The Most Dangerous Dog Breeds in America

Given the variety of conditions surrounding individual assaults, investigations concerning lethal encounters between dogs and people have proven passionately contentious throughout the years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) undertook a thorough examination of dog breeds involved in fatal attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1996 in the mid-1990s. During that time, the Pit Bull was the breed/type of dog involved in 60 instances, followed by the Rottweiler in 29 and the German Shepherd in 19.

Dog attacks continue to make headlines these days, and according to more recent study undertaken by a national victims’ group committed to raising awareness of the problem, the breeds implicated haven’t changed all that much. The 13-year mortality report from identified dog breeds engaged in attacks in the United States between 2005 and 2017, as well as victim age categories, the number of dogs involved, and whether the occurrences resulted in any criminal prosecutions.

According to the infographic below, the Pit Bull is still responsible for the most of deadly assaults in the United States, killing 284 people during a 13-year period – 66 percent of all deaths. Despite the fact that the breed accounts for just 6.5% of the overall dog population in the United States. There is evidence that owners of dangerous dogs are considerably more likely to have criminal convictions for violent offenses, which may explain the Pit Bull’s disproportionate likelihood of fatal attacks. The Rottweiler came in second with 45 deadly assaults, while the German Shepherd came in third with 20. Even breeds that aren’t known for their violence, like the Labrador Retriever, enter the top-10 list, with 9 fatal assaults reported.

Between 2003 and 2017, the average cost per claim increased by 90% due to rising medical bills and greater payouts for dog attacks. According to, canine injuries accounted for about a third of all homeowners’ liability claim dollars paid out last year, totaling nearly $700 million. Aside from fatalities, 28,000 persons in the United States underwent reconstructive surgery after being attacked by dogs in 2015, with canine-related inpatient stays increasing by 86 percent between 1993 and 2008. A dog bite-related hospital stay costs an average of $18,200.

Breeds of dog involved in fatal attacks on humans in the U.S. from 2005 to 2017 STATISTA
Breeds of dog involved in fatal attacks on humans in the U.S. from 2005 to 2017 STATISTA