No one ever assumes that their lovable pup would attack or harm a child. Most dog owners love their canine companions devotedly, and could not image such a horrible event taking place. However docile and easy going your pooch might be, the reality is, some dogs were bred to defend, protect, guard and herd. These dogs have deep primordial instincts that in a moment of testing would greatly influence how a dog responds or retaliates toward humans.
A recent study derived from dog owner feedback through the American Kennel Club and The Animal People, detailed cases of dog attacks and dog bites between the years 1982-2013. The top ten dog breeds that have attacked, bitten, injured or killed children are listed below in descending order.
Top Ten Biting Breeds
#10 Bulldog: There have been 12 accounts of children being attacked or bitten by a Bulldog. Most of the cases occurred while the dog was interrupted during a meal.
#9 Alaskan Malamute: These large, heavy dogs have attacked children in 11 instances over the last 30 years. The breed tends to get defensive toward children when woken up or if interrupted while eating.
#8 Boxer: It may be hard to imagine this playful breed ever being aggressive enough to hurt a kid, but Boxers are responsible for 19 child injuries and attacks. Their size and energy leaves children in danger from infancy until they are roughly 10 years old and able to exert authority over the dog.
#7 Chow Chow: These furry pups have such a reputation for biting and attacking humans, that many insurance companies will not cover Chow Chows since they are known for being short-tempered and destructive pets. This breed has been involved in 37 attacks on children since 1982.
#6 Bullmastiff: Though these have been called “gentle giants” by many, Bullmastiffs’ large stature and low tolerance for small children and rough-housing make them a threat to child safety. There have been 42 attacks or biting incidents on record.
#5 Akita Inu: This breed can weigh up to 130 pounds, making the fierce dogs quite a force to be reckoned with. If they feel uncertain of what a child is trying to do, the Akita Inu might perceive them as a threat and attack. Over 43 children suffered from bites and injuries caused by these aggressive dogs.
#4 Siberian Husky: Like the Alaskan Malamute, these sledding dogs are swift-moving pack animals that can be domineering to anyone who isn’t viewed as a leader. They have lots of energy and enjoy jumping and playing roughly, which can put children at risk. In around thirty years, there have been nearly 50 reported attacks and injuries from Siberian Huskies.
#3 German Shepherd: These intelligent dogs rank as one of the top 10 favorite dog breeds in America, yet the powerful breed can lead to injury or negative behaviors if they are left bored or neglected. Though these loyal dogs make wonderful pets, it would be best to avoid housing them with small children, since 63 attacks have occurred with German Shepherds.
#2 Rottweiler: Despite the relative popularity of the children’s books “Good Dog, Carl” which centers around a Rottweiler who looks after a young girl named Madeline; Rottweilers are the second most dangerous kind of dog for children. Because of their sensitivity to high-pitched noises, Rottweilers have been known to attack yelling or screaming children a shocking 290 times in the last 30 years.
#1 American Pit Bull Terrier: There is no doubt about it, these dogs were bred to attack, and are by far the most dangerous dog breed to own. Though many pet owners insist that their sweet Pit Bull wouldn’t hurt a fly, it is difficult to ignore the facts about how many injuries, attacks and deaths occur because of this breed. American Pit Bull Terriers have viciously attacked children over 1,114 times from 1982-2013.
Though Pit Bulls comprise only a minute 6 % of the canine population, they cause nearly 70% of all dog attacks, and over 52% of all dog-attack deaths. Though the breed does have many loyal devotees, responsible parents ought to strongly reconsider choosing to endanger the lives of their families by purchasing an American Pit Bull Terrier.