Are These the Most Dangerous Dog Breeds?
We’ve all heard the saying: dogs are man’s best friend! It’s hard to deny that there is something special about the relationship between people and their pups. Ever since humans first began to domesticate wolves, people and dogs have developed a unique bond, built on a foundation of loyalty, protection, and companionship. Today, almost 90 million households in the United States have a dog, and 44% of all Americans own a dog. Many dogs not only serve as faithful pets, but also play an important role in society, like by sniffing out criminals or by detecting seizures. For many pet owners, dogs are far more than a best friend—they are a family member.
But are all dogs really meant to be our best friends? According to an article recently published on Forbes, some dogs might not actually make the best companions.
Dog Bite Statistics
Dog bites are the cause of 350,000 emergency room visits every year. Bite injuries can range from minor to fatal, and common injuries include:
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement, particularly to the face
- Scratches, cuts, and lacerations
- Damage to nerves, tendons, bones, or tissue
- Infections from cuts or lacerations
- Emotional damages, like post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety
Even though the injuries from a dog bite can be devastating, attacks are not always the result of unprovoked aggression. Dogs might bite as a result of a stressful situation, to protect their owners, or because they feel threatened or provoked.
The Most Dangerous Breeds
That said, some dog breeds are more likely to be aggressive. According to the Forbes infographic, which used dog attack statistics to make its claim, the most dangerous dog breeds are:
- Pit bulls
- German Shepherds
- American bulldogs
- Mastiffs and bullmastiffs
- Labrador retrievers
- Doberman pinschers
Pit bulls take the lead when it comes to dangerous attacks. They were involved in 66% of all fatal attacks, though they account for just 6.5% of the dog population. The breed is often used for protection or fighting, which is why they are more likely to be trained to be aggressive.
The bad reputation of pit bulls raises an important point about dog attacks. Any type of dog, if trained to be aggressive, can be dangerous. If dogs are well-trained, the chances of an unprovoked attack are unlikely. But if a dog is trained to defend or attack, it is more likely to be aggressive, regardless of the breed. Oftentimes, the attack is the result of a human’s failure to train their dog or prevent an attack, and others suffer the consequences of their negligence or reckless actions.
When someone is attacked by a dog, whether it’s a pit bull or a Chihuahua, the physical and emotional consequences are significant. The medical expenses can also be very high. This is why holding a dog owner responsible for their dog’s aggressive behavior is so important.
Dog Bite Liability
In Florida, an owner is potentially liable for injuries inflicted by their dog if their dog bites a person in a public place or a private place if the victim was lawfully invited. For example, if someone is hosting a party and their dog bites an invited guest, that would be a situation in which the dog owner might be liable. On the other hand, if someone was bitten while trespassing, the liability would be more complicated.
Florida is also a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites. This means that a dog owner might be liable even if they had no reason to foresee their dog’s dangerous behavior. Even if there dog bites a person one time and it’s the first time that dog has ever bitten someone, the owner might still be liable for any injuries.
While it’s important to know about liability in the event of a dog bite, everyone should also take the time to learn how to prevent a dangerous encounter. According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are some simple steps people can take:
- Learn to recognize the behavior that shows a dog is aggravated or uncomfortable
- Avoid unfamiliar dogs and don’t attempt to approach a strange dog, even if it seems friendly
- Before approaching a dog, ask their owner it is okay
- If you encounter an aggressive dog, don’t try to run away. Instead, stay still with your hands at your sides and avoid making eye contact; once the dog loses interest, slowly back away
- If a dog does attack you, “feed” them another object, like your jacket or purse
By recognizing the warning signs of a dog attack, behaving safely around dogs, and by raising dogs to have good behavior, you can take the right steps to prevent a violence attack and ensure that your dog will be a good friend to everyone.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.