Dogs are man’s best friend – they’re our loyal companions, our foot warmers, our working buddies, and our loyal protectors. But sometimes, dogs can get aggressive, and people get bitten.

Certain dogs tend to have a reputation for being more aggressive than others. Read on to learn the statistics about dog bites by breed and learn how to avoid getting bitten.

Overall Dog Bite Statistics

Before we get into the bite statistics for each breed, let’s take a look at some overall statistics.

  • Every year, close to five million Americans get bitten by dogs.
  • About 800,000 of those bites require medical care.
  • Your chances of dying from a dog bite are 1 in 112,400. You’re more likely to be killed by bees, choking on food, or heart disease.
  • One in four fatal dog bites comes from dogs that are chained up.
  • Most dog bites come from dogs that are not spayed or neutered.

It’s important to remember that your chances of getting a serious or fatal dog bite are very low. That being said, it’s always important to practice proper safety around dogs you don’t know.

Pit Bulls

Pit bulls are reported as being responsible for the majority of fatal dog bites in the United States, but this has less to do with them being a dangerous breed and more to do with how they’re treated. Pit bulls are often raised to be used in illegal dog fighting rings, and they experience horrific abuse. These dogs are taught to fear humans and often lash out when they feel threatened.

Nonetheless, pit bulls are still responsible for more than half of all dog bites that require medical attention. These dogs are big and strong, and once they clamp down, they may not let go. 

It’s always important to be careful around bully breeds you don’t know.


Rottweilers are often used as guard dogs thanks to their loyalty and protective instincts. Unfortunately, those instincts sometimes lead them to bite strangers who they may feel are threatening them or their families. 

Behind pit bulls, rottweilers are the second-most likely breed to cause serious bites.

Rottweilers can be gentle pets with the proper training and socialization. But they still account for about one in ten serious dog bite injuries. Like pit bulls, they may not let go once they bite down, and they are sometimes trained to attack viciously on command.

German Shepherds

German shepherds are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and ferocity in an attack. In fact, all of these characteristics are what make them so popular as law enforcement K9s. But when they’re not managed appropriately, these dogs can become very dangerous. 

German shepherds accounted for almost 5 percent of serious dog bites. 

Like the other dogs on this list, their aggression often depends on socialization and training. But it’s always a good idea to be extra cautious around German shepherds you don’t know, and you should never pet one without permission.

Other Breeds

While these top three breeds account for about 80 percent of serious dog bites, several other breeds can be relatively likely to bite. 

For instance, Chihuahuas are often considered aggressive, even if their bites don’t tend to be very serious. Cocker spaniels may also be more likely to bite if they feel threatened.

Mixed-breed dogs, huskies, and Labradors are all on the list of top biting breeds, but the truth is it varies from dog to dog. Any dog that has been abused and mistreated may be likely to bite, and some dogs have triggers that may make them feel threatened. 

Always be careful around dogs you don’t know, no matter what breed they are, and learn dog body language to avoid a bite. 

Get Compensation for Your Dog Bite

Although some dogs have a higher statistical likelihood to bite, the truth is that it all depends on the individual dog. Pit bulls tend to be raised for dog fighting rings, which can leave them scarred and aggressive. Rottweilers and German shepherds can also cause serious bites due to their size and protective nature.

Contact the North County Personal Injury Lawyers at Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact the Vista personal injury law firm of Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in North County, CA and its surrounding areas:

Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers – Vista, CA Office
380 S Melrose Dr. Ste. 201
Vista, CA 92081

(619) 344-0360

Petrov Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers – Oceanside, CA Office
702 Civic Center Drive Ste. 105
Oceanside, CA, 92054

(619) 678-1016