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Does a dog’s breed impact its likelihood to seriously bite you?

| Oct 7, 2021 | Injuries |

Although all breeds of dog theoretically descended from a common ancestor, they can be so different in shape, appearance and behavior that it is often hard to believe that they are the same species and could interbreed with one another. 

There are dog breeds that are so small they cannot go outside in cold weather without clothing because they struggle to regulate their own temperatures. There are also breeds so large and potentially dangerous that the organizations that help track dog breeding have actively banned them, like Tibetan Mastiffs. 

Does the breed of a dog have any bearing on how much risk you have for it biting you? 

Certain breeds have a strong correlation with bites

A dog of any breed could become vicious when provoked or could become unpredictable and aggressive due to cognitive decline or even inbreeding. You should never assume that a dog is dangerous based solely on its breed or appearance. Still, you can help protect yourself and your family by recognizing that certain breeds have a statistical correlation with dog bites. 

These breeds include:

  • German Shepherds
  • Pit Bulls
  • Bulldogs (including English Bulldogs)
  • Australian Shepherds
  • Cocker Spaniels 
  • Chihuahuas
  • Pekinese
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Jack Russell Terriers

In addition to possibly being more likely to bite you, these breeds of dogs may also be subject to insurance restrictions because of how often they bite. If the owner didn’t tell their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company about the dog, the victim of the attack might not be able to file a claim against their policy. 

Knowing the risks and your rights will help you avoid a dog bite or stand up for your rights after getting hurt by an aggressive animal.