The combination of dogs’ innate qualities and their training can make some breeds more dangerous than others. Dog breeds are associated with certain common traits. For example, Labradors have a keen sense of smell, while German Shepherds are known for their intelligence. Some dog breeds, such as pit bulls, can have more aggressive tendencies. Understanding the common characteristics of dangerous breeds can help minimize the risk of dog bites and dog attacks.
Types of Dangerous Breeds
Dog breeds that have a greater likelihood of biting or attacking others are commonly identified as dangerous. Pit bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Akitas, Huskies, chows and wolf-hybrids often fall into this category.
Pit bulls and Rottweilers have a reputation for being the top two most dangerous dog breeds. Together, they account for 76 percent of fatal dog attacks in the United States. Pit bulls have been known to attack both children and adults, often without warning. Although pit bulls comprised just 6 percent of dogs nationwide, they were responsible for 65 percent of dog-related deaths from 2005 to 2020.
German Shepherds are also among the dog breeds most likely to attack. Their protective nature as guard dogs can lead them to hurt others without the intention to cause harm. While German Shepherds are trainable, they can have issues with separation anxiety and possessiveness. Mastiffs are also often used as guard dogs. Given their powerful body, the force of a bite can result in serious injuries.
Wolf-hybrids such as huskies are another dangerous dog breed. Because they cannot be easily domesticated like other breeds, these dogs can pose a threat without proper training. They can be aggressive and possessive when seeking to establish their dominance.
Identifying Common Characteristics of Dangerous Breeds
Dangerous dog breeds share certain general characteristics. In terms of physical built, they have the potential to cause serious injuries due to their large size, agility, muscular legs and powerful jaws. Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers, for example, can weigh 75 pounds or more as adults.
Dangerous dog breeds can also be stubborn and independent, as well as untrustworthy with other dogs. Many dogs identified as dangerous breeds were historically bred for fighting, guarding and hunting. Pit bulls and other game dogs were prized for their high prey drive, which allowed them to excel in blood sports.
Some of the most dangerous dogs can be loyal companions, proving to be popular breeds for domestication. Although the tendency to fight has been bred out of many dogs, it is still present in others, either inadvertently or on purpose. Besides physical characteristics, training also plays a role in how dangerous a dog can be. Unfortunately, some owners still train their dogs to be aggressive and even to fight.
Many people question the assumption that some dog breeds are more dangerous than others. An important thing to remember is that while certain dogs may seem more aggressive, there is no reason to fear an entire breed.
Each dog has a unique personality. Even dogs not traditionally bred for aggressive behaviors, such as Golden Retrievers, have been responsible for deadly attacks. Additionally, your actions have the potential to be misunderstood as threatening, no matter the dog breed.
Safety Tips for Preventing Dog Bites
People who live or work around dogs can take precautions to reduce the risk of dog bites. Here are some steps pet owners and others can take to prevent dog attacks that cause painful injuries:
• Socialize your dog: Regularly introducing your dog to other people and animals can help it feel at ease in different situations. Socialize puppies in a safe, non-threatening environment, making sure they have positive interactions with others.
• Be a responsible dog owner: Make sure to use a leash in public so that your dog does not get out of your control. Start training your dog as soon as possible and ensure it gets regular exercise. With proper training, even a dangerous dog breed can grow up to be well-behaved.
• Avoid risky situations: Do not disturb dogs that are playing with a toy, growling, sleeping, eating or caring for puppies. Otherwise, they could be provoked into attacking.
• Recognize a dog’s body language: A dog’s vocalizations and behaviors can give helpful clues about their feelings. Watch for any signs that indicate the dog is feeling frightened, stressed or threatened.
• Do not approach an unfamiliar dog: Avoid petting a dog if its owner is not around. If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, do not run, panic or make loud noises. Refrain from making direct eye contact with the dog. Wait for it to pass or slowly back away.
• Be extra cautious with children: Do not let small children play with a dog unsupervised, even when visiting someone’s home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of dog bite injuries is highest for children ages 5 to 9. In general, dog attacks on children are more common because they cannot identify warning signs.
Contact a Dog Bite Attorney at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
If you or a loved one was injured due to a dog bite, contact Briskman Briskman & Greenberg right away. Our experienced Chicago dog bite attorneys can help you obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other related costs.