A dog bite is serious business. There are ways to prevent it, but it’s good to know which breeds are known for biting. I’ve got a top five list of the breeds most likely to give you a dog bite. However, this list is a bit different than others. I won’t just give you the breed, I’ll give you an explanation of why it’s likely it made the list. My philosophy on dogs is knowing the why in addition to the actual event.
Related: Understanding Dog Aggression
Dog Bite Prone Breeds
The following five breeds have made the list of several different sites for being the most prone to biting. Unfortunately, most of those lists don’t give any backstory on these dogs or why they may have bitten. That’s going to be the focus of this list.
The Akita is a powerful breed originating in Asia. These dogs have a nature that is quite protective, and as a result, they need hyper socialization. This breed can be aggressive, especially if it feels threatened or if it feels the family is threatened. It also has a high prey drive, so small animals and the Akita don’t mix. Akitas that feel cornered, threatened, or have their territory encroached upon by another dog have the ability to deliver a dog bite. Be aware that with proper socialization, much of this can mitigated.
The Husky is responsible for more dog bites than most people might think. As a former vet assistant, I’m not really surprised that you are likely to get a dog bite from a Husky. This is a particularly mouthy breed to begin with. They like to grab you while they play. They grab you when they don’t like what you’re doing. In general, they use their mouths as a grabby tool for anything that they like or don’t like. When you add in their stubborn streak, it’s not a surprise that they continually make dog bite lists. Again, proper socialization and training can drastically limit this behavior.
This is an interesting breed when it comes to the dog bite list. They routinely make these lists, but it’s not for the reason you might think. German Shepherds have a reputation as aggressive dogs, but in reality, they are highly intelligent and trainable. This makes them the perfect dog for military and police use. This is partly where their reputation comes from. On top of that, the German Shepherd is a herding dog, and often uses “the nip” and “the grab and drag” to herd its people, especially the kids. Many bites attributed to the German Shepherd are herding instincts gone wrong.
Thanks to The Omen, this breed developed a reputation as a killer, which isn’t true at all. In fact, this breed very likely makes so many dog bite lists because of its sheer power and popularity in the United States. You would not believe how many Rotts came through the door of the vet hospital where I worked. This popularity coupled with the power of this dog’s jaws make it almost the top of the dog bite list simply based on statistics. While Rotts are powerful, they are for more friendly than they’re given credit for. Proper training, socialization, and people behaving correctly around them can drastically limit the danger of a dog bite.
Unfortunately, the Pit Bull always takes top spot on any dog bite list. But let’s take a look at why. The Pit Bull is an incredibly powerful breed. Its jaws have the power to crush bone and shred flesh. That’s a given. Those are the traits that make them such attractive dogs to heinous individuals who either breed them for fighting or as “guard dogs.” I use guard dogs in quotes, because what these people are really doing is training a killing machine.
On their own, Pit Bulls are wonderful pets. They are known as “the nanny dog” for a reason. In general, they absolutely adore children and the rest of the family. They even enjoy meeting other people and animals if properly socialized. In fact, a properly socialized Pit Bull will almost never make a dog bite list. They are friendly, sweet animals with a propensity for affection and the idea that they are giant lap dogs.
Related: Our Top Pitbull Puppy Training Tips
Knowing the Why of a Dog Bite List is Important
If you read most dog bite lists, you’ll come a way with a long list of dogs that you think are out to kill anyone around them. But that just isn’t the case. 9 times out of 10, a dog bite occurs when an owner has not properly socialized their animal or another person does something stupid like sticking their face directly in front of a dog’s face. This is an aggressive act, and you can’t blame the dog for trying to protect itself.
So although these five breeds have the highest instance of dog bite, they are not, in fact, killers. Rather, their popularity, improper training, human error, or a combination of all of these has likely contributed to the dog bite in most cases.