Dangerous Dog Breeds - Dogs Most Likely to Bite

Here is a common sense look at the types of dog breeds that are likely to be dangerous, including those breeds that have been implicated in fatal dog attacks and those that are likely to bite.

Dog Bite Fatalities

Some dog bite attacks are so severe that the victim dies due to injury. Fortunately, fatal dog attacks are extremely rare, with fewer than 20 cases on average each year. Still, these deaths are largely preventable.

According to a 20 year study done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), pit bull-type dogs and Rottweiler dogs accounted for over half of all fatalities reported in the study. Other pure bred dogs that accounted for higher than normal fatalities included German shepherds, huskies and malamutes.

Among cross-bred or mixed breed dogs, wolf-hybrids accounted for the greatest number of fatal dog attacks.

Although the CDC very clearly states that their survey does not necessarily indicate which dog breeds are more likely to bite, these figures do back several common sense observations.

  1. Larger, more powerful dog breeds will cause more severe injuries if they do attack.
  2. Dog breeds which are often trained to function in aggressive or quasi-aggressive roles will tend to cause greater harm if they attack.
  3. Dogs which have a greater than normal sense of territoriality will tend to cause greater injuries when they attack.

These common sense observations, along with the information in the CDC study have been used by insurance companies to deny some types of liability coverage to homeowners who keep these dogs. From the insurance companies’ point of view, these dog breeds are too risky.

Dog Breeds Likely to Bite

If insurance companies can deny coverage based on a dog’s breed based on their risk assessment, then the general public has a right to know which breeds are considered likely to bite. Here is a list of the breeds included in the CDC’s survey as well as other breeds that exhibit similar characteristics or behaviors.

  • Pit Bull
  • Rottweiler
  • German Shepherd
  • Husky
  • Malamute
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Chow-Chow
  • Great Dane
  • Saint Bernard
  • Dalmatian
  • Presa Canario