Dog Bite Statistics Per Breed

No matter their breed, every dog is capable of biting a human being. Though that may sound unsettling, it is a characteristic of dogs that some actually find desirable, especially if the dog is being kept as a guard animal. 

Nevertheless, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dog bites and attacks are as painful as they are common, affecting nearly 4.5 million people every year.

Thankfully, not all dog breeds bite as frequently as one another. Understanding which are most likely to attack can help protect yourself and your loved ones whenever you find yourself around an unfamiliar canine.

Dog Bite and Fatal Dog Attack Statistics

Dog breeds that are most commonly connected to fatal attacks are not necessarily the breeds most likely to bite a human. 

According to, the breeds most likely to bite a stranger are as follows:

  • Dachshund
  • Chihuahua
  • Australian cattle dog
  • Border collie
  • Beagle
  • Jack Russell terrier

Dachshunds, in particular, were over 20 percent likely to bite in an encounter with a stranger. Rounding out the list of the top ten most aggressive dog breeds are pitbulls, Australian shepherds, Great Danes, and boxers, which were approximately six percent likely to bite a stranger. 

Thankfully, not all dog bites are fatal, and many of the most aggressive dog breeds are not likely to cause such severe injuries. 

The list of the most dangerous breeds and the number of deaths each was responsible for between 2005 and 2017 is as follows:

  • Pitbulls (284 deaths)
  • Rottweilers (45 deaths)
  • German shepherds (20 deaths)
  • Mixed-breeds (17 deaths)
  • American bulldogs (15 deaths)
  • Mastiffs/bullmastiffs (14 deaths)

Huskies, labrador retrievers, boxers, and Dobermans make up the remainder of the top ten most dangerous dog breeds. With the exceptions of pitbulls and boxers, there are no other breeds that are simultaneously on both the most aggressive and most dangerous breed lists.

Avoiding a Dog Bite or Dog Attack

When approaching a dog of any breed you are unfamiliar with, you need to exercise caution to keep yourself and any loved ones safe, preferably by doing the following:

  • Giving the animal plenty of space when approaching it
  • Continuing on your way slowly and calmly if the animal approaches you
  • Backing away slowly if the dog confronts and growls at you
  • Asking the owner of an unfamiliar dog if it’s alright to pet them

If a dog appears ready to attack, do not look them in the eye, as doing so can be interpreted as a sign of aggression. Similarly, do not turn your back on an aggressive dog or run away, as that, too, can prompt the dog to attack.

Missouri holds dog owners strictly liable for bites and attacks that lead to injuries in public places or where victims are lawfully present. Liability in Missouri does not depend on what breed of dog is involved or whether the dog has attacked anyone in the past.

Dog bites from dangerous and aggressive breeds can lead to considerable pain, lofty medical costs, and reduced earnings from work, all of which are placed on top of the mental trauma you sustain in an attack. With that said, these are expenses you may not need to bear yourself because of Missouri’s strict liability laws. 

Be Cautious Around All Unfamiliar Dogs

As any canine could realistically bite you, practicing safety around all dogs, especially those of the breeds listed above, is essential if you do not want to become a victim.

Contact Our Dog Bite Law Firm For Help Today

For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.

St. Louis Office
1430 Washington Ave Suite #226 St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 400-0000

Kansas City Office
1509 NE Parvin Rd, Suite A., Kansas City, MO 64116
(816) 408-3448

Richmond Heights Office
1201 Bellevue Ave,Richmond Heights, MO 63117
(314) 207-4399

Or if you would prefer to reach out to us online, please visit our contact us page.