U.S. Dog Bite Statistics (2022)

Last updated on: September 20, 2022

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. Of those people bitten, children are the most common, often suffering severe injuries. It might be surprising to know that dog bite incidents usually take place when people are doing everyday activities while interacting with familiar dogs.

Most dogs you interact with will be friendly, but you shouldn’t disregard their ability to bite you. A dog’s bite is extremely powerful, and if the dog is in some sort of fear or panic state, it may persistently try to attack you. With the odds of being bitten by a dog being approximately 1 in 70, it’s important that you are careful around both familiar and strange dogs.

To speak with a dog bite accident lawyer from Zinda Law Group, call (800) 863-5312 today. 

History of Dog Bite Awareness

With high-profile dog bite-related incidents gaining traction in the media, the CDC responded by compiling a report covering nonfatal dog bite-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments. This report summarized the results of their study which included data collected over a 15-year period.

Even though this data was released in 2001, it was collected from 1979 through 1994. Still today, the CDC aims to raise awareness of dog bites and the potential harm they pose to one’s health. To encourage people to keep themselves healthy around pets, the CDC dedicates an entire week to dog bite prevention each year. 

Dog Bite Fatalities By Breed

In a 2019 study, covering the risk of breed ownership, researchers found that dogs that weigh between 66 and 100 pounds have the highest bite risk and the highest average tissue damage per bite. These numbers indicate that the type of dogs that are most likely to bite are large dogs, over 55lbs. Within the category of large dogs, mixed-breeds are widely associated with biting.

It is difficult to establish which type of dog is responsible for the most bites. Many studies differ as to which breed is most often responsible for dog bite injuries, however, certain breeds do frequently appear toward the top of a given list. Dog breeds associated with bite injuries include:

  • Pitbull
  • Rottweiler
  • German Shepherd
  • American Bulldog
  • Mastiff
  • Husky

One of the factors that contribute to a dog’s bite strength and ability to do damage is its bite force. Bite force is the amount of pressure that a dog can produce when they clamp their jaw, measured in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI).

Bite force mostly depends on the size of the dog’s body, skull, and jaw size. Breeds with the top bite force are generally large dogs (over 55lbs) with wide mouths. The list of dogs with the strongest bite force includes:

  • Kangal, 743 PSI
  • American Bandogge, 731 PSI
  • Cane Corso, 700 PSI
  • Dogue De Bordeaux, 556 PSI
  • Tosa Inu, 556 PSI
  • English Mastiff, 556 PSI
  • Dogo Canario, 540 PSI
  • Dogo Argentino, 500 PSI
  • Wolfdog, 406 PSI
  • Leonberger, 399 PSI
  • Akita Inu, 350-400 PSI
  • Rottweiler, 328 PSI 

As illustrated in the list above, the dogs with the highest bite force share certain characteristics. For example, the average height and weight of an English Mastiff is similar to a Kangal. Of course, the individual demeanor of a dog will be different based on their physical characteristics.

Dog Bite Fatalities By State

Although death caused by a dog bite is a rare occurrence, it still happens. If you lost a loved one due to a dog bite injury, you may file a wrongful death claim against the owner of the dog.

On average, approximately 19 deaths from dog attacks occur every year. This number is seemingly low and may give you a false sense of the unlikelihood of a fatal dog attack. However, data further indicates that deaths from dog attacks appear to be increasing as the population of both humans and dogs increases.

The top 9 states in fatal dog attacks from 2005 to 2017 are as follows:

  • Texas, 54 total deaths
  • California, 45 total deaths
  • Florida, 29 total deaths
  • Georgia, 23 total deaths
  • North Carolina, 21 total deaths
  • Michigan, 19 total deaths
  • Ohio, 19 total deaths
  • South Carolina, 16 total deaths
  • Illinois, 16 total deaths

As the study suggests, some states with the highest amount of dog bite fatalities have unacceptably poor state laws in the area. As a result, criminal charges are filed in less than 25 percent of these cases. If your state does not have laws protecting you from this type of harm, acting on your own and filing a personal injury lawsuit may be your only available option for legal recourse.

Dog Bite Fatalities By Age & Sex

Of the dog bite victims who suffered fatalities, 48 percent of all fatality victims were nine years old or younger. Of all age groups, children ages 0 to 2 had the most victims (27 percent), with infants’ less than one-year-old as the highest age-specific mortality rate.

Among those victims, there was little discrepancy based on gender. Over the 13 years that this data was collected, there were 223 male victims as opposed to 210 female victims. Altogether, this data indicates that the severity of the injury is more strongly correlated to the victim’s age, not their sex.

How To Protect Yourself Against Dog Bite Accidents

With all that has been mentioned about the likelihood and potential harm of dog bites, it should not be forgotten that there are certain things that you can do to protect yourself against dog bite accidents.  

The following is a list of precautionary measures that you can take to prevent dog bite injuries to you and your loved ones.

  • Stay still and be calm
  • Avoid direct eye contact with the dog
  • Do not panic, make loud noises, or run
  • Say “no” or “go home” in a firm, deep voice and stand with the side of your body facing the dog
  • Slowly raise your hands to your neck with your elbows in and wait for the dog to pass or slowly back away

As the CDC points out, there are also tell-tale signs that you should learn to watch out for in dogs that could potentially be dangerous. In particular, the CDC recommends that you should be careful around dogs who are scared, nervous, eating, or protecting their toys or puppies. As a reminder, any dog that you own should always be leashed and within your sights in social settings.

Need Help? Contact Zinda Law Group Today

The idea that dogs are always friendly and cannot harm you is false. Dogs evolved from a line of animals that were on their own when it came to defending themselves. Through domestication, dogs’ violent characteristics have been repressed, but it would be naïve to think that they do not still have the ability to cause great bodily harm.

If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog, you may have a legal compensation claim for the injuries suffered. After all, you should not be on the hook for expenses, medical care, and lost wages because an irresponsible owner was not watching their dog. 

To help dog bite victims during this time, we offer free consultations and a ‘No Win No Fee’ guarantee, which means that you won’t pay anything unless we obtain a favorable outcome in your case.

To speak with a dog bite accident lawyer from Zinda Law Group, call (800) 863-5312 today.