The Dogs That Are Most Likely to Bite

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There are no accurate statistics on what breeds are most likely to bite, however there are some general guidelines on which dogs are most likely to bite.

Many people wonder what dog breed is most likely to bite. They may have heard reports of this breed, or that breed, being the most dangerous dog. However there are many points to consider, some breeds are more common in some areas, so naturally we hear of more attacks and more dog bites from that breed, other breeds are small and do little damage, so naturally we do not hear of those attacks. So.. what really is the dog that is most likely to bite?

What was the Dog Bred to Do?

Some dogs were bred to bite, and to use that bite to kill. Other dogs were bred to bite gently and carry things in their mouths. As such, the dog breeds that were bred to use their mouths, are often the ones most likely to bite. This would include the terriers and the retrievers. Dogs that have been bred to guard and be protective are also likely to bite. This would include breeds like German Shepherds and Rottweillers. Also dogs that were bred to chase things, such as the herding dogs (Border Collies, and also German Shepherds) and sight hounds (greyhounds) may find themselves playing a game of chase and overwhelmed by the “catch” having fixated on the chase for so long.

dog fakes bite

photo source

What is the Breed Known for?

Some breeds are known to be unpredictable. One example of this is the Chow Chow. While there are many wonderful examples of this breed, it is known, on the whole, for not giving warnings of an attack, and attacking for unknown reasons. Indeed Spitz breeds are probably the closest in relationship to the wolf, and many are used in hunting large game (as mentioned as a risk factor above). They are known for being strongly protective of their pack, or in this case, their family, often bonding to one family member, making a risk factor even stronger.

Some breeds are known for high prey drives, which directly relates to “What was the dog bred to do?”. These dogs may find themselves in situations where they bite out of instinct more than anything else, particularly when playing games such as chase, or tug-of-war.

How well socialized is the Dog?

A dog who is not well socialized is a very likely candidate for biting. Socialization is learned at a young age, and reinforced throughout a dogs life. Small dogs often miss this step because it starts during basic obedience lessons and many owners of small dogs fail to take them to such lessons, picking them up and carrying them around instead of letting them learn how to be a dog.

Dogs who are not socialized become nippy, and will bite when threatened, biting a human, or other dog.

Dogs who are allowed to be the alpha, or show signs of aggression when eating, should be considered as risky dogs and proper steps should be taken to socialize them better.

How well supervised is the Dog?

It might surprise you to know that a tiny 4 pound Pomeranian dog killed a month and a half old child. It happened when the dog and baby were left alone for a few minutes unsupervised. Indeed no dog is safe and as statistics show most dog bites and dog attacks occur on a family member, (or friend of the family) and most attacks are on children left alone with the dog.

Is the Dog Fixed?

Intact male dogs are more aggressive for alpha positioning than neutered dogs, as such unfixed male dogs are more likely to bite. Even unspayed females can be moody, particularly when in heat or with a litter of pups.  

Dogs kept on Chains

Chaining dogs has proven to be a cause of aggression. These dogs become more protective and as a result, more dangerous and more likely to bite, especially when somebody approaches them while they are chained up.

Dogs who were Encouraged to be Aggressive

Naturally a dog whose owners raise it to be aggressive (either intentionally or out of ignorance) is going to be more likely to bite than one raised correctly.

small dog bite

photo source

It should be noted that there ARE NO ACCURATE LISTS of Dog Bite Statistics. The reason is because many dog bites do not go reported (as when a dog bites its owner). As well, in the case of stray dogs biting, the breed may not be reported correctly.

Related Links

Dog Bite Law USA Stats

Eleven Questions to ask yourself Before getting a Dog

Help for Owners who think their Dog was Abused

Is there Dog Meat in Dog Food?

Why Chaining Dogs is Cruel

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lisa leverton
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