Top 10 Dangerous Dogs Statistics
This list of the top 10 most dangerous dog breeds is bound to be disputed by dog lovers whose experience with one of these breeds has been wonderful, and that can certainly be the case. Any dog can display aggression, regardless of its breed or size, if it hasn't been raised with firm but fair guidelines. It's just that larger dogs are more likely to inflict fatal damage.
The following list is compiled from a dog bite fatality study done by the Center for Disease Control and the Humane Society of the United States, as well as an independent study conducted by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People.
It probably comes as no surprise that Pitbulls lead the pack for fatal dog bites and maimings. These dogs have been widely exploited by the dog fighting industry, and media attention has probably served to increase the number of bites reported.
The CDC reported over 60 dog bite fatalities between 1979-96. The Clifton study showed 104 dog bite fatalities and 608 maimings from 1982-2006.
It's difficult to know how many bites go unreported for any dog breed.
Rottweilers come in second to Pitbulls on the most dangerous list. According to the CDC study, this breed was involved in 60 dog bite fatalities over the period covered in the study from 1979-96. The more recent Clifton study covering 1982-2006 reported 58 fatalities and 223 maimings.
3. German Shepherds
This breed is widely used in police and protection work. According to CDC statistics, 19 fatal German Shepherd bites were reported between 1979-96. According to the Clifton study, seven fatalities and 38 maimings were reported between 1982-2006.
The CDC reported 14 dog bite fatalities for Huskies from 1979-96. The Clifton study reported 13 fatalities and eight maimings from 1982-2006.
5. Alaskan Malamutes
The CDC reported 12 dog bite fatalities attributed to Malamutes from 1979-96. The Clifton study does not address Malamutes as a separate breed from the Husky.
6. Doberman Pinschers
Before Pitbulls came to the forefront, public perception regarded Dobermans as the most dangerous breed, statistics aside. The CDC attributed eight dog bite fatalities to Dobermans from 1979-96, while the Clifton study reported three deaths and seven maimings from 1982-2006.
7. Chow Chows
The CDC reported eight dog bite fatalities from 1979-96. The Clifton study reported six deaths and 32 maimings from 1982-2006.
It's important to understand that Chows rarely give warning that they are about to bite.
8. Presa Canarios
This Mastiff-style breed is very strong and was originally developed to be a guard dog. According to the Clifton study published in 2006, the Presa Canario was involved in six deaths and 16 maimings from 1982-2006. The earlier CDC study did not address this breed, perhaps because it was so rare at the time.
9. Great Danes
Today's Great Dane is widely regarded as a gentle giant, but the breed was originally developed as a dog of war. The CDC reported six dog bite fatalities from 1979-96. The Clifton report showed two deaths and nine maimings from 1982-2006.
The Akita is the largest of the Japanese breeds, and it was originally bred to be a guard dog. The CDC reported four dog bite fatalities from 1979-96 while the Clifton study reported one death and 39 maimings from 1982-2006.
Both studies were based on the number of cases reported, but they didn't address the unique circumstances of each case. Judging simply by the numbers, it's easy to conclude that certain breeds are more dangerous than others, but that doesn't tell the entire story.
Undoubtedly, poor breeding and socialization only contribute to dog aggression. Check out facts about puppy mills for another facet of the story.