With more than 89 million dogs in the United States, nearly 4.5 million dog bites occur every year. According to a study from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 800,000 bites result in the need for medical care. Being injured by a dog can be at times life-threatening. No matter how severe the dog bite is, you need to know and understand your rights when being a dog bite victim.

As recorded in 2020, the U.S. population is 331 million people, meaning a dog bite occurs every 73 people. Animal control usually deals with problems on dogs of all breeds, and it is known that the most aggressive dog breeds are Pit Bulls.

Dog Bites Fatalities by Breed

While the number of dogs has almost doubled in the last eight years globally, most dogs are feral. Dog bite statistics show that in the United States, the most frequently bitten by dogs are the postal service workers. In 2019, the United States Postal Service confirmed that dogs attacked 5.803 postal employees. Most of these dogs have become defensive of their homes and owners.

Dog

Dog Breed Bite Statistics

Let us look at some statistics on fatal dog attacks by breed, knowing that there were 430 fatal dog bites from 2010 to June 2021:

  • Pit bull – responsible for 185 deaths
  • Pit bull Mix – responsible for 41 deaths
  • Rottweiler – responsible for 26 deaths

Pit bull

No dog breed has a more ferocious reputation than the pit bull, being recognized as the most aggressive dog breed. According to Canine Journal (an organization that collects and analyzes dog bite attacks in the United States), Pit bull attacks are responsible for the deaths of 185 people in the last ten years. In time, 473 people were killed by dog attacks between 2005 and 2017 in the United States, with 65% of these deaths being related to pit bull-type dogs.

Rottweiler

The second most known breed for its brutal reputation is the Rottweiler. By combining the dog bite fatalities statistics for both dogs, we find that 76% of the total fatal dog attacks are related to them. Following immediately after is the German Shepherd producing 20 deaths, while mixed breeds produced 17 deaths. The American Bulldog accounted for 15 deaths, and it is reckoned to dislike the presence of other people. Husky completes the list of the most dangerous breeds with 13 deaths recorded.

Separately, the wolf-dog hybrid can be both dangerous and unpredictable. Huskies are among the most intelligent of breeds, yet they are at times very aggressive. Only in 2016, a total of $530,000,000,000 in insurance claims for dog bite injuries were registered. Dog bite statistics are higher in most crowded states, as stated by these state insurance claims in 2019:

  • California – 2,396 claims
  • Florida – 1,268 claims
  • Texas – 937 claims
  • New York – 893 claims
  • Illinois – 854 claims

Breed Aggressiveness

Many municipalities have laws against owning Pit bulldogs due to their aggressiveness and powerful jaws that can produce a lot of damage. However, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there is not an exact breed to stand out as being the most dangerous in the world. The American Veterinary Medical Association points out that smaller dogs are more likely to exhibit signs of aggression than bigger ones.

As reported by a dog bite study by the University of Pennsylvania, the most aggressive dog breeds are Dachshunds and Chihuahua, which are typical family dogs. The next six dog breeds classified above the Pit bull in this study are:

  • Dachshund
  • Short stature
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Border Collie
  • Beagle
  • Jack Russell Terrier

However, small dogs don’t do much damage. They bite their owners or strangers more frequently, but their tiny jaws do not harm the big dog breeds. These dog breeds’ bite is usually not powerful enough to cause real injuries, and likely won’t require medical care. Thus they can’t be labeled as dangerous dogs, except maybe for children.

According to the law approved by the BOE in 2002, the most dangerous dog breeds (and for which you need a license if adopting them) are:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Rottweiler
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Tosa Inu
  • Akita Inu.

 

You must understand that it doesn’t matter how intelligent your dog is, but rather how you treat them, and the dog’s training is also essential. Certain breeds display dangerous behavior as they grow up. You have to make sure to feed your dog correctly, as an aggressive dog breed may require special attention in the diet area, such as dachshunds. Doberman pinscher, the giant schnauzer, is also more dangerous than other breeds, while golden retrievers, and labradors, are among the safest.

The reality is that sometimes we are to blame for not knowing how to treat dogs, educate them, meet their demands, or recognize potentially aggressive behavior earlier. If we fail in these aspects, it might even result in human death one day. Abused dogs, or those that participated in dog fights, are also potentially dangerous.

The Most Common Characteristics of Dangerous Breeds

With roughly 900 million dogs in the entire world as of 2021, dog bite attacks may happen at any time, and it might be too late to prevent such an accident. Whether you are considering adopting a dog or you already have one, you need to understand that owning a dangerous breed is always risky. Sure, dogs are different, but dog bite statistics do not lie, so experienced people should adopt aggressive dogs in their education and care.

Bear in mind that some of the most dangerous breeds may have:

  • Strong musculature, powerful appearance
  • Great courage and powerful character
  • Short hair
  • Voluminous head, large and strong jaws, wide and deep mouth
  • Muscular and short neck
  • A weight of over 20 kgs
  • Thoracic perimeter between 60 and 80 centimeters
  • Parallel, straight and robust forelegs

The Most Common Causes for Dog Bites

Usually, dogs bite for specific reasons. Whether they are scared, defensive, or sometimes hurt, teaching your dog to be gentle is essential. When letting your children around dogs, always supervise them and teach them to respect the dog’s space. In other cases, the dog owner will advise you not to approach. It is best to keep a safe distance and be wary of dangerous dog breeds, as most dogs bite when they feel threatened or defensive. Always watch and listen to dogs’ signals and treat them right.

Dogs have instinctive urges, and according to the National Canine Research Council, several common factors contribute to dog attacks by breed. In 89.9% of attacks, no one was around to intervene, the victim being on their own. Most dog bites accidents happen randomly, and the victim has no relationship with the dog.

In 77.9% of cases, the dogs were neither neutered nor spayed. By choosing to neuter or spaying your dog, you could decrease their aggressive tendencies or urges to attack. In 68.7% of dog bites, the victims couldn’t defend themselves due to mobility or disabilities. Unfortunately, dogs usually bite kids or senior citizens.

In 39.3% of cases, dog bites are due to neglect or the owner’s abusive behavior. While the dog’s behavior is unpredictable, we recommend you follow these tips to lower your risk of being bitten:

  • Don’t approach if the dog seems anxious or scared.
  • Stay away from the dog if he is eating, sleeping, or playing with a toy.
  • Stay at a safe distance if the dog is growling.
  • Be cautious of stray dogs.
  • Always stay calm and avoid anxious behavior.
  • Do not pet a dog through fences.
  • Offer dogs the space they need.

Dog bites can cause many types of injuries and can vary in levels of severity. From puncture wounds, broken bones, eye injuries, head and neck injuries, face injuries, nerve damage, rabies, or emotional effects, you could suffer severe injuries if bitten by a dog. Thankfully, rabies has been chiefly eradicated in the United States because of vaccinations and pet healthcare. Currently, only one to three deaths from rabies are reported annually in the country.

No matter how severe your dog bites injuries are after a dog bite attack, you may be entitled to compensation if filing a personal injury claim. You could still get some money for your injuries if you were injured while running away from a dog or got knocked out.

Other Dog Breed Bite Statistics

More than 28,000 reconstructive surgery procedures were performed in 2015 because of dog bites. 43% percent of hospitalized people for dog bites require skin treatment and underlying tissue infection, while 22% have wounds of the legs or arms. Then again, 80% of severe dog bites in children involve the neck and head.

Dog bite incidents appear to be on the rise in number and severity ever since the 1980s. Only in the United States, the dog attack victims have suffered monetary losses of over $1 billion every year.

Only 50% of dog bites occur on the dog owner’s property, while 77% of the biting dogs belong to a friend or the victim’s family.

Out of the 430 dog bites fatalities that occurred in the last year, 32% were age 0-4, 13% were age 75+, 10% were age 5-9, and 5.5% were age 60-64.

According to dog bite claims statistics, a dog bites every 75 seconds in the United States, and almost 9,500 people are hospitalized each year for dog bites. Pit bull attacks comprise about 60% of all dog bites injuries and 63% of ocular injuries. On the other hand, pit bull terriers are 48% more likely to attack without provocation than any other breeds.

It is estimated that by 2021, Pit bulls would have mauled 441 Americans to death since 1998; however, these dog bite-related fatalities are only speculatory.

The average time spent in a hospital after a dog bite is five days. On average, only two people die from rabies each year in the United States, and apparently, you have a 1 in 112,400 chance of dying from a dog bite or strike.

Things You Need to Consider Before Getting a Dog

It has been proven that owning a dog improves your well-being and encourages healthy fitness. Dogs require daily walks or exercise, so it only makes sense for their owners to be more active.

Once you have decided to get a dog, you have to be prepared for the responsibility that comes along. Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment, yet a joy and a privilege. If you’re thinking of getting yourself a canine companion, you need to provide them with a safe shelter, food, water, medical care, and a lot of love and attention.

If you already have other animals or children, there are some things you may want to consider before adopting or buying a dog. If the dog has a history of aggression, are they appropriate for a home with children under no circumstances? Then again, depending on your needs, you can consult with a trusted vet or a dog trainer to find the perfect breed for you and your family.

If possible, spend some time before with your future pet to ascertain any aggressive tendencies. Then spay or neuter the dog before bringing it to your home.

Always socialize with your animal, and provide them with proper exercise time. When going for a walk, keep your dog on a leash. The best dog breeds for first-time owners are Golden Retrievers, as they are lovable, affectionate, and gentle dogs that can thrive in any household. Other great dog breeds are Bichon Frise, Poodle, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Papillon, Labrador Retriever (voted the most popular dog of 2015). This breed is the most intelligent loyal), or Greyhound.

Why Should You Hire a Dog Bite Lawyer

If a dog has bitten you or someone you love, you could face considerable costs, including trauma, medical expenses, or permanent scarring or disfigurement. By suffering injuries from dog attacks by breed, you may be eligible for compensation to recover your losses.

At Maho Prentice, LLP, we specialize in securing fair settlements for victims who have been injured in dog bites or attacks. We will explain the dog bite laws, gather evidence to support your case, provide legal assistance, and negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company on your behalf.

How Do I File a Dog Bite Claim?

After you were injured in a dog bite attack, immediately seek medical attention and gather as much information as possible from the dog owner. Take photos of the animal and your sustained injuries, if possible. You may also have to file a report with your local animal control agency. By filing a report with this agency, you will have more documentation to help you recover your damages. In some cases, animal control will start an investigation of the accident.

In personal injury cases, dog bite victims may be eligible for certain recoverable damages, depending on the severity of the injuries and the resulting losses. The most common damages awarded for such personal injury claims include medical or surgical costs, lost wages, projected medical expenses, pain and suffering costs, emotional distress, or other expenses associated with long-term medical care.

If a dog has bitten you or someone you love, seek legal representation as soon as possible. Our law firm has the experience to handle any dog bite case and pursue the maximum compensation possible for your dog bite injuries. Contact a dog bite attorney, and schedule your free consultation by calling us at 805-962-1930 any time, day or night in English or Spanish. And if your injuries prevent you from visiting our office, we can come to your home or hospital room.


By Maho | Prentice, LLP Attorneys at Law on November 13, 2021