Dog Bite Statistics and Dog Attacks 2021 (by Breed, US State, Worldwide)

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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 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

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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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 pets, 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. India – 32 million
  4. Russia – 12 million

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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

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. 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 fatalities from 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.

Dog Bite Statistics: rabies

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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 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.

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.

Barking, growling and lunging dog? Does your dog bark and lunge at other dogs or people? We know how stressful reactivity is. And we know how to stop it. Join the Tackling Reactivity Online Class

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? Here’s a list of dog bite statistics by breed:

Dog Bite Statistics by breed: dog breed aggression study data

Dog bite statistics from the 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 in 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. 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

deadly dog breeds Dog Bite Statistics

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)

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

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 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).

Barking, growling and lunging dog? Does your dog bark and lunge at other dogs or people? We know how stressful reactivity is. And we know how to stop it. Join the Tackling Reactivity Online Class

10 Best Dog Bite Prevention Tips

Lower your risk with these tips:

  1. Avoid if there’s no owner around, or the 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

You probably don’t want to worry about coming up with thousands of dollars to cover the illness, wellness, and medical bills you might be faced with over the course of your pet's life. Check out the community health sharing plan that reimburses your expenses.

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 21 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.

      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.

  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.

  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.

    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.

  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.

  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.

  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 !

  11. BeaDLF.

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

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