…ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL*, WHICH DOG IS LEAST LIKELY TO BITE YOU?
This probably isn’t going to be a good day for you, but if it happens the dog I would be most worried about is the Shepherd. He has the second hardest bite of the four dogs (the Rottweiler has the hardest) but the Shepherd is the smartest and brains are generally more dangerous than brawn alone. While you’re strategizing your defense, the Shepherd is probably strategizing his attack, and after herding, attacking is what he’s bred for. He’s an attack dog, more politely called a guard dog, but despite the nomenclature the method of guarding is not passive resistance. Be it bear, wolf, or prowler, a guard dog will attack what’s uninvited. Aggression is specifically bred for in guard dog breeds. If someone’s breaking through your window the last thing you want is a tolerant guard dog. You want a very smart, very aggressive one so beware of the German Shepherd first.
The second most dangerous dog is the Rottweiler because the Rottweiler not only has by far the hardest bite of any other dog breed but weighs as much as the Doberman and the Pit Bull combined. What’s more, he knows exactly how to throw that massive weight behind him when he charges. When a Rottweiler hits full speed, it’s VERY hard to stop him, and like the Shepard, he’s a guard dog, bred for aggression.
Damage-wise, I’d worry next about the Pit Bull, who has a slightly harder bite than the Doberman, but Doberman Pinschers score only average in temperance tests, where as Pit Bulls score right at the top, so the Doberman is probably already lunging at you.
Like I said, a bad day, but while all this has been going on the Pit Bull has quite probably gotten bored and gone in to babysit Junior because the Pit Bull is NOT a bred ATTACK DOG or a GUARD DOG.
The Pit Bull is a fighting dog, and in a TRULY GROTESQUE IRONY fighting dogs are not only NOT bred for aggression, human aggression is specifically bred OUT of fighting dogs.
Fighting dogs must be constantly separated by their handlers and handlers don’t want to be bitten so for most of their history the slightest human aggression seen in a Pit Bull was handled by immediately putting the dog down… and putting down the entire litter it came from… and putting down both it’s parents.
THIS, sadly, is the reason Pit Bulls have for most of their history been “The Nanny Dog”, the best and safest breed to be around both children and adults. Dog fighters don’t want to be bitten by the animals they are torturing, so lineage after lineage of these dogs was wiped out to ensure the MOST HUMAN TOLERANT BREED possible.
German Shepherds make wonderful family pets and they’re bred for aggression.
Rotties make wonderful family pets and they’re bred for aggression.
Dobermans make wonderful family pets and they’re bred for aggression.
Pit Bulls have had human aggression specifically (and brutally) bred out of them, but somehow today we’re told they’re too vicious to be around people.
It’s a funny world we live in.
*All things are unfortunately for Pit Bulls, not equal.
Despite glaring headlines there is ABSOLUTELY NO statistical way to tell which dog breed bites the most or which is currently the most dangerous to humans and here’s why.
-States have no unified system or criteria to collect dog bite information. Some states report only hospital visits, some only bites reported to the police, some have different reporting requirements in different counties and cities in the same state. None of these are currently coordinated.
-There is no accurate count of dog breeds in this country. Only officially registered dogs are counted and most pets aren’t registered. It is estimated for example that there are more Pit Bulls and Pit mixes in the U.S. than German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinchers combined. If true, that means purely by force of numbers Pit Bulls would be expected to cause the most bites. If you have in your small town 200 GS’s, 200 Rotties, and 200 Doberman’s, and 1,000 Pit Bulls, tolerant or not you’ll see more Pit bites because there are just more Pits on the ground.
-The 3 non-Pit breeds mentioned above are expensive to purchase (although you should be rescuing, not buying your dogs) and wealthier people tend to have better control over their dogs be it better fencing, training, or just more time to spend with the animal. 6,000 Pits are put to sleep every day in the U.S. alone, so while stupid people do pay for Pit Bulls, you can find ANY color, size, or shape of Pit Bull for free in any state you live in. If your local rescue doesn’t have exactly what you want, come by next week or get on the internet. There’s no shortage of about-to-be-euthanized Pits of ANY type. Poorer communities tend to have more Pit Bulls because Pit Bulls are free but poorer people have less resources to handle large breeds safely.
-The vast majority of dog bites are committed by dogs the bitee knows. Be it friend’s, neighbor’s, or their own family’s, if it’s known the dog has a clean medical record MOST bites aren’t reported unless they require stitches, so most bites never make it into the system. (Cesar Milan, TV’s Dog Whisperer, and many other professionals who work with many breeds claim that it’s small dogs, particularly Poodles and Chihuahuas, that are far more likely to bite humans than large breeds, but small dog bites are rarely officially reported.)
-People bitten by strange dogs almost all go to the hospital and THOSE bites are most reported. The trouble is, not many people are adept at identifying dog breeds. I live in a city with A LOT of Pit Bulls and I find about 50% of people HERE have trouble accurately identifying my dog. (It’s also not unreasonable to believe than many people, unable to track down a strange dog that bit them, often misidentify the offender as a Pit Bull. It makes a much better story then having been bitten by a “really intimidating looking Basset Hound”.)
Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pit Bulls really were the most dangerous dogs currently (and for the reasons above, there is no remotely reliable evidence that is the case) but over the last 30 years far too many of the people who got Pits did so because they LIKED the idea of having a “monster” as a pet (it doesn’t take Sigmund Freud to assess the minute size of the genitalia of such people), and monsters is what they raised. Most of these people are unfit to own a goldfish and a 60 lb. dog bred to fight is like a loaded gun in their hands.
It is a tribute to this breed that given their numbers, far more carnage isn’t caused by them.
If any of the other 3 aggression-bred dog breeds above had been owned by these same rural or urban self-esteem challenged hillbillies, I think we would have seen a canine-human fiasco.
EACH YEAR IN AMERICA:
-410,000 people are killed directly from smoking cigarettes
-35,000 are killed from second hand smoke
-26,000 are killed by illegal guns
-25,000 are killed by drunk drivers
-3,500 are killed in backyard swimming pools
-17 are killed by dogs
-3 of those are killed by Pit Bulls, so Pit Bulls must be banned.
Given the overwhelming abuse Pit Bulls endure, and the undesirable people who too often own them, it’s astonishing that number is so low.
PIT BULLS AREN’T DANGEROUS TO HUMANS.