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There’s no point in sugar-coating the topic; dog bites are a serious problem. It’s irresponsible to lay blame without having the facts. It’s just as foolish to ignore the problem and pretend that the poor dog had terrible owners. Sometimes, the beloved family pet inflicts bite injuries.

A few breeds have risen consistently to the top for causing severe dog bite injury that requires medical attention. Breed-specific legislation has been proven that it doesn’t provide the right solution and might even create a false sense of security.

Top 6 Most Crucial Statistics

Dog Statistics at a glance:

Dog Bite Statistics by Breed

It’s hard to envision our beloved pet dogs as potentially vicious animals that can inflict serious physical harm and even death. But as responsible pet owners, we must face the fact that it can happen.

Dog bite numbers confirm that some dog breeds bite more frequently, though big dogs bear the burden because their bite causes much more serious dog bite injuries.

People who get bitten by little dogs are less likely to report the incident. However, larger breed dogs and mixed breeds can inflict severe physical damage by sheer force of PSI (pounds by square inch or newtons).

Pit bulls(a class of dogs like the American Bully, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier and any mixed breeds from the lineage of these dogs) are known as the most aggressive, with 64% of bites. It does not distinguish the breeds listed under the pity umbrella in dog bite attacks. PSI of 241.

Rottweilers have an immensely potent bite at 1,180 and 1,460 newtons of force or 328 PSI.

German Shepherds have a dog bite force of over 1060 newtons and a tendency to bite smaller dogs. PSI of 238.

Doberman Pinschers were in demand a few decades ago, and the last death caused by Dobby happened in 2011. PSI of 228 (though some suggest 600PSI)

Bull Mastiff, this 130-pound powerhouse dog, injured a young girl and killed a boy trying to save her. PSI of 556.

Husky dogs are working dogs, and Siberian Huskies killed 15 people in the USA from 1979 to 1998. PSI of 320.

Malamutes don’t like other smaller animals and have five human fatalities on their record. PSI of 328.

Wolf Hybrids caused 14 deaths and constitute any mixed breed with one wolf parent. These dog mixes are illegal in many states. PSI of 406.

Boxers are descendants of hunting dogs and have powerful jaws. The last recorded fatality happened in 2013. PSI of 230. (Just spent a month hand-feeding a boxer and didn’t think they could bite through pre-moistened kibble.)

Great Danes weigh 200 pounds, and in 2003, one of these gentle giants killed a 2-year-old. PSI of 238.

Interestingly enough, the pit bull group PSI is on the lower spectrum and similar to the PSI of a Labrador Retriever at 230 PSI. Further study on why some dogs bite is needed.

Note: Many people call several purebred dog breeds pit bulls. The Rottweiler, German Shepherd, and mixed dogs rank in the top five.

Dog Bite Statistics in the U.S.

Let’s look at some eye-opening insights into dog bite incidents and their impact with these informative dog bite facts:

dog bite

Dog Attack Stats in the US Reveals, Annually Dogs Bite Almost 4.5 Million People (Center for Disease Control)

No self-respecting dog owner believes their dog is capable of biting. Yet, 4.5 million dogs are likely to bite. The vast majority of bites are underreported, but over 800,000 people bitten by dogs require medical attention. Using 2019 population figures, 1 out of 73 are victims of dog bites.

dog biting

The Third Deadliest Creature on Earth is Dog (Statista)

Our beloved canine friends make the top three in the most dangerous animal list in the world. Part of that is the sheer number of dogs in the world. Statistics show there are between 700 million to 1 billion dogs (pet and unowned).

In underdeveloped nations, 30,000 people die yearly from rabies transmitted by dogs. Sadly, rabies is 100% preventable through vaccines.

Among 4.5 Million Bite Victims, Half Are Children (CDC)

The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) continually seeks to provide a better understanding of bite statistics.

Hospital Emergency Departments treat 885,000 patients who seek medical care from bites; 370,000 of those need emergency attention, and 16 deaths occur. Children are more vulnerable and receive 70% of all bite-related deaths.

70% of Dog Bites Happen from Unneutered (Male) Dogs (ASPCAPro)

american dogs

Unneutered dogs are 2.6 times more likely to bite people and other dogs. That means 70% to 76% of biting dogs are male. Further, restrained dogs (chained or tethered) bite 2.8 times more.

Approximately 78% of “Breed-Specific Dogs Are Kept for Safety, Status, Brawling, and Breeding ( ASPCAPro)

Breed-specific bans exist in America. Many states are working to remove these unfair restrictions on responsible dog owners and don’t protect the public from irresponsible owners with large dogs.

As many as 78% of people with regulated dogs don’t bring them into the family. Instead, these dogs are mistreated as chattel, neglected, abused, and involved in fatal dog attacks. Statistics from NCRC suggest that 70.4% of dog bite deaths were not family dogs.

Top Five US States For Fatal Dog Bite Statistics (Injury Lawyers)

serious injury by family dogs

Statistics are always interesting when you see just a snapshot of the information. These numbers don’t speak about population density vs. dog bites; they list the number of incidents recorded, which leaves out any real context of how or why.

  • California = 48
  • Texas = 47
  • Florida = 31
  • North Carolina = 22
  • Ohio = 21

California’s population density is 251.9 (per mile²), while Texas is at 110 and Florida is 405.45. So, depending on which state is your home state, you might be more or less susceptible to dog bites.

In 2020, Dogs Attacked Nearly 6,000 Postal Employees (Universal Postal Union)

Letter carriers receive training to prevent dog bite attacks but still become bite victims that require emergency care treatment. In 2020, nearly 6,000 postal workers were victimized compared to 5803 in 2019. The numbers were increasing, and Houston and Los Angeles ranked at the top with the most incidents annually.

In a downward trend, there were over 5,400 postal employee dog attacks in the United States in 2021, and this number decreased to over 5,300 in 2022 during mail deliveries.

dog attacks

In 2005, More Than 28,000 People Underwent Reconstructive Surgery After a Dog Bite Incident (NIH)

Insurance companies and hospitals monitor these incidents closely, and in 2017, insurance liability claims totaled 700 million for dog-related accidents and injuries. That is a 33% share of insurance claims.

Of that significant number, 28,000 underwent reconstructive surgery; average dog-related injury claims rose by more than 90%. Dog bite-related hospitalization and treatment averaged around $18,000 between 2003 and 2017.

Police Dogs Were Responsible for 243 Bites in Indianapolis from 2017-2019 (Indy Star)

why do dogs bite

The IndyStar investigated IMPD dog bites and found that many of the bite recipients were unarmed or not in breach of any high crime activity. Out of 243 victims, more than half were black, and 28% of the population.

Before we blame these invaluable police dogs, it’s the handlers that release these working K-9s more frequently on blacks than whites. At the time of the investigation, 25 officers handling K-9s were white, and only one was black. Racism, seriously, needs to end!

Dog Breed Attack Statistics

Among 46 Dog Bite Related Fatalities in 2019, 33 Were Caused by Pit Bulls (

Pit Bulls (which constitute more than one breed) caused 33 out of 46 fatal attacks in 2019. The chart below lists the top 10 dogs responsible for deadly attacks between 2005 and 2017.

dog attack statistics

From 2010-2021, There Were 430 Fatal Dog Bites, Among Which Pitbulls Are Responsible for 185, and Another 41 Were Pitbull Mixes Which Account for 60% (Injury Lawyers)

Breed legislation is a turbulent topic. Each side of the debate brings valuable content to try and help resolve the ongoing issue. What remains a fact is that the Pitty keeps making the list of dogs responsible for 185 of the 430 fatal dog bites (2010 to 2021).

Pitty breeds make up five registered breeds, and for once, it would be nice to see actual figures separating which of these terrier bulldog breeds causes the most damage.

Based on percentages, 60% were either full-blooded or mixed pitty breeds, 7% had a Rottweiler lineage, and 4% were of a German Shepherd pedigree.

Although Pitbulls and Rottweilers Make up Only 6% of Dogs in the US, They’re Responsible for 77% of All Dog Bites (Injury Lawyers)

dog bite statistics

Pitbulls and Rottweilers may seem to be on trial, but the figures don’t lie.

  • 77% of fatal bites come from Pittys and Rotties
  • Pittys will bite 2.5 times more likely in multiple anatomical locations (hands and feet)
  • Pittys will attack strangers at 31% more likely
  • Pittys can attack 48% more likely without cause
  • Pitty victims are more likely to die and have increased injuries and hospital costs than other breeds

Further, dog bites are preventable, according to many sources like the CDC.

Chained Dogs Are Inflicted to Bite 2.8 times More Than Unchained Dogs (NCBI)

Chained dogs bite 2.8 times more than unchained dogs. Since 2003, chained dogs have accounted for the killing of more than 450 Americans. Children are especially vulnerable to dog attacks. PETA outlines the events for many recorded chained dog attacks

dog attack statistics

Pit Bull Attack Statistics

The Tendency of Pitbulls Attacking a Stranger Is 31% Higher Than Any Other Dog Breed (NCBI)

Studies on cases of aggression prove again that bull terriers consistently act aggressively toward strangers and have a recurrence of 31%. However, pitty advocates want to prove the general public wrong and produce heartwarming versions of how lovable these dogs can be.

In 2018, Pit Bulls Were Responsible for 26 Deaths (Dogs Bite)

Many Pitty rescue missions believe in saving pittys. However, Pittys are on the list for being responsible for the most dog attack deaths in 2018, with 26 out of 36 deaths. Pit bulls only represent 7% of the dog population.

Pitty defenders blame the owners and argue that statistics only tell half the story.

From 2005-2017, Pit bulls Killed 284 Americans (Dogs Bite)

Americans need to decide how to handle the pitbull problem. Anyone with compassion for animals might easily fly to the defense of these dogs (the writer), but when pit bulls account for 284 victims killed out of 433, that number speaks loudly. Victims deserve a voice in this debate too.

Dog Bite Statistics

Globally, Tens of Millions of Dog Bites Occur Annually (WHO)

dog bites injuries

Universal numbers to calculate global dog bite numbers are challenging to obtain. In impoverished countries, dog bite injuries don’t receive any liability claims. Most don’t receive medical treatment.

While navigating injuries caused by dogs’ aggressive behavior, addressing preventive measures becomes crucial. Effective training and utilizing technological aids like smart dog collars are instrumental in mitigating aggressive behaviors.

Be sure to explore our Halo collar reviews and Spoton fence reviews to understand how these tools can be pivotal in establishing safe boundaries and potentially minimizing aggressive tendencies in dogs.

There Are Approximately 1-2 Deaths in Canada Due to Dog Bites Yearly (NCBI)

Annually in Canada, 1-2 deaths occur due to dog bites. Data published by the Canadian Veterinary Journal, following dog bite stats from 1990 to 2007, revealed 28 deaths from serious dog bite injuries. The report didn’t list any particular breed responsible.

A set of 2010 numbers concluded a decline of 28.2% over 2005, and the number of pit bull-type dogs fell by 92% since 2002 ( Toronto banned them in 2005)

According to Australian Dog Stats, Almost 13000 People Need Medical Care After Dog Bites Annually (The Royal Children Hospital)

dog bite injury

Stats found that children under five have a significant risk and suffer from injuries to their face and neck. The NSW government banned these fighting breeds:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese Tosa

In 2020, canine bite statistics suggested that 75% of most attacks come from other breeds.

Between 2015–2018, Dog Bite-Related Hospital Visits Increased by 5% in the U.K. (Royal College of Surgeons)

Brits love their K-9 companions, and the Royal College found there were 7693 dog bite-related hospital admissions yearly. The total number of admissions between 2015 and 2018 was 23,078.

Education about how to cope with dog bites might have increased these figures.

In 2020, People Between Age of 50-59 Became the Most Common Victims of Dog Bites in England (NHS Digital)

Hospitals reported 1453 admissions of dog bite claims for this demographic. The group, ten years their junior, became the second largest segment with 1181 victims. Children aged nine and younger had 1178 admissions, while 80 and older had 443 hospital admissions.

Rabies-Related Dog Bite Statistics

dog biting human

99% of Rabies Cases Occur Due to Dogs (WHO)

Rabies is a preventable but incurable disease that affects every continent except Antarctica. The rabies vaccine invented by Louis Pasteur has saved millions of lives. However, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), rabies is still a problem in Asia and Africa, where 95% of rabies deaths occur. Most victims are children.

The post-bite vaccine prevents millions of deaths.

In the US, Only 2% of People Die from Rabies Annually (Injury Lawyers)

Due to strict regulations and preventive measures, “the U.S. has been free of dog rabies since 2007.” It’s definitely a little sigh of relief after learning all the shocking details of dog bites.

Dog Bite Fatalities by Gender and Age

  • Of 430 Fatalities Between 2010-2021, 32% Were Infants From 0-4 Years
  • 13% Were Adults Above 75 years
  • 10% Were Children from 5-9 Years Old
  • 5.5% of Adults Were 60-64 Years Old
  • 5% Were Between the Ages of 50-54 Years Old

Dog Bite Claims Statistics

In 2022, the number of dog bite claims in the US decreased slightly, but the total cost of these claims increased significantly by 28%, reaching $1.13 billion. The average cost per claim also rose by 32% to $64,555.

Dog Bite Claims Statistics

In 2022, Home-Owner Insurance Companies Paid $1,136 Million in Dog-Related Injuries Claims, Including Dog Bites (III)

The insurance industry paid out hefty dog bite liability claims in 2022. A total of $1,136 million dollars, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), were paid to settle claims.

Dog bite claims decreased by 2.2% in 2022 to 17,597 from 17,989 in 2021.

In 2022, There Were 1,954 Claims in California Alone (III)

dog bites statistics  2022

California maintains its lead in dog bite claims across the US, recording 1,954 claims in 2022 (down from 2,026 in 2021), followed by Florida with 1,331 claims. Notably, California also tops the list for the highest average claim cost at $78,818, followed closely by Florida at $78,203.

The state of California also had the highest fatality rate in 2019 with 9 deaths.


Which Dog Breed Bites the Most?

Pit bulls cause more dog bite injuries and hurt more people than any other dog, with labrador retrievers coming in second place.

Which Dog Breed Has Killed the Most Humans?

Pit bulls are responsible for more deaths than any other breed, and their overall population is only 6.5%.

What Happens to Dogs When They Bite Humans?

It might depend on where you live and the events leading up to the dog bite injuries. Stray dogs are often euthanized and tested for rabies. In other cases, criminal charges and lawsuits might decide the outcome.

Are Pit Bulls More Dangerous?

Although they score high on temperament tests, Pittys often live in less-than-desirable situations. Many are chained and sometimes trained for the fighting ring.

How to Handle an Aggressive Dog?

Aggressive dogs sometimes need professional intervention and behavior modification. Working with any dog takes time and energy.

Conclusion for Dog Bite Statistics

Dog bite injuries are a grave problem. Not all dog bites are predictable, though; with proper training and education, fatal dog attacks are preventable. Dog bite injuries and dog bite victims are serious.

Owning any kind of pet takes a considerable commitment. Dogs are not disposable. They rely on us to teach them acceptable dog behavior. If you don’t have the time, try fostering or volunteering.

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