Dog Bite Statistics by Breed Schedule a Free Consultation
Written by: The Benton Law Firm Last Updated : July 6, 2023

Dog Bite Statistics by Breed

When it comes to dog bites, certain breeds have a tendency to be more aggressive or temperamental, quickly becoming dangerous to those nearby. Dog bites are painful, traumatizing, and can require medical attention. According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners paid out $700 million to people injured by their dogs in 2017 alone. So what are the real differences between Golden Retrievers, who are said to be good with children, and Pit bulls, who are sometimes kept as guard dogs? How often does each breed bite? While it’s difficult to reliably count exact numbers of bites, and many people are bitten by unidentified breed or mixed breed dogs, there are still some general trends.

All Breeds

Overall, there are around 5 million dog bites in the United States each year, with around 800,000 of those bitten deciding to seek medical treatment. Since there are only around 30 dog-related fatalities each year, this means the vast majority of dog bite cases don’t result in death, and most aren’t serious. Nevertheless, dog bites can cause serious pain, and according to the CEC, 1 in 5 bites will get infected, requiring repeated visits to a doctor.

Dog bite-related hospital stays cost an average of $18,200, which is significantly higher than other types of injury related stays. Dog bite-related medical care was three to four times more common in rural areas than urban ones. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, dog bites cost Americans up to two billion dollars a year.


Pit bulls are number one on the CEC’s list of breeds by number of fatal bites, killing 60 people over an eighteen-year period. While three fatalities a year might seem small, it’s still twice as many as the next breed, Rottweilers, and over ten times that of over large dogs, like the St. Bernard. Pit bull bites are often worse than those of other breeds, though it isn’t true that their jaws are exceptionally powerful or lock in any way.

There are approximately 4 million pit bulls in America, making up around 5% of all dogs owned. In 2016, pit bulls were to blame for an even larger percentage of dog-fatalities, causing 71% of deaths according to DogsBite.org. Over 900 cities have breed-specific laws regarding pit bulls.


In 2016, Labradors and Labrador mixes caused three deaths, making them the second most deadly dog that year.

However, contributing to this is the fact that Labradors are continually the most popular dog breed in the United States, holding the top spot for the past 27 years. The majority of guide dogs are Labradors due to their usually peaceful nature, but a poorly trained or agitated Labrador can still bite—and be deadly.


Originally German, Rottweilers were used to drive cattle and act as trusty guard dogs, and many still do. But perhaps because of their defensiveness, they can be a dangerous breed as well: 29 people were killed by Rottweilers over the CEC study’s twenty-year period.

Many of the fatalities due to Rottweilers and Pit bulls are children under the age of eleven. And Rottweilers may be even more dangerous than pit bulls, because they account for just 1.8% of the dogs in the United States, yet have caused a disproportionate amount of fatalities.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are one of the most widely used breeds for police K-9 units, drug- and explosive-sniffing dogs, and search and rescue dogs. They are a loyal and intelligent breed, but their large size makes them dangerous if agitated. 19 fatal German Shepherd bites were recorded during the CEC study, putting the breed in third place for most deadly.

Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Doberman Pinschers

Ranging from 8 to 14 fatalities each, these large breeds are in fourth, fifth, and sixth place respectively. Doberman Pinschers can weigh up to a hundred pounds, but even a sixty-pound Husky can do major damage, especially to a small child or an older adult.

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If you’ve been injured by a dog attack in Dallas, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Dog owners have a responsibility to keep other people safe from their aggressive dogs, and if they fail in this duty, they should be held to justice. Dog bite claims are tricky in Texas, because you will have to prove that the dog owner was negligent in their actions and knew that their dog had aggressive tendencies in most cases.

To give yourself the best chance of recovering the compensation you need, contact the dog bite lawyers at The Benton Law Firm for help. We have handled numerous successful dog bite claims and can help you recover money to pay for your injuries and expenses resulting from a dog attack. Contact us today at (214) 777-7777 to learn more.

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