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Dog Bite Statistics

The latest statistics show that over 4.7 million people are the victims of dog bites every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study in 2000 on dog bite-related fatalities (DBRF) that covered the years 1979-1998. The study found reports of 327 people killed by dogs over the 20-year period. Using newspaper articles, the CDC was able to obtain breed “identifications” for 238 of the 327 cases of fatal dog attacks; of which “pit bull terrier” or mixes thereof were reportedly involved in 76 cases. The breed with the next-highest number of attributed fatalities was the Rottweiler and mixes thereof, with 44 fatalities.

dog-bites-by-the-numbers_546949b11d4c4

The majority of Texas dog bites involve dogs biting or scratching children. Many times these dog bites occur at the house of a friend or a neighbor. Typically the dog’s instinct to protect or hunt leads to the animal’s perception of the child as either prey or a threat. Many of these bites are serious enough to require medical attention and some attacks even lead to death.

Merritt Clifton, editor of Animals 24-7, determined the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death by compiling U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2009:

Study Determinations

The combination of pit bulls, rottweilers, presa canarios, and their mixes:

  • 80% of attacks that induce bodily harm
  • 69% of attacks to children
  • 83% of attack to adults
  • 68% of attacks that result in fatalities
  • 74% that result in maiming

1982-2009 chart:

Breed Bodily Harm Child Victims Adult Victims Deaths Maimings
Pit bull terrier 1451 628 499 153 777
Rottweiler 447 257 115 67 244
Wolf hybrid 81 67 4 19 45
Husky 49 32 4 17 13
German Shepherd 79 52 20 9 50
Bullmastiff(presa canario) 48 17 20 8 26
Chow 52 35 14 7 34
Akita 50 34 14 1 41
*Chart ordered by number of deaths.

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