Dog Bite Statistics, Dog Attacks 2021 (Breed, State, World)

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The number of dogs in the world has almost doubled in 8 years! The majority of them are feral. How does that affect dog bite statistics?

Now, there are approximately 900 million dogs [1] on the face of this planet. However, in 2012, there were only about 525 million dogs.

Find out which dogs are the most aggressive and how most dog attacks occur.

dog bite statistics attacks breed us worldwide

PS. The dog in this picture is not aggressive. Just playing.

Quick Facts About Dog Bite Statistics

  • 900 million dogs in the world
  • 50% of children will be bitten by a dog in their childhood
  • 4.7 million dog bites in the U.S. every year
  • More males are dog bite victims than females
  • 60,000 people die worldwide from rabies caused by dog bites
  • American pit bull terrier listed as most dangerous dog worldwide

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My encounter with an unfamiliar dog

I was running late in the evening. Running on the right side of an 8-feet wide pedestrian path. From the distance, I saw a cyclist appear with an unleashed dog running beside him. I took even more to the side, now running on the grass. When we passed each other the dog double back and bit me inside of the left thigh. The cyclist didn’t even look back.

It wasn’t too bad. I continued running. At home, I discovered that my running pants were torn and there was a bloody bite on my leg. I still have the scar.

I still don’t think all dogs should be always leashed. I am a dog owner and love to let my dogs run free. But it’s my responsibility to make sure everyone around me is safe and train to reduce aggressive behavior.

Dog Populations

Between 75% and 85% of those dogs are free-range dogs, meaning that they are strays or feral and don’t have owners or homes. China and the United States have the highest dog populations with around 110 million and 89 million, respectively. Most dogs involved in attacks are family dogs, but some are wild or strays.

Highest Dog Population Breakdown

These numbers include pet and stray animals:

  1. China – 110 million
  2. United States – 89 million
  3. European Union – 70.5 million [3]
  4. India – 32 million
  5. Russia – 17.1 million
  6. Germany – 10.7 million
  7. UK – 8.5 million
  8. Italy – 8.3 million
  9. Poland – 7.85 million
  10. France – 7.5 million

Global Dog Bite Statistics

According to the World Health Organization, it is difficult to track dog bite victims and dog attack statistics. On the other hand, hospitalizations and dog bite fatalities are easier to record (Animal bites). Their approximation is that tens of millions of bites happen every year. Many bites and dog bite fatalities happen in low-income and middle-income countries. In this case, travelers are often bitten while visiting those countries.

Dog Bite Statistics: visiting other countries

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Fatalities from Dog Bites

In a study from 2018 in China, thousands of dog bite victims die every year from rabies caused by dog bites. People don’t die from dog bite injuries, globally, W.H.O. posits that around 60,000 people die every year from rabies resulting from dog bites. However, in places like the United States where vaccines are common, the number of dog bite fatalities due to rabies is much lower. In 2019, there were only 48 fatal dog attacks in the United States. Only 1 to 3 deaths from rabies are reported in the U.S. but these are caused by bats, not dogs (CDC, Center for Disease Control).

us rabies dog bites human cases by source animal
Infographic designed by

Vulnerable Groups in U.S. and U.K.

Children and Dog Attacks

In the United States, some notable trends in dog bites suggest that children are more likely to be bitten than adults. In a study from 2013, it is suggested that each American child has a 50% chance of being bitten by a dog. Younger children are usually bitten by a family dog or a neighbor’s dog. Adolescents are bitten more frequently by unknown dogs. In addition, dogs bite more male children than female children.

These statistics are repeated in studies in other countries as well. For example, according to a study from the United Kingdom, nearly half of all children would be bitten by dogs at some point, and males were more likely to be bitten than females. Children are also more likely to be severely injured, as many of the recorded dog bite-related injuries are to the face and neck area.

Nervous behavior can make dogs feel unsafe and defensive, causing them to attack

Adults Dog Bites

While the other half of dog bites are to adults, senior citizens are the second-highest age group for the most dog bites. In adults, men are 81% more likely to be bitten by dogs than women.


Personality can also play a factor in who gets bitten by dogs. People who are anxious, nervous, or fearful are 22% more likely to get bitten by dogs according to a study in the United Kingdom. The body language of these people plays a major role in dog attacks. Nervous behavior can make dogs feel unsafe and defensive, causing them to attack.

Dog Bite Statistics by Occupation

In the United States, dog bite statistics show that postal service workers are most frequently bitten. In 2019, the United States Postal Service reported that 5,803 of their employees were attacked by dogs. Many dogs are territorial and become defensive of their homes and their owners.

  • Landscapers,
  • meter readers,
  • and food delivery services

have high bite numbers.

If your Dog or Puppy is driving you crazy with its excessive barking, whining or chewing, or if your dog is too aggressive and bites or growls at your visitors, you need an immediate remedy. Sign Up Now To Train your Dog To Listen To You

U.S. Dog Bite Statistics by State

The United States has the most readily available data when it comes to dog bites and dog attacks. Of some 89.7 million dogs in the United States, there are 4.7 million recorded dog bites.

In addition, only around 800,000 of those bites are serious enough for medical care. Furthermore, in 2019, only 17,802 bites were reported for insurance claims.

2019 U.S. State Dog Bite Insurance Claims

According to these state insurance claims, dog bite statistics are the highest in most populous states. People are bitten in certain states more frequently than others:

  1. California – 2,396 claims
  2. Florida – 1,268 claims
  3. Texas – 937 claims
  4. New York – 893 claims
  5. Illinois – 854 claims

Dog Bite Statistics by Breed?

Here are some statistics on bog bites by breed. Of the 4.7 million dog bites, only 1 in every 5 of those bites are serious enough to need medical attention.

Aggressive doesn’t always mean dangerous. Chihuahuas and dachshunds, two of the small breeds in the world, tend to be the most aggressive dog breeds (10 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds: Temperament Ratings and Information). However, their bite is usually not powerful enough to cause any real damage and likely won’t require medical attention.

Aggressive dog doesn't always mean dangerous

Conversely, though Great Danes are reported to be docile and gentle. However, when they bite, they can cause serious damage because of their size and power. The frequency of their bites and attacks is low, but the damage can be severe. So, what is the #1 most dangerous dog?

Dog Bite Statistics: Aggressiveness by Breed

Here’s a list of dog bite statistics by breed. Greyhounds are one of the least aggressive dog breeds when considering all the aggression types. Dachshunds are the most aggressive dog breed. They are especially aggressive towards strangers. However, their small size makes them less dangerous than larger dogs.

Dog Bite Statistics by breed: dog breed aggression study data
Infographic designed by

Dog bite statistics from University of Pennsylvania 2008 study: Breed differences in canine aggression by Deborah L. Duffya, Yuying Hsub, James A. Serpella. 2008

It doesn’t matter how smart your dog is. You can find aggression at every intelligence level. Make sure you feed your dog. For example, dachshunds may need special attention in the diet area.

U.S. Dangerous Dog Breeds

We usually refer to dogs that have the highest frequency of biting and have the most powerful bites as the most dangerous dogs. In the United States, larger mixed breeds and American pit bull terriers are aggressive, and their bites are more often recorded because they are much more powerful and cause more damage.

Between 2005 and 2017, there were 284 dog fatalities from pit bulls alone, giving that breed a very dangerous label [PDF]. In 2019, 33 of the 48 dog fatalities were because of pit bulls.

Top U.S. Dangerous Dog Breeds

These are the most dangerous breeds based on dog attack fatalities. Here are the dogs that bite the most:

  1. Pit bull
  2. Rottweiler
  3. German shepherd
  4. Mixed breed
  5. American bulldog

dangerous dog attacs by breed
Infographic designed by


U.K. Dangerous Dog Breeds

In the United Kingdom, the Jack Russell Terrier is said to be the most dangerous dog, even though it is a small breed. This is likely because the pit bull terrier was banned from the United Kingdom some years ago, and the ban has slowed the import of the breed. Similarly to the U.S. German shepherds and rottweilers are also on the United Kingdom’s list. (The 5 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds in the UK [2])

Most Dangerous Breeds in India

In India, these massive dogs are the most dangerous because of their size:

  1. Himalayan Mastiff
  2. Indian Mastiff
  3. Sindh Mastiff

Canine bite force chart

Dog bite force (BF) at M2 (second molar solid points) and canine (hollow points) versus body weight (BW) for the 20 dogs of different sizes in the study.

canine bite force chart

Observed bite force at the canine and M2 teeth. Values are the average of up to four observed bites. Bite force closely follows the dog’s weight. For example, if your pitbull bite force could be lower or higher. Check the dog’s weight in the chart and you arrive at an approximate value. For example, the Cane Corso bite force is around 700 PSI. These dogs have massive strength and were used in battle.

Estimated breed Weight
(kg / lbs)
Gender Age Canine bite force
(N / lbs)
M2 bite force
(N / lbs)
Labrador-Shepherd cross 40 / 88 M 8 859 / 193 3417 / 768
Shepherd-Husky cross 33,5 / 74 M 6 926 / 208 3145 / 707
Shepherd cross 32,5 / 72 M 8 423 / 95 2900 / 652
Shepherd 25 / 55 F 4 720 / 162 2576 / 579
Shepherd 30,5 / 67 F 4 756 / 170 2527 / 568
Setter cross 26 / 57 M 1,5 748 / 168 2371 / 533
Shepherd cross 23,5 / 52 M 1,5 580 / 130 2202 / 495
Husky cross 21,5 / 47 M 2 722 / 162 2174 / 489
Shepherd-Collie cross 18,5 / 41 F 2 433 / 97 2035 / 457
Pit Bull-Shepherd cross 24 / 53 F 1,5 896 / 201 1991 / 448
Terrier-Collie cross 15,5 / 34 F 2 509 / 114 1890 / 425
Collie-Hound cross 18,5 / 41 F 4,5 654 / 147 1774 / 399
Labrador-Shepherd cross 21,5 / 47 M 1 508 / 114 1675 / 377
Shar Pe cross 19 / 42 M 3 192 / 43 1353 / 304
Australian Shepherd-Blue Heeler cross 15 / 33 F 1 354 / 80 1310 / 294
Walker Hound 15 / 33 0,8 453 / 102 1299 / 292
Jack Russell cross 7 / 15 M 3 360 / 81 1025 / 230
Dachshund 5 / 11 M 3 281 / 63 834 / 187
Black Labrador 30 / 66 M 2 147 / 33 732 / 165
Spaniel cross 11,5 / 25 M 14 162 / 36 574 / 129


Here’s another study about the bite force of dogs. The dog’s bite force depends on the size of the dog and the shape of its skull. As you can see from the model below large dogs with short skulls usually have the strongest bite force.

dog bite force model

Bite force at the molar (MBF) (top) and canine (CBF) (bottom) (N) predicted by lever model 1 (Kiltie 1984) (red), lever model 2 (Thomason 1991) (blue), or the regression model of Ellis et al. (2008) (black) vs. skull type, where B is brachycephalic (short skull dogs), M is mesaticephalic (medium skull dogs), and D is dolichocephalic skull type (log skull dogs); for small (S), medium (M) and large (L) dogs.

Banned Dog Breeds

Banning dangerous dogs is very common in many countries. Some countries, like Ukraine, have up to 80 dog breeds on their banned list. In the U.S. no dogs are banned nationwide, but many states have restrictions and bans on certain breeds. At the top of most lists is, unsurprisingly, the pit bull terrier.

Most Banned Dog Breeds

According to world data, these are the most banned breeds:

    1. American pit bull terrier
    2. American Staffordshire terrier
    3. German Shepherd
    4. Rottweiler

Be Safe

Dogs bite for several reasons. Usually, they might be scared, defensive, or even hurt. As many children are bitten by dogs, it’s important to teach dogs to be gentle as well as to teach children to respect a dog’s space. In addition, children should always be supervised when around dogs, and you should never walk up to an unknown dog, especially if it’s growling or if the dog owner says not to approach. Know what to do when a dog bites someone.

Dog attack statistics Teach dogs to be gentle and children to respect a dog's space

It’s okay to be wary of dangerous dog breeds, but many problems with dogs result from bad training and poor environments where the dogs feel threatened or defensive. Have respect for dogs and listen to their signals.

Dog Bite Statistics: Know Your Odds

The United States population is around 328.2 million people. Nearly 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year, which means if you’re in the United States, you have a 1 in 70 chance of getting bitten by a dog. However, a person has only a 1 in 112,400 chance of being killed in a dog attack. However, this means you’re more likely to die of heart disease (1 in 6), from choking on food (1 in 2,618), or in a natural disaster (1 in 54,699).

If your Dog or Puppy is driving you crazy with its excessive barking, whining or chewing, or if your dog is too aggressive and bites or growls at your visitors, you need an immediate remedy. Sign Up Now To Train your Dog To Listen To You

10 Best Dog Bite Prevention Tips

Lower your risk with these tips:

  1. Avoid if there’s no owner around, or the dog owner says not to approach
  2. Don’t approach if the dog seems scared, anxious, or injured
  3. Give dogs space and respect
  4. Stay away if the dog is sleeping, eating, or playing with a toy
  5. Keep your distance if the dog is growling
  6. Remain calm and avoid anxious behavior
  7. Supervise children when near dogs
  8. If traveling to a low-income country, be cautious of stray dogs
  9. Don’t reach through fences to pet a dog
  10. Leave service dogs to do their jobs

Like people dogs get anxious when they are injured. Disturbing them may lead to an attack. The injury doesn’t have to be visible. For example, when a paw is inured. In some cases, you might want to give the anxious or stressed dog trazodone.

For Pet Owners

These are the best tips to keep your dog and others safe:

  1. Socialize your dog
  2. Train for obedience
  3. Keep your dog on a leash
  4. Give your dog proper exercise
  5. Spay or neuter your pet

In Total Dog Bite Statistics Show That You are Mostly Safe

In a developed country, dog bites are rare. Here’s what you need to remember about dog bites and attacks:

  • Rabies deaths are common in areas without vaccines
  • Children are more likely to be bitten than adults
  • Females are less likely to be bitten than males
  • Dogs attacked 5,803 U.S. postal workers in 2019
  • Anxious and nervous people have a higher chance of getting bitten
  • California reported the highest number of insurance claims due to dog bites in 2019
  • Pit bulls caused 33 of the 48 dog attack fatalities in the U.S. in 2019
  • Most countries and states have banned pit bulls
  • Americans have a very low chance of being fatally attacked by a dog(1 in 112,400)
  • Dog bites can be prevented

As the world dog population increases, the number of dog bites and attacks will also rise. Though dog bites are fairly common, there are ways to prevent them and protect yourself. Even if a dog attack occurs, it’s very unlikely for the attack to end in a fatality.



This Post Has 50 Comments

  1. M L Acott

    After reading YOUR statistics WHY do you say a pit bull is so dangerous? Are you looking at your own statistics? After much research your 2019 statistics are also flawed, you say 33 of the 48fatalities from dog attacks is the pit bull, wrong again! Is this really fair to put out incorrect statistics? It certainly lessens the value of your articles!

    1. Priit Kallas

      Thank you for you comment. I don’t say it. There’s real data and studies behind this statistic. Please add a link to the source you are referring. Here is the list of fatal dog attacs in the US 2020

      1. Terry Miller

        Thank you for the statistics. I do agree from not just your article but from my experience with dogs as a retired Vet. Stats are there to the effect that the Pit bull family are responsible for a lot of fatalities

        1. Priit Kallas

          Some dogs are aggressive, but if the owner is a responsible person then there should be no problems.

    2. Kathy Coop

      Facts are facts. The number of children getting mauled to death by Pit Bulls is constantly on the rise.. The more people defend and adopt Pit Bulls in an attempt to prove how sweet they can be only add to the problem. I have never met a mean Pit Bull in my life and yet I would never have one in my home because of my small children.

      If you want to own a breed that has a track record of violence and come online and preach how sweet they can be and your dog ends up attacking someone then you should be charged. You can’t leave a loaded gun sitting out in a table with kids running around playing.

      Consequences are the only way to really get the message across to people who refuse to accept facts.

      1. Amber

        The vast majority of pitbulls are still good dogs. Pitbulls are the most abused dogs in the US…OF COURSE they’re going to be the top to attack here. With the terrible abuse so many of these dogs suffer; the attack number seems actually low to me because I’m honestly suprised more dogs don’t retalitate against abusive pet parents. Most dogs who attack aren’t actually live-in family dogs when you look into it so have no proper socialization or bond to humans. Most dogs to attack are abused. Also many children are often allowed to mistreat animals. Kids at school would brag about kicking their guinea pigs down the stairs, or throwing live baby birds against trees, or setting bugs on fire, stuffing lit fireworks into frogs mouths and watching them explode. The list goes on.. This is just what I heard firsthand at school from multiple little kids. Alot of sick people out there and we are the guilty ones in almost every case. Learn to be a parent to your child and get a dog with no aggression signs and make sure to raise your kids to treat animals with respect. Humans by far are the most aggressive animal out there. Pot calling the kettle…

  2. izzy

    I love it so much nice article

    1. Priit Kallas

      Thanks! I’m happy you found something of value here.

  3. Carol

    I’m disappointed you used a graph from They are notorious for wanting Bredd Specific Legislation and advocate for the Nazi-esque eradication of all dogs deemed “pit bulls.” Eradication of an entire breed (or race) of animal simply because of that breed (or race) is morally wrong and dangerous thinking. Our world fought a great war to end that kind of thinking.

    1. Priit Kallas


      Thank you for your comment! I got the information from Statista and they got it from the pit-bull-averse people. I don’t know about eradicating the whole breed, but this data seems to hold water. People who don’t want a dangerous dog should know about it. People who have pit-bulls should also know about it to be extra careful. This way, maybe the numbers for pit-bull attacks go down.

    2. alex

      Dear Carol. Dog breeds are an artificial creation made by humans. How can you compare eliminating an artificial dog breed with the Holocaust?

      Pit-dogs or any other kind of dog never would have existed if it wasn´t for human inetervention. We domesticated them and bred them for different traits. We bred greyhounds to run, huskys to pull sleds, labradors to retrieve game, and sadly pitbulls to kill other dogs.

      There is NO reason to allow pit-dogs in the XXI century, unless you are for dog fights becoming legal again.

      We are not talking about losing a species, just eliminating traits that WE originally bred in them because we enjoyed dog fights.

      The world would be a better place without PIT DOGS.

      1. Carol

        To eliminate an entire breed of dog because of hyped up fear mongering is wrong. Pit Bulls have been know to be Nanny dogs for generations. It is only in recent years (with the proliferation of dog fighting and gangs) that Pit Bulls have been used and trained for violence It is NOT their nature. Like any dog, if it is abused and forced to fight, it is going to get mean. That means that those particular dogs are mean, NOT the whole breed. Pits are chosen and abused by these people.
        The world would be a better place without people who want to kill animals that they don’t understand.

  4. Cak

    Pitbull is not a breed. It is an umbrella term for 4 differnt breeds. It is unfair to continuously show statistics for one type of dog that actually includes four different types of dogs. This would be equivalent to putting all retrievers in one category or all shepherds in one category. If you took German Shepherd’s, Belgian shepards, Dutch shepherds, etc and counted them all as one, you would get higher bite statistics. Plus pretty much any dog that’s boxy with a big head is identified as a pitbull but half the time their actual genotype has none of the pitbull breeds. I follow both of the major companies that do DNA tests, there are so many dogs in there that are fluffy and cute but are 45% or higher pitbull breeds. Then there are dogs that everybody identifies as a pitbull but has zero pitbull breeds in them. I guarantee if we started using DNA to report dog bites, we would see a decrease in how many pitbull bites we see. How is it possible that these dogs score the best on the temperament tests but yet supposedly they’re the most aggressive dogs. Things don’t add up for a reason. Anyone that has taken a stats class knows that you can make your numbers read whichever way you want them to read. The people that report this have bias and an agenda. If we actually did this in a scientific, evidence-based way, we would see different results.

    1. Priit Kallas

      Great point! Thank you for the comment. Seems that some kennel organizations should do some work on it. As things stand now people still identify them as one breed and this also reflects in the statistics. You made a great point about shepherds. If there would be one type of shepherd that is extremely aggressive but indistinguishable from the rest, then the general population would be well advised to stand clear of the shepherds. There are probably pitbull owner organizations that could try to fix the situation, but it will take a lot of time.

      1. Eilidh Somerville

        DNA testing also relies on visual identification as that is how the dogs the foundation samples come from are identified. They are also identified based on their pedigrees which are made up dogs that were identified visually. However, it is not an exact science and that is why it is not allowed in court to identify breed in many countries. People have been successfully identifying dogs visually for centuries and the only people who say that they cannot be identified visually are modern pit bull advocates and only ever in relation to pit bulls. Additionally, they only ever say that after a mauling or when BSL is being discussed. They never question if a pit bull is a pit bull on positive articles about them. It is only the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier that are classed legally as pit bulls in the US. However, the APBT and AST are the exact same and the only differences between them are the kennel clubs they are registered with. The AKC’s AST breed standard is literally based on a UKC registered APBT (Colby’s Primo). The SBT is classed as a pit bull because it was heavily used in the creation of the APBT.

        1. Bcast

          What? People have been successfully identifying dogs visually??! That is where you lost me and it all falls apart. People point at any box headed, short snouted, bulky dog and yell pit bull. There are many bully breeds that people mislabel as pit bulls. Now I am not saying that pit bulls don’t bite, but so do all other dogs. So when people “visually” try to identify a dog and they are mislabeling them as a pit bull then that is not a successful identification. Just because someone says so, doesn’t mean it is. I have 2 dogs, one which is a purebred apbt and another one that is a boxer mix, with 4 other breeds (all of which are large breeds). There are many more people afraid of my boxer mix than the actual apbt… so “visual” is all in the eye of the beholder. I agree with Cak above. Show me the dna, and I’ll change my mind. I would believe the science behind dna over some one visually labeling a dog, especially when there are so many who cannot tell the difference,

          1. Priit Kallas

            In fatal cases, the breed of the dog is usually identified as it is pretty important. If not, it’s labeled as unidentified.

    2. BeqDLF

      I definitely agree. This article is biased and untruth . People should refer to ATTS or the American Temperament Testing Society for the real
      Truth about dog aggression. This is another article that points at pitbulls. The writer have no experienced having a pitbull therefore he does have have the right to judge not be biased to a breed he never had! This is a biased article by a biased and judgmental person.

  5. Cathy

    Thank you for your article. The fact that out of all the fatal attacks to children 80% of the time an adult was not present gives rise to the fact that we shouldn’t be leaving kids alone with dogs. A dog has the capability of crushing bone with its teeth and is unpredictable as is a young child. I think rather than eradicate breeds, we should educate owners and children to understand dog etiquette and be able to recognize when a dog is uncomfortable. Recent research has demonstrated that 1 hour of dog safety education decreases bites in children.

    1. Eilidh Somerville

      Google the ATTS hoax. It does not test dogs to find the least aggressive dogs and it even states that comparing the scores of one breed against another is not a good idea. That is because they score dogs against their breed standards NOT other breeds.

  6. Person

    I appreciate the differentiation between biting and dangerous. We have an Australian Cattle Dog and she bites A LOT, but she will also let you completely manhandle her if she isn’t hyper. If she is dangerous it is because she is clumsy.

    I do think that the public needs to be more aware that dogs are not people, and they have been bred for specific purposes. “Pit bulls” were breeds made to fight in pits.

    1. Priit Kallas

      Thanks for your comment! Dogs were bred for something is point one. The second is that we also train and raise them to be more or less aggressive.

      1. Carol

        let’s learn about Pits
        During the first half of the American century, Pit Bulls remained a prominent part of culture. Public attention turned away from fighting dogs and they began to see them as working-class companions. The USA admired this breed for qualities that it likened in itself; friendly, brave, hardworking, worthy of respect and they became, the “All American Dog”. During WWI and WWII, Pit Bulls were used as the nation’s mascot. Their image of bravery and loyalty was displayed throughout advertisements during wartime. The more notable of the first war-dogs was Sergeant Stubby. Sergeant Stubby has been called the most decorated war dog of WWI and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat. He served 18 months on the front lines in 17 battles and 4 different campaigns. Sergeant Stubby is just one example of the many other Pit Bulls that have served their country in wartime.
        In addition to their wartime contributions, the Pit Bull became America’s sweetheart. Frequently being used for commercial advertisements and products, in company logos and in popular television shows. Perhaps the most famous Pit Bull was Petey, the adorable ring-eyed cutey featured on Little Rascals. The pit bull was also a favorite among politicians, scholars, and celebrities. Helen Keller, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, Fred Astaire and Humphrey Bogart, just to name a few, all had pit bulls as companions.

  7. Jane Hands

    Pitbulls are still the most dangerous dog in the UK. The ban has done NOTHING to slow the import and breeding of these dogs, they just lie on the import papers and no-one questions it. The papers report the attacks (until very recently) as “staffies” when from pictures shown, they are quite obviously pitbull TYPE dogs which are, by law, banned. AmStaffs , which a pitbulls pure and simple, have never been banned. The Police will not enforce the law. What have we come to as a country when the POLICE can decide which laws they will enforce????

  8. Kowbell1

    Pitbulls are very dangerous because of their capabilities! They became popular hundreds of years ago because of their ability to kill! I don’t think they should be eradicated but they are not family dogs and shouldn’t be left alone with kids. And actually no dog should be left alone with small children, dogs can get excited and knock kids down or lay on them and accidentally suffocate them etc. I have Golden Retrievers and I can’t imagine them biting someone but you can never say never and small children could still get hurt accidentally so I don’t leave them around small children unattended or tell people that they absolutely won’t bite even though I feel confident that they won’t. Most bites are accidents when people just didn’t realize the danger but we need to make more responsible decisions for the betterment of us and the dogs.

    1. Sarah Loraine Sherman

      I wish more people thought like you!

    2. Carol

      During the first half of the American century, Pit Bulls remained a prominent part of culture. Public attention turned away from fighting dogs and they began to see them as working-class companions. The USA admired this breed for qualities that it likened in itself; friendly, brave, hardworking, worthy of respect and they became, the “All American Dog”. During WWI and WWII, Pit Bulls were used as the nation’s mascot. Their image of bravery and loyalty was displayed throughout advertisements during wartime. The more notable of the first war-dogs was Sergeant Stubby. Sergeant Stubby has been called the most decorated war dog of WWI and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat. He served 18 months on the front lines in 17 battles and 4 different campaigns. Sergeant Stubby is just one example of the many other Pit Bulls that have served their country in wartime.
      In addition to their wartime contributions, the Pit Bull became America’s sweetheart. Frequently being used for commercial advertisements and products, in company logos and in popular television shows. Perhaps the most famous Pit Bull was Petey, the adorable ring-eyed cutey featured on Little Rascals. The pit bull was also a favorite among politicians, scholars, and celebrities. Helen Keller, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, Fred Astaire and Humphrey Bogart, just to name a few, all had pit bulls as companions.

  9. Bea DLF

    Thai is not what the ATTS affirms about dog aggression – and again people points out at pitbull and the media loves this kind of spreading this negativism about these breed. Read the facts presented by the American Temperamemt Testing Society for the reals facts about pitbull !

  10. Bea

    This article is biased and Statistics , wrong !! The truth needs to be demonstrated and if you really is concerned about dog aggression you would refer to ATTS. Just for the record in case you are not informed it is the American Testing Temperament Society that presents facts and not myths about dog aggression . You base your observation on unreliable facts and spread negativism and biases against pitbull because even if it is it not the truth . If you have not experienced having a pitbull you have no right to be judge and be biased against these breeds . KNOW THE FACTS BEFORE YOU CLICK !

    1. Arthur

      No, you’re biased and wrong. ATTS is virtually worthless. Fact the ATTS themselves admit their numbers cannot be used to com pared breeds. PEr the ATTS website:

      “Aggression here is checked against the breed standard and the dog’s training. A schutzhund trained dog lunging at the stranger is allowed, but if an untrained Siberian husky does the same, it may fail. ”


      “The data presented on our web site is raw data; it is not a scientific study nor is there any statistical significance attached. We have no control over who brings their dog to the test and there is no accurate data as to a dog breed’s population in the US.”

      Further the simlutaion they use is nothing like the ‘normal’ dog attack. Read what the test is. The animal barely gets within 20 of a stranger while still on the lease. Most test failures are not because a dog tries to bite, but is overly scared of the gunshot or of walking on a strange suface. Hardly traits that would be a precursor to attacking and mauling somebody.

      In other words while a few other dogs may attack or bite at a similar rate real life statisitcs clearly show the propensity for pit bulls to not only attack but to continue to the death of the person, animal or themselves before it is finished.

  11. BeaDLF.

    You really want to know what’s the truth? Please read and share !

  12. Izabella

    “Most pit bull-type dogs descend from the British Bull and terrier, a 19th century dog-fighting type developed from crosses between the Old English Bulldog and the Old English Terrier.” So there is a define lineage to this dog and unfortunately has been bred for strength and aggression due to the wrong circles.
    After living in a condo for 13 years where patios where right next to the walkway I had been attacked 5 times…4 of which where considered American Pit Bull Terrier breeds and one Chihuahua mix. Our community forbade them because even liability insurance went up if you allowed Pitbulls, Rottweilers, Cane Corsos and Mastiffs. As a board member we met every dog that was allowed on property prior to approving the pet and I can honestly say to the people that wish for a breed to not be discriminated against, you are wrong. We never recieved a dog bite complaint from anything other than the list provided by the insurance agent out of 255 units. Please be realistic about their temperment when choosing your dog and train/ control them appropriately.

    I am currently expecting a puppy after 2 years of searching and have one question for you all. Why are all the Humane Societies filled to the brim with American Pit Bull Terriers and mixes? A close friend recently put down their Pit after a sudden attack on their very calm and loving 13 year old son who he was very close to. All where in the room and watched this well behaved dog snap and jump up onto the couch and bite him in the face. He recieved over 40 stitches and needed counseling. Hospital statistics, insurance claim statistics and close-living community statistics all point to a very clear trend. I’m not for eliminating any breed but to pretend that there is not a higher likelihood of aggression is ignorant. These dogs need the right setting to be their best, we should stop pretending they are no different than a lap dog.

  13. Mom and former pit bull roommate

    When my daughter was 2years old, my sister’s partner moved in with us, along with his 2-year old pit bull. The pit bull knocked her down and was “bitey” enough times, to the point where I was uneasy having the dog around my small child. It was a relief when the dog was re-homed to an elderly family member. The dog gave us plenty of scratches and small bite marks, and my now-5-year-old is, as a result, terrified of dogs. I get why folks would defend pit bulls on principle, and trust me, I want to believe in the ideology, but wasn’t willing to risk my small daughter’s safety based on ideology. I saw the dynamic that could have played out with the dog, and my kid was more important. I made sure she was never alone with the dog. Numbers, science, and biology are real, also, and they matter in my decision making. This is an informative article, and I appreciate the numbers… like all statistics, we treat this with healthy skepticism, but we accept numbers that multiple different forms of research show, as is the case with the pit bull research. Thanks!

  14. No

    Now go back and correct your info.
    23 distinct breeds, their mixes, and anything that resembles them, are under the bsl blanket term of ‘pit bull type dogs’. Which actually puts the bites per those breeds/mixes at !!!3!!! per year.

    Add the next 69 breeds together and see what you get…..

    The lies to vilify the breed need to end.

    1. Priit Kallas

      The numbers seem to be solid. When you add all the other breeds together you still get 2x lower numbers than pit bulls If you have new data, please let me know and give me a link to the source I can use in the article.

  15. Mouse

    I had a red retriever best dog I ever owned and my 2yr olds (now 10 )best friend until he had to be put down. He nearly took my ring finger off! He also attacked our 6mth old American Bully puppy for no reason. We have 3 American Bully and 1 Bully /Boxer mix. I trust all of them, because I raised them. Our oldest is my daughters PTSD dog, and helps her ground through a panic attack. He senses her emotions and will have her on the floor and in her lap before it gets real bad. Do you know what I don’t trust. Ankle biters, dauschaund, chihuahua, tiny little dogs you don’t see coming, but bite all the time. But because they have small mouths and the bite force is less they are just not a problem!!! Ask a mailman or Jehovah’s witness what kind of dog bites them the most! It ain’t the big ones! It’s just like granddaddy long leg spiders. Most venomous, but because of the tiny mouths they don’t bite us so we let our children PLAY with them. Wake up people. Teach your children how to behave around dogs all dogs strang and known. Learn what their body language is telling you. Unless it’s a starving pack of strays, you will have warning. Most people are just to stupid to pay attention to what the animal is telling them! Stop blaming the breed and educate yourself.

  16. Bob

    All pitbulls should be euthanized

    1. Priit Kallas

      Some dogs may be more aggressive on average than others. However, killing all members of a breed, because some owners can’t control their dogs is not the answer.

  17. MedicineBowCO

    People choose to have specific breeds for specific purposes. What is the purpose of having a Pit Bull over any other breed? Is it because of their intelligence? No. Is it because of their versatility? No. Is it because of their looks? No, they’re butt ugly. It is because of one thing, their teeth and capacity to wound or kill. The stats bear this out. So, why on earth would someone choose that breed? Perhaps they have an insecurity complex and are apathetic about its potential harm toward other people and dogs. Two months ago, a couple Pit Bulls broke into my daughter’s yard and attacked her Golden Retriever Mix and Border Collie. They couldn’t catch the Border Collie but tore off part of the Retriever’s cheek. My daughter ran off with a knife and my son-in-law fired a gun into the ground. They ran out of the yard, went down the street and killed a Bassett Hound in front of some lady and her grandchildren. Sorry, I find no excuse for choosing such a menacing animal over any other. If one wants a breed that looks intimidating, get a dog that’s not a big menace to society such as a Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler or German Shepherd. I have a low opinion of Pit Bull owners.

  18. IsWhatItIs

    All you people arguing statistics. It’s not difficult to identify a pit type dog. It’s the JAW morons. The jaw that Locks. Is it the dogs fault? Who TF cares if it’s their child being killed or mauled? Do we say “oh it’s not that guys fault he murdered, he was mistreated”, or “he shouldn’t go to jail for murder- he was in an orphanage part of his life”. No we don’t. Why do you think dogs that attack and harm in the largest numbers get a pass just because there are Reasons??? Please explain that Amber and No and any other person who disagrees? The REASON there are more pits in shelters is because idiots get them because it’s Cool and then they can’t HANDLE them. Supply and demand. How about strength and intelligence requirements before being ALLOWED to own that breed? Then there wouldn’t be a High demand for them and there wouldn’t be so many abandoned and abused and put in shelters. Quit arguing reasons and come up with Solutions!

  19. Student

    Hi Priit thank you for the articles, im writing a argumentative essay for one of my classes but my curiosity peaked. Is their ways to prevent bad owners from getting animals such as pitbulls? Because as i noticed the smaller the dog breed is it tends to be more aggressive due to being vurenable but people with ill desires don’t get them because they cant cause harm. But I have noticed in pet stores, you just sign a paper and take the dog. Is their more to the adoption process or not?

  20. Student

    Don’t you think your being a little aggressive right now? Both sides have valid points, maybe you should go into a pound.

  21. Scott

    One thing that I read in this article is “reported bites” “reported attacks” I have personally experienced more than my share of dog bites. I have been bitten by 4 shepards, 1 Saint Bernard, and 1 husky. 2 of the shepard attacks I was lucky to get away. These 2 dogs were out to kill. Of these 6 bites, none were reported because I did not want to see these animals put down. More bites by pit bulls are reported than any other breed because of misinformation. Because of this, pit bulls have been targeted by society as the most dangerous breed in the world. Personally I am more wary with shepards.

  22. Bob

    That is the best article I have read so far which I had to share to our German Shepherd rescue organization at

    Thank you.

    1. Priit Kallas

      I’m glad you loved it! Thank you!

  23. Laura

    I watched a neighbor’s neglected pit bull climb their chain link fence like a squirrel on a regular basis. Then get hit for doing it. Do you think my preschooler was EVER outside alone? We er n in our fenced back yard? Absolutely not!! I do not trust the breed and feel the majority of PBull owners get them to have a ‘tough’dog and why?
    If you are not socializing and training a dog, why have one?

  24. D

    Does anyone take into account that pitbull may be a very popular dog in the states to own as well which also tips the scales by having larger of a population of pitbulls then other breeds there for more incidents of that specific breed?,The pitbulls I’ve met in Australia all have been quite timid, it really comes down to the owner, not the dog.

    1. Priit Kallas

      There are a lot of variables, but the number of dogs is not the reason. Pitbulls don’t make up 2/3 of all dogs in the US.

  25. Cherise

    The statistics make sense, I was attacked by a pitbull unprovoked when I was 7 years old. The dog lunged at my neck and jaw area and thankfully the owner pulled the pitbull off, otherwise I could have died. Pitbulls should be banned.

  26. jim

    Why have a dog that an owner has to constantly control to make safe? Oh I turned my back for a second and he mauled a kid, or another dog so it’s my fault, dumb. Some of you will say it’s the kids fault and parent not controlling them, so dogs will be dogs but kids can’t be kids? As many have already said, you bred a killing machine, think about that, you took the strongest and meanest dogs
    and kept breeding them until you arrived at this. Big surprise when they hurt someone, or attack another dog, how does it make sense to keep breeding it? We are born with a personality, anyone who has kids knows this, raising a dog the right way will never completely eradicate their nature. That’s what responsible breeding is for. 33 of 48 fatalities is pretty compelling, unless you choose not to believe it, which many of you obviously don’t.

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