Pit bull

Are Pit Bulls the Most Dangerous Breed?

O'Hara Law Firm Sept. 20, 2016

Pit bulls are notorious for biting people and other dogs. This breed is often at the top of the list for banned dog breed in communities. Insurance companies often exclude this breed on insurance policies. However, is it really the most dangerous breed as the news makes it appear?

Fatal Dog Attacks

A study of fatal dog attacks that occurred during the period from 2005 to 2015 found that 64% of deaths (232 deaths) were caused by Pit bulls. Rottweilers were responsible for 11.4% of deaths (41 deaths). Thus, for every one fatal attack by a Rottweiler, there are over 5 fatal attacks by a Pit bull/Pit bull mix. On its face, the study would seem to show that Pit bulls are by far the most dangerous breed. However, one must consider how many Pit bulls are in the U.S. in comparison to the number of Rottweilers.

Dog Breed Popularity

Many dogs are not registered, so it is difficult to determine how many dogs of one particular breed are in the U.S. Some studies estimate that 5% of the dogs in the U.S. are Pit bulls or Pit bull mixes. Experts estimate that Rottweilers comprise about 1.8% of the dog population. Thus, there are over 2.5 times as many Pit bulls as Rottweilers. Given this fact, one would expect over 2.5 times as many fatal Pit bull attacks as Rottweiler attacks if the dogs were equally dangerous. The number is double that amount at 5 times as many attacks. It appears that Pit bulls are more dangerous than Rottweilers given that comparison, but one must also consider misidentification.

Pit bulls are notorious, so people often will identify an aggressive dog as a Pit bull when the breed is not truly known. The cycle builds upon itself as news agencies publicize the “Pit bull attacks.” The Pit bull may deserve the title as most dangerous dog, but is likely not that much more dangerous than the Rottweiler if any.

If a dog attacked you or a loved one, contact O'Hara Law Firm.