Pit bull dogs have a bad reputation for biting humans. But is that reputation really deserved? The website dogsbite.org has compiled statistics that show which dog breeds are actually responsible for the most bites in California and the rest of the nation.
Since there are more than 4.5 million dog bites reported each year, with half of them happening to children.
It’s important to know which breeds are more likely to bite than others so you can take appropriate action to keep yourself and your kids safe.
Pit Bulls Are #1
The truth is that according to the dogsbite.org statistics, in 2020, pit bulls were responsible for 72% of all fatal dog bites in the United States. This means that of the
42 people who died from dog bites in the U.S. in 2020, 30 of those deaths were attributed to pit bulls.
In California, over the past seven years, 25 people have died from pit bull bites, which shows that the Golden State is not immune from these statistics.
Between 2005 and 2020, pit bull bites ended the lives of 380 people. This is 329 more deaths than the next highest total of 51 for rottweilers. It is clear that pit bull dogs have earned their reputation for being the most dangerous dog breed.
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Certainly, not all pit bulls are biters and the way they’re raised likely has an impact on their viciousness, but there is a reason why pit bulls are consistently responsible for more bites than any other breed and it’s not just their owners.
Due to the selective breeding of pit bulls for fighting purposes, they are naturally more aggressive than other breeds. They don’t just bite humans, either.
They are aggressive toward other pets and small animals that they see as prey because it is ingrained in them to show their dominance over these creatures. Many communities and insurance companies have enacted pit bull bans and regulations.
Other Breeds that Bite
Fatal dog bites may be mainly attributed to pit bulls, but they do occur with other breeds as well, just less often. In 2020, 19% of the 42 fatal dog bites in the U.S., or eight deaths, were from unreported or mixed breeds. Some of these bites could have been from breeds that were partially pit bull, but because they weren’t tested or reported, that fact is unknown.
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From there, the number of fatal dog bites drops significantly, with mastiffs, bullmastiffs, German shepherds, and American bulldogs representing 4% or two of the reported dog bite deaths.
Of the 568 dog bite deaths that occurred between 2005 and 2020, mixed breeds were responsible for 29, mastiffs and bullmastiffs were responsible for 20, German shepherds were responsible for 24, and American bulldogs were responsible for 18. All other breeds collectively were responsible for 75.
Unfortunately, pit bulls do bite people and other animals more often than other breeds. It’s a fact that owners and communities have to live with and do what they can to protect each other from that reality. Of course, this doesn’t mean all pit bulls will bite, but it does mean that everyone needs to be aware of that possibility.