Are Some Dog Breeds More Likely to Attack?
May 16, 2012
Dogs bite more than 4.7 million people a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and one in five of those bitten by a dog require medical attention. Half of these victims are children.
Still, Karen Delise, founder of the National Canine Research Council, says that dog bites are “extremely rare” when considering that there 78 million dogs in the U.S., whose bites cause an average of 25 fatalities a year.
In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Delise aimed to debunk perceptions that pit bulls, also known as American bull terriers, are the most dangerous breed. Her book, The “Pit Bull” Placebo: Media, Myths and Politics and the Effect on Companion Dogs, equates misperceptions about certain breeds over the years.
A study conducted by the CDC from 1979 through 1996 found that pit bull-type dogs were involved in approximately a third of human bites from 1981 – 1992 and Rottweilers were responsible for half of human bites reported in the years 1993 – 1996. The study concluded, however, that “although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates.”