Barking up the wrong tree: Which dog breeds have the worst bite?

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With an estimated 35% of Canadian households currently owning a dog as a pet, it’s important for all dog owners to be informed about dog bite-related incidents and how best to prevent them.

Reports indicate that over 500,000 dog bites occur in Canada every year, or a single dog bite every 60 seconds according to an estimate by the Humane Society of Canada. While dogs of all breeds and sizes can bite, not all bites are equal.

Though they have earned the moniker of “man’s best friend” with their characteristic love, loyalty and playfulness, the reality is that any dog can bite, especially when provoked or scared for their wellbeing. From pups and toy breeds to large and muscular breeds, dogs of all kinds can cause harm if they bite. However, some breeds may be more likely to cause serious injuries due to their size and strength.

Here is a list of a few dog breeds that have often been associated with dog bite incidents in the past:

  1. Pit Bull Terriers – while their reputation does not necessarily reflect an inherent penchant for violence or aggression, the fact is that pit bulls – with their incredibly sharp teeth and powerful jaw muscles – are responsible for more fatal dog attacks than any other breed in the United States and Canada.
  2. Rottweilers – this popular breed has a history in police and guard services, and while they can be calm and affectionate playmates, Rottweilers can also do a great deal of damage with their imposing strength when triggered.
  3. German Shepherds – with strong protective instincts that endear this breed of herding dogs to families with young children, German shepherds have three distinctive bites: the guiding nip, the grab-and-drag and the reactive bite, which usually only occurs after many warning signs intended to avoid a conflict.
  4. Doberman Pinschers – originally bred for companionship and guard dog duty, these medium-large canines boast a higher-than-average bite force and can cause serious damage with their “scissor bite” and ability to bite multiple times in rapid succession.
  5. Siberian Huskies – descendants of the first sledding dogs, this energetic breed can attack with little warning and accounts for a relatively high number of bite-related incidents.

It’s important to remember that a dog’s behavior is largely dependent on how they are raised and trained, as well as their individual temperament. Without proper socialization and training, all dogs have the potential to cause harm.

Fortunately, experts like the American Veterinary Medical Association report that most dog bites are preventable. It’s thus imperative to take the time to research different breeds, their temperaments, and their warning behaviors before bringing a dog into your home, and to always provide appropriate training and supervision to prevent biting incidents.

If you’ve been involved in a dog bite accident, it’s important to contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer that can help you determine your next steps. Contact Canada’s largest personal injury law firm, Diamond and Diamond, today at 1-800-567-HURT to schedule a free consultation.

About Jeremy Diamond

Jeremy Diamond is a lawyer and member of both Ontario and Florida Bars. Jeremy practices in the area of Plaintiff personal injury litigation. Click here to learn more about Jeremy Diamond.