Dogs are animals that serve as companions and can also function as service animals for those with medical needs. Most dogs are good-natured, affectionate and loyal. Unfortunately, not every dog is a kind and loving creature.
Some dogs have something wrong with them, possibly due to mistreatment by humans earlier in life or inbreeding. When you encounter a dog that has a predisposition toward aggression or violence, you or someone you love could suffer severe injuries as a result.
They say that you cannot judge a book by its cover, and breed alone should not be what guides your response to meeting a new dog. However, recognizing that certain breeds are far more dangerous than other dogs can help you and the rest of your family stay a little safer.
What kinds of dogs have a reputation for being the most dangerous?
Establishing what makes a dog dangerous isn’t particularly easy. There are many different criteria people could use, but perhaps the most easily verified involves fatal dog bite attacks. Looking over the reported breed of the animals involved in attacks that claimed human lives shows an obvious trend.
Looking at data gathered from 2005 to 2017 shows that one breed was responsible for 284 dog-related deaths out of the total of 433 human fatalities. The pit bull tops the list and is responsible for far more severe bites and deaths than any other breed. There are multiple kinds of pit bulls, but researchers did not separate them.
The second position on this ignoble list goes to the Rottweiler, which caused just 45 deaths in the same 12-year span. The German Shepard takes third with responsibility for 20 deaths. Mixed-breed dogs are the fourth most dangerous breed with responsibility for 17 deaths, and the American bulldog rounds out the list of the top five most dangerous dogs with a reported 15 fatalities.
What does dog breed have to do with your rights as a dog bite victim?
Recognizing that some breeds are more likely to hurt you than others can help you be appropriately cautious when interacting with animals. It’s also worth noting that the most dangerous breeds of dogs are sometimes considered restricted breeds by insurance companies.
If policyholders don’t disclose the breed of their dog to the insurance company or pay extra money because of the danger the animal represents statistically, the insurance company may not cover incidents involving dogs on the dangerous breed list.
Learning about dog bite attacks and risk factors can help you make better decisions after an animal hurt you or another member of your family.