It’s not every day that you get bit by a dog, but these things do happen from time to time, and many people worry about which breeds are the most dangerous. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 4 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States every year, and roughly 800,000 of those victims will seek medical attention1.

Reliable dog bite statistics are hard to come by, mainly because very few institutions are tracking these incidents and categorizing them by breed. Therefore, we looked at a broad range of sources that gauge the likelihood of a dog breed to bite.

Before we dive into our list of some of the breeds that are most likely to bite a human, we want to state that most dogs do not tend to be aggressive and fatal bites are extremely rare. Keep in mind that, more often than not, a dog’s aggression is a reflection of their training, treatment, or fear rather than their personalities. Still, having this information is helpful and could keep you safe if you ever encounter a dog that makes you feel uncomfortable or in danger.

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The 10 Dog Breeds Most Likely to Bite Humans Are:

1. Rottweiler

agressive rottweiler dog biting stick
Image Credit: Elzloy, Shutterstock

Rottweilers are large, strong dogs who were bred to be cattle dogs. Over the years, their powerful jaws and protective instincts have made them one of the dogs that are most likely to bite a human. However, other studies show that, while they are more likely to bite, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the most aggressive. In general, Rottweilers are well-behaved and social with the proper training.

2. Chihuahua

chihuahua scared
Image Credit: Pixabay

Believe it or not, Chihuahuas are actually some of the most aggressive dog breeds. People often overlook a bite from a Chihuahua because their small size causes minimal damage compared to larger breeds. How do you think that they got the nickname “ankle biter” if they didn’t have a bad habit of biting people?

3. Cocker Spaniel

English cocker spaniel
Image Credit: Labrador Photo Video, Shutterstock

The last dog that anyone would expect to be a biter is a Cocker Spaniel. People are so quick to assume that Pit Bulls are aggressive and bite the most people, but they somehow overlook other breeds just because they’re popular family and working dogs. Cocker Spaniels may be cute, but they get easily upset and won’t hesitate to bite or attack if they feel genuinely threatened.

4. Tosa Inu

Tosa inu male dog closeup
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The Tosa Inu is a giant breed that has been banned in countries like Malaysia, New Zealand, and the U.K. Trust us, these bans don’t just happen for any reason. While most of these dogs are friendly, many people fear them because they are so large and strong and their bites are incredibly painful.

5. German Shepherd

german shepherd dog biting on training
Image Credit: V_Lisovoy, Shutterstock

Is it any surprise that the German Shepherd made the list? You watch these powerful dogs take down dangerous criminals and protect their families at all costs. These dogs were bred to be guard dogs, and they aren’t afraid to bite someone to defend themselves or their families. Proper training is crucial for these animals because they could mistake any stranger on the street as a threat.

6. Terriers

Wire Fox Terrier hunting
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Terriers have been used historically for hunting rodents and other small vermin, but they also have notoriously feisty temperaments. Their primal instinct is to bite their prey, and sometimes that same instinct can take over with humans. Children are the most likely to get bit by these dogs because they have a short fuse and antagonizing them could set them off.

7. Pit Bulls (and Other Similar Breeds)

A brown American Pitbull standing on the road
Image Credit: KruBeer Photo, Shutterstock

Let us start by saying that there is a lot of misinformation out there about Pit Bulls and how likely they are to bite. This breed has a major stigma against them, and it’s all because of how the media has portrayed them. Many controlled studies have shown that true Pit Bulls do not tend to be dangerous dogs. With that said, the statistics available are wildly inaccurate because other breeds that closely resemble the Pit Bull all get lumped into a single category. Even if an entirely different breed, such as a Staffordshire Terrier, were to bite a human, it would most likely get reported as a Pit Bull attack. Again, it is Pit Bull-type dogs that are involved in attacks and not actually Pit Bulls themselves.

8. Bullmastiff

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This is another big, muscular dog that can go from charming and well-behaved one minute to growling and biting the next. Dog bites from this breed can get nasty fairly quickly. Plus, their tremendous weight can cause even more damage.

9. Siberian Husky

Siberian husky running in the yard
Image By: LynetteC, Pixabay

Siberian Huskies are energetic and loving, but their temperament is wildly unpredictable. They have even been known to maul people instead of just biting them. Even worse, many of their attacks are against children. It is important to supervise kids when interacting with any dog breed, though; not just Siberian Huskies.

10. Jack Russell

Jack Russell Terrier angry
Image By: Bonsales, Shutterstock

What is it about small dogs and their aggression? The Jack Russell is another breed that was bred to hunt rodents and vermin. Even though their genetics tell them to attack small prey, there are times when larger animals and humans could be their target. These dogs have a lot of energy. Without proper training, they are more likely to act out and could potentially bite humans.


Other Statistics About Dog Bites



There really isn’t any reason to fear dogs just because of the breed that they are. If a dog is going to attack you, there are many underlying factors for that behavior, most of which have nothing to actually do with the breed itself. If you ever feel you are in danger of getting bit, try to remain calm and separate yourself if possible.

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Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock