If asked to name a dangerous dog breed, few would have trouble summoning the names most commonly associated with that designation. Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, Doberman Pinschers and Bull Terriers have all received press for being aggressive and dangerous dog breeds.
As discussed in Focus on Dog Bites: Why Dogs Bite, any dog has the potential to bite and most bites have more to do with feeling threatened, challenged or surprised than anything else. However, are certain breeds more inclined to this sort of response?
Dangerous Dog Breeds
According to a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association, no dog breed is inherently more dangerous than any other. The conclusion was reached after collecting and analyzing fatal dog bite statistics spanning 20 years.
Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers and Labradors appeared just as likely to bite as any Rottweiler or Pit Bull. Interestingly, the research did show that bites increased among whichever dog breed was popular at the time.
The study does not give these more feared dogs a free pass, and there is still much to be said on behalf of practicing caution around these breeds. However, there is much to be said about practicing caution around any dog breed.
The problem with breeds like Rottweilers and Pit Bulls stems more from their size and ability to inflict massive damage to dog bite victims. Chihuahuas and Pit Bulls may be equally likely to bite, but a bite from the latter will almost certainly inflict much more damage.
So, while these larger, more muscled dogs are not any more likely to bite, they are still more dangerous - if only for their size and ability to inflict greater damage.