a lawyer, this article gives you the laws and information needed to get a consultation from a lawyer in Texas.
Dog Bite Statistics By Breed
A census was taken in 2021 of dog attacks by breed from previous years. The top 5 dog breeds with the most bite attacks in the United States are listed below.
1. Pit Bull
- Attacks: 3,397
- Deaths: 295
Pit bulls have a high reputation for being one of the most aggressive breeds, backed by statistics. The breed’s poor reputation does not make every pit bull dangerous, but if you are looking at getting a dog and want a pit bull, you should be mindful of these statistics.
- Attacks: 535
- Deaths: 8
If not properly exercised, socialized, and mentally stimulated, rottweilers may become aggressive. They are typically good-natured dogs used mainly in search and rescue missions or as guard and police dogs.
3. German Shepherd
- Attacks: 113
- Deaths: 15
German Shepherds are high energy, alert, and valued for their protective instincts. These traits are used positively in their roles as military and police dogs. However, if they are not properly trained they are more likely to bite humans they do not know due to their aggressive instincts.
4. Presa Canario
- Attacks: 111
- Deaths: 18
Bred to be guard dogs, Presa Canarios have aggressive instincts. They were used legally as dog fighting dogs in Spain until this got outlawed in 1936. Similar to Pit Bulls, there is no difference between the number of attacks on children versus adults in Presa Canarios.
5. Wolf-Dog Hybrids
- Attacks: 85
- Deaths: 19
These hybrids are less domesticated than other dog breeds. This leaves more instinct in the dog, making them naturally more aggressive. They may become predatory when they feel scared or defensive.
Pitbull Attack Statistics
A staggering 65% of deaths from dog bite attacks come from pit bulls. Of the 433 total dog bite victim fatalities between 2005 and 2017, 284 came from the Pit Bull breed. While Pit Bulls are known to have incredibly strong jaws and razor-sharp teeth, these statistics could be somewhat misleading.
Pit bulls have a much higher fatality rate when they attack humans than other breeds, but they are also the most abused breed in the United States. They are illegally used in dogfighting matches and provoked to aggressive behavior.
Another aspect of these statistics is that Pit Bulls are more efficient with their attacks because of their strength. If a small breed such as a Chihuahua bites you, the likelihood of this bite being severe is low. Even if the Chihuahua breed bites more often, the statistics will not show that a Chihuahua is the most dangerous dog because their bites do not end in hospitalizations or fatalities.
Dog Biting Statistics
Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Presa Canarios, and Wolf-Dog Hybrids have the top dog attacks by breed. There are a few other breeds with high statistics for bite attacks. Others worth mentioning are:
- Siberian Husky
- Chow Chow
A dog is more likely to be in bite statistics when they possess specific physical characteristics.
- Strong musculature
- Muscular cheeks
- A large, strong jaw
- A robust, wide mouth
- A voluminous head
- Parallel, straight forelegs
- Muscular hindquarters
These characteristics contribute to having a higher likelihood of being included in high bit-rate statistics.
As mentioned earlier, Pit Bulls account for 65% of dog bite attack fatalities in the United States. It is a common misconception that Pit Bulls have a “locking jaw.” No dog possesses a locking jaw, but a Pit Bull is known to hold their bite longer than other breeds. This behavior causes more damage from the attack and results in a higher death rate.
Illegal dog fighting is the cause of abuse for many Pit Bulls. The dogs are often starved, mutilated, and injected with steroids to heighten their natural aggression. Due to their poor reputation, people have a negative outlook on Pit Bulls and they account for 40% of the total number of euthanized dogs.
Dog experts say that if a Pit Bull is correctly socialized, they can be loving pets and very good with children.
What Breed of Dog Has the Most Attacks?
Statistics show that the highest dog attacks by breed are from Pit Bulls. Their natural aggression and high provocation rate from humans cause Pit Bulls to have the highest attack rate in the United States when compared to other dog breeds.
Dogs Most Likely to Bite
High-energy dogs that are not properly exercised and socialized are most likely to bite. Breeds with more natural aggression are also more likely to bite. Statistics for Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, American Bulldogs, Mastiffs, and Huskies show that they have high attack rates.
According to AVMA and reports from CDC, 85 million dogs were estimated to be in the United States between 2017 and 2018. These reports show 4.5 million dog bites occurred in the United States, 19% of which resulted in injury.
As a pet owner, do your research on your dog’s breed and provide it with the proper care. Socialize regularly, especially with children to get them used to them at an early age. Give it plenty of exercises so that it does not take out that energy in aggression.
Can I Claim Compensation for a Dog Attack?
If you have been unfortunate enough to have been involved in a dog attack, you do have options. You can claim compensation for a dog attack. In 2020, about $854 million in insurance liability claims for dog bite-related claims were reported. Average costs per claim were just over $50,000. Both the liability claims and average cost per claim went up from previous years.
If you have been in a dog bite attack, contact our attorneys for a free consultation.
How Long Do You Have to Claim for a Dog Bite in Texas?
In Texas, you have 2 years from the date of the injury to file your injury lawsuit. If you miss this two-year window, this case will be dismissed forever due to the statute of limitations.
Dog Bite Settlement
In a dog bite settlement, the owner of the dog is responsible for the actions of the pet. With this being said, there are certain stipulations and laws when it comes to dog-bite attack settlements.
Different states have different laws. Research the laws in your state to know what actions to take if you are involved in a dog-bite settlement. Whether you are the victim or the owner of the dog, you have certain rights and laws made for you.
What Happens When a Dog Bites Someone in Texas
Texas follows the “one bite rule” when it comes to dog bite lawsuits. This rule means that a certain dog’s first bite is “free,” meaning neither the dog nor the owner is responsible for the injury caused by the bite. After this first bite, however, the owner of the dog is said to be responsible for the dangerous tendency of their dog in biting.
Law on Dog Bites in Texas
The “one bite rule” gives freedom to the dog and its owner for the first offense, but if bites keep occurring the owner is held responsible. If a dog is on its second offense, the victim of a dog bite claim must be able to prove that the dog’s owner knew of past occurrences of their dog being aggressive, and/or the owner negligently failed to reasonably care for and control their dog. Meaning they took no precautions in preventing their dog from biting, resulting in an injured person.
If you are a victim of a dog bite attack in the state of Texas, we can help you.
Whether that be in medical treatment costs, recovery, or filing a claim. You may need to talk to a dog bite attorney if you have questions on what qualifies you in a dog bite attack case.
Get a free case evaluation by contacting us at this link. Fill out online or give us a call at (817) 820-0100.