This post objectively examines dog breeds that statistically cause the most human injuries and fatalities. The goal is to educate current or potential dog owners on how to properly train, socialize and care for their pets. With the right precautions, even breeds with higher incidents of aggression can become valued family members.

Dogs have been our loyal companions for thousands of years. They provide love, comfort and protection. However, some breeds are known for aggressive tendencies that need proper training and socialization to prevent unfortunate incidents.

What Causes Dog Aggression?

Dog aggression stems from a combination of genetic factors and environment/training. Some breeds have been selectively bred for certain traits like guarding ability that require proper handling.

Dogs can also develop aggressive tendencies through:

  • Lack of socialization
  • Abuse or neglect
  • Fear
  • Protecting territory
  • Poor health

Aggression is a natural instinct in dogs, but behavioral problems are preventable with the right care and training.

Evaluating Dog Bite Statistics

There are over 90 million pet dogs in the U.S. When looking at dog bite statistics, it’s important to understand what the numbers mean.

graph for the number of deaths attributed to each breed of dog in the US from 2005 to 2017.
The graph shows the number of deaths attributed to each breed of dog in the US from 2005 to 2017.
  • Fatalities are rare. About 35-40 people are killed by dogs annually in the U.S.
  • Any size or breed is capable of biting. Small dogs account for 20% of reported bites.
  • Unneutered males are most likely to bite.
  • Children are most at risk of fatalities.
  • Certain breeds are overrepresented in incidents due to popularity and breeding history.
  • Breed identification in reports is often inaccurate.

Dog bites can happen for many reasons. While statistics on high-risk breeds provide useful information, they don’t tell the whole story.

The 10 Dog Breeds Most Likely To Bite

  1. Pit Bulls


Pit bulls were originally bred for bull baiting and dog fighting. They have a strong instinct for biting and holding on that can cause severe injury.

Aggression Triggers

  • Other dogs
  • Strangers entering their territory

Prevention Tips

  • Early socialization
  • Obedience training
  • Supervision around other pets

  Pitt bull with White background Rated as 1/10 in the list of Dangerous Dog breed

Pit bulls get a bad reputation, but good owners know they can be loving family dogs. With their athleticism and eagerness to please, they thrive on activity, training and affection.

  1. Rottweilers


Rottweilers descend from Roman drover dogs used to protect livestock. Their guarding instincts remain strong today.

Aggression Triggers

  • Strangers
  • Other dogs
  • Perceived threats to family

Prevention Tips

  • Obedience training
  • Caution around children and guests
  • Avoid chaining in yards

Rottweiler with White background Rated as 2/10

This working breed needs an experienced owner able to establish clear rules and boundaries. With proper handling, Rottweilers can utilize their intelligence and strength in a positive way.

  1. German Shepherds


German shepherds were bred as herding dogs and later became popular police and military dogs. They have strong protective and territorial instincts.

Aggression Triggers

  • Trespassing strangers
  • Other dogs encroaching on territory

Prevention Tips

  • Socialization from puppyhood
  • Avoid chaining or isolating
  • Teach clear behavioral cues

German Shephard with White background Rated as 3/10 in the list of Dangerous Dog breed

German shepherds bond closely with their family. With early socialization and training, they can comfortably accept strangers and unfamiliar dogs.

  1. Bullmastiffs


Bullmastiffs were bred by crossing bulldogs with mastiffs. They were estate guardians able to stop intruders.

Aggression Triggers

  • Territorial trespassing
  • Prey drive toward small animals

Prevention Tips

  • Socialize extensively as a pup
  • Discourage predatory chasing
  • Supervise around children

Bullmastiff with White background Rated as 4/10 in the list of Dangerous Dog breed


This sturdy guardian breed needs positive training and socialization to override territorial instincts. With proper handling, they become calm and devoted pets.

  1. Siberian Huskies


Huskies were bred to pull sleds over long distances. They have strong predatory instincts and high energy.

Aggression Triggers

  • Small animals running away
  • Frustration from lack of activity

Prevention Tips

  • Sufficient exercise outlet
  • Reinforce recall command
  • Supervise with kids and small pets

Siberian Huskie with White background Rated as 5/10 in the list of Dangerous Dog breed

This energetic working breed does best with active owners able to provide proper mental and physical stimulation. Their rambunctiousness requires training.

  1. Doberman Pinschers


Dobermans were originally bred as guard dogs. They have an intimidating appearance and sharp territorial instincts.

Aggression Triggers

  • Trespassers
  • Sudden noises or movements

Prevention Tips

  • Obedience training
  • Early socialization
  • Avoid chaining outside

Doberman Pinscher with White background Rated as 6/10

Dobermans bond intensely with their family. Proper handling brings out their intelligence, loyalty and alertness in a positive way.

  1. Great Danes


Great Danes descend from hunting and estate guardian breeds. Males can weigh over 200 pounds but still think they’re lapdogs.

Aggression Triggers

  • Other dogs entering territory
  • Mishandling by children
  • Fearfulness

Prevention Tips

  • Careful socialization
  • Strong leadership
  • Supervised play with kids

Great Dane with White background Rated as 7/10 in the list of Dangerous Dog breed

This larger-than-life breed needs dedicated training and socialization. With proper handling, they become mellow housemates.

  1. Boxers


Boxers were bred from bulldog ancestors. Used as guard dogs, they have strong territorial instincts.

Aggression Triggers

  • Strangers approaching home
  • Rowdy play that gets too intense

Prevention Tips

  • Obedience training
  • Allow greeting strangers properly
  • Discourage jumping

Boxer with White background Rated as 8/10 in the list of Dangerous Dog breed

Boxers are active, fun-loving dogs who need training to control their exuberance. Proper socialization makes them affectionate pets.

  1. Chows


Chows were hunting and guard dogs in China. They can be very territorial and their bite strength is one of the highest of all breeds.

Aggression Triggers

  • Strangers approaching too quickly
  • Other animals encroaching on territory

Prevention Tips

  • Early socialization
  • Obedience training
  • Supervise with kids and pets

Chow with White background Rated as 9/10

When properly socialized and handled, Chows become devoted, protective family members. Their grooming needs also teach kids responsibility.

  1. Cane Corsos


Cane Corsos are Italian mastiff-type dogs originally used to hunt big game and guard property. They are powerful and athletic.

Aggression Triggers

  • Strangers entering home
  • Other dogs near territory
  • Perceived threats to family

Prevention Tips

  • Extensive socialization
  • Obedience training
  • Caution around kids and guests

Cane Corso with White background Rated as 10/10

This breed needs an experienced owner able to establish clear structure, rules and limitations. Early socialization is crucial.

Tips For Owning Strong Dog Breeds

  • Seek professional training guidance
  • Socialize extensively as a puppy
  • Use secure enclosures and gates
  • Discourage predatory chasing
  • Supervise play with children
  • Intervene in obsessive staring
  • Teach respect for handling and grooming
  • Spay/neuter your pet
  • License and microchip your dog

No dog breed is inherently dangerous in the right hands. But some require extra diligence to become safe, happy family members. Even misunderstood breeds can thrive in a loving home with knowledge and proper care.

While statistics on human injuries and fatalities can point to certain dog breeds being more dangerous, proper training and socialization make a difference. Any dog is capable of aggression. Being a responsible pet owner able to meet a breed’s needs allows our canine companions to live up to their potential as man’s best friend.

Some Cases of Dog bite

The US Postal Service put out its annual list of national rankings of dog attacks, which said that more than 5,800 postal workers were bitten by dogs while on the job in 2020.

The graph depicts percentage of deaths attributed to each breed of dog in the US from 2005 to 2017.
The graph depicts percentage of deaths attributed to each breed of dog in the US from 2005 to 2017
  • Bella-Rae Birch a 17-month-old girl, died in St. Helens after her family’s dog bit her. Kyra Leanne King, who was only 3 months old, died at a scenic spot in Lincolnshire after a dog bit her.
  • On March 26, a dog attacked two kids, a woman, and another person in Cannock, Staffordshire.
  • A pit bull killed an 82-year-old woman in the Kaiserbagh.
  • At the age of 8, Thalia Standley lost her right arm after an Alaskan malamute bit her. 2015 – Valentine, Australia.
  • Kate-Lynn Logel, who was 7 years old, was killed in her backyard by the new dog that lived with her family. 2005 – Fruita, Colorado


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