Are some dogs more likely to bite? If you have concerns about the risk of attack by an aggressive dog, you should know the numbers behind breeds that frequently cause serious injury to humans. 

Keep this study published by the American Animal Hospital Association in mind when interacting with dogs in your neighborhood or at friends’ homes. 

Highest risk for biting 

Researchers looked at data from 1970 to 2019 from hundreds of facial trauma dog bite cases. Based on these numbers, they found that the following breeds, in order, were most likely to bite humans: 

  • Dogs of unknown breed 
  • Pit bulls 
  • Dogs of mixed breed 
  • German shepherd 

An earlier study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also named Rottweilers among the breeds most likely to bite. 

Likelihood of severe damage 

Although the large Akita and Great Dane dogs are less likely to bite than the breeds listed above, they tend to cause more damage when they do attack. Mixed breed dogs and pit bulls were also found to cause significant injury in the cases studied. 

Other risk factors 

The study also found that regardless of breed, the average dog most likely to bite weighed between 66 and 100 pounds, and had a short, flat head shape. However, human factors did come into play when researching the causes of dog bites. For example, in many dog bite cases involving children, the victim pulled the dog’s tail or otherwise teased the animal. For this reason, you must teach your children how to safely behave in the presence of a dog, even when they are familiar with the animal in question. 

In New Jersey, dog owners are legally responsible for costs associated with an attack by the animal. To seek legal damages for a dog bite injury, the incident must have occurred in a public place or when you were legally in a private place. You must also file a lawsuit within two years of the incident.