Did you know that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year? And that more than 800,000 of those bites require medical attention? Despite being man’s best friend, sometimes dogs can turn into man’s worst nightmare, especially when agitated.
Children are common victims of dog attacks, with lip, chin, nose, cheek, and neck injuries being the most prevalent. These bites typically lead to severe injuries that attract millions of dollars in medical bills ($165 million spent annually in treating dog bites).
So the big question is, which dog breed is the most dangerous? And when should you hire an attorney to help you win a dog bite lawsuit? We answer which dog breed is the most dangerous via temperament test results from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS).
Most Aggressive Dog Breeds
The Dachshund is categorized as a “hound” by the AKC and can range in size anywhere from eight to 32 pounds. Dachshunds are prone to “small dog syndrome”, which typically means that they make up for their small size with a big attitude. They tend to have a strong hunting instinct, but do not enjoy rough play, so oftentimes tend to not be great with children unless socialized well at an early age.
Dachshund Temperament Test Results*
While the Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog (typically four to six pounds) registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC), they are very temperamental dogs are known to bite or snip at people who come too close to their owner. Chihuahuas are typically one or two-person dogs and are very loyal and devoted to their owners, which can lead to jealousy issues.
Chihuahua Temperament Test Results*
3. Chow Chow
Chow Chows are typically medium-sized dogs, ranging from 45 to 70 pounds and classified as a “non-sporting” dog by the AKC. Chow Chows tend to have dominant personalities and can become assertive or aggressive at times if not trained correctly. They tend to have poor peripheral vision, which allows for easy startlement and possible defensive aggression.
Chow Chow Temperament Test Results*
4. Doberman Pinscher
Listed as a “working” dog by the AKC, the Doberman Pinscher ranges in size from 70 to 90 pounds on average and was originally bred for protection. Dobermans are highly intelligent and have been used as guard dogs and police work for decades. They have strong protective instincts towards their owners and can easily become aggressive if they feel they or their owners are threatened.
Doberman Temperament Test Results*
Dalmatians are also considered a “working” class dog and on average range in size from 45 to 60 pounds. Dalmatians have been known guard dogs as far back as the 18th century. They are highly energetic dogs and require frequent opportunities to release energy through exercise and play. Without these energy releases, they may resort to rough play and become aggressive.
Dalmatian Temperament Test Results*
Rottweilers are categorized by the AKC as a “working” dog and they average in size from 85 to 130 pounds. Initially, Rottweilers were bred exclusively for herding cattle. Rottweilers tend to be aloof and do not typically like strangers. They tend to be extremely loyal and protective of their owners and homes. Rottweilers are responsible for approximately 40 human fatalities every year, thanks to their defensive nature. They are usually good-natured with children, but because of size and energy level, small children are at a higher risk of injury from Rottweilers.
Rottweiler Temperament Test Results*
7. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is classified as a “herding” dog by the AKC and range from 70 to 85 pound on average. Highly intelligent and protective, German Shepherds tend to make great guard dogs. German Shepherds are the primary choice for law enforcement and military dogs. If trained as a guard dog, with their intelligence and size, German Shepherd bites can do catastrophic damage or even cause fatalities.
German Shepherd Temperament Test Results*
8. Jack Russell Terrier
Classified by the AKC as the “Parson Russell Terrier”, these dogs average 14 to 18 pounds and are in the “terrier” group. Russell Terriers tend to be highly energetic and stubborn, which can lead to training issues. With low patience levels, they are not typically tolerant of children and are more likely to lash out at children while they feel threatened.
Jack Russell Terrier Temperament Test Results*
9. American Staffordshire / Pit Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terriers, commonly known as just “Pit Bulls”, are categorized as a “terrier” by the AKC and typically range from 55 to 65 pounds. Pit Bulls were bred originally as guard dogs and for dogfighting, so they tend to be stockier and stronger dogs. Pit Bulls are fiercely protective and loyal to their families and may attack if they feel threatened or that there is a threat to their owners.
Pit Bull Temperament Test Results*
10. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is a “working” class dog that ranges from around 35 to 79 pounds on average, according to the AKC. Huskies tend to be territorial and protective of their owners and can be particularly protective over children in a family. Siberian Huskies are highly intelligent and can be quite stubborn, as well as being high energy dogs. If not kept mentally stimulated, as well as physically exercised properly, Huskies can easily turn to rough play, which can result in injuries.10. Siberian Husky
Siberian Husky Temperament Test Results*
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Bitten By a Dog?
Pursuing a Dog Bite Injury Claim
Having learned about ten of the most aggressive dog breeds, you may be wondering what to do if you or a loved one are bitten by a dog. Your first step should be to call a personal injury attorney for a free case review. A personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for damages sustained from a dog bite. Below are some ways in which an attorney can assist victims:
- Seek compensation for injuries sustained
- Represent the pet owner for a euthanasia case
- Intervene on behalf of the dog owner if the insurance company refutes the claim
- Seek compensation for pet owners if their dog gets bitten by another dog
How to File a Dog Bite Claim in Texas
Texas is one of 35 states that does not have the one-bite rule. The one-bite rule dictates that a dog owner can only bear strict liability for their dog’s life-threatening actions if they knew or should have known about the dangers, which have manifested more than once. Put simply, a bite victim cannot hold the owner liable for injuries unless the dog has a history of aggressiveness or previous attacks. This means that in Texas, there are only two avenues for a personal injury lawyer to file a dog bite claim: negligence and strict liability.
In a negligence case, the victim must prove that the dog owner or caretaker failed to handle their pet reasonably or prudently, hence the bite. In particular, the plaintiff must prove all of the following to recover compensation:
- The defendant is the rightful owner of the animal.
- The defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent the dog from causing harm to others.
- The defendant failed to observe that duty.
- That failure to observe the duty of care led to the injuries.
If a dog has a track record of viciousness, mischief, or danger, Texas courts may impose strict liability on the owner. That is, if a dog has caused personal injury before, the victim won’t bother proving that the owner did not observe the duty of care. The injured party only need to prove that:
- The owner knew the dog’s history of danger.
- The dog has bitten a person before.
How Thompson Law Can Help
If you or your loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, we are only one call away. We have an expert and experienced team of dog bite attorneys that will review your case and fight tooth and nail for compensation for lost wages, psychological counseling, past and future medical bills, disfigurement, pain, and suffering, and more. Contact us today and let us review your case for free and join the list of personal injury victims who we have helped recover over $1.8 billion in financial compensation.
* Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS)