Jason Stephens | August 11, 2022 | Dog Bites
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), more than 4.5 million people sustain dog bites every year in the United States. Injuries from dog bites can range from small cuts and wounds to serious lacerations and even death.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that upwards of 800,000 people receive medical attention each year for dog-bite-related injuries.
But not all dogs are created equal. Depending on the breed, size, and upbringing of a particular dog, an injury from a bite can present itself in different ways.
Dog Bite Statistics
Some important statistics from the AVMA surrounding dog bites include:
- One out of five dog bites will require medical treatment
- Children are the most common dog bite victims and present the most serious injuries
- The majority of dog bites occur with familiar dogs while playing or interacting
Any dog, large or small, is capable of inflicting injury. According to the AVMA, dog bites are attributed more to a dog’s upbringing and behavioral history than to its breed.
Unfortunately, some breeds have been developed to be more aggressive. When injuries occur, people are quick to blame these breeds, and the statistics become skewed.
Dog Bite Fatalities
Statistics published in 2020 reported 46 dog bite fatalities in the United States. Of these fatalities, 72% involved pit bulls.
In another 16-year study between 2005 and 2020, 568 people were killed by dog bites across the United States. The top four breeds responsible for fatal attacks were:
- Pit bulls – 380 deaths
- Rottweilers – 51 deaths
- Mixed-breed – 29 deaths
- German shepherds – 24 deaths
Texas has some of the highest dog fatality statistics in the country. Since 2005, at least 78 people have been killed by dogs in Texas. The majority of these cases involved pit bulls.
Are Pit Bulls the Most Dangerous Dog Breed?
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), every dog breed is characterized by certain traits. Over the years, certain breeds have been developed to perform specific duties.
Some of these duties include:
- Hunting and retrieving
- Herding livestock
- Protecting property
- Service and guidance
- Military operations
- Fighting and racing
Statistics largely point at pit bulls for injuries because this breed has had a long and sustained reputation for being aggressive. But dog experts say that pit bulls are only prone to violence because of their upbringing, and any breed can be dangerous.
Factors that can play into a dog’s violent behavior include:
- Interaction or lack thereof
- Early nutrition
- Stress levels
- Housing conditions
- Social conditions
Aggressiveness isn’t necessarily determined by breed but by how a dog is raised.
Are Some Dog Breeds Safer?
Physiologically, certain dog breeds have been bred to be less dangerous, particularly in how they bite and interact with humans.
Labradors and Golden retrievers were developed to help hunters collect game birds. As a result, their teeth were selectively bred to be less sharp. As their bite is rarely fatal, these dogs are naturally “safer” and less aggressive.
Dog Bite Personal Injury Claims
According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites accounted for roughly $881 million in claims in the United States in 2021.
In the same analysis, the average cost per dog bite claim was almost $49,025.
The Future of Dog Breeds and Injuries
The largely skewed statistics point to pit bulls as the main culprit of dog injuries, attacks, and fatalities across the U.S.
Unfortunately, the numbers may remain the same until more people change how they raise these historically aggressive breeds.
Not one single dog breed is more violent than the others. How humans choose to train and educate their dogs will determine how aggressive their animals will become.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107