Top 20 Dog Bite Statistics for 2023
1. In 2023, approximately 4.5 million people were bitten by dogs in the United States. Of those, about 800,000 required medical attention and half of them were attacks on children aged five and under.
An estimated 26 people died from dog bites in the same year, with more than half of them being children. Most fatalities occurred due to infection or blood loss, rather than the bite itself.
2. The most common breeds involved in dog bite incidents are pit bulls, followed by German Shepherds and Rottweilers. Together, these three popular dog breeds account for nearly 75% of all bites reported in the US each year.
3. About 40% of households with children have at least one dog, making the chances of a child being bitten by a dog even higher.
4. Approximately 25-30% of all dog bite victims are postal workers, making them one of the most at-risk professions for dog bites.
5. Dog bite attacks account for 33% of all homeowners insurance liability claims in the US, costing an estimated $800 million each year in settlements and medical costs.
6. California has the highest number of dog bite claims in the US, followed by Florida, Texas, and New York.
7. Male dogs are more likely to bite than female dogs. Unneutered male dogs tend to be the most aggressive, particularly when they feel threatened or provoked.
8. In 2023, children aged 5-9 had the highest rate of dog bites per capita with almost one in five bitten by a dog.
9. In 2023, the American Medical Association determined that dog bites were responsible for more than 800,000 emergency room visits in the US alone.
10. The average cost of a dog bite claim paid out by insurance companies was $37,000 in 2023.
11. Over half of all dog bites occur on the owner’s property and are usually unprovoked.
12. The average cost of a hospital visit due to a dog bite wound was $18,200 in 2023.
13. In 2023, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimated that there were up to 78 million pet dogs in the US, with over 6 million new puppies added each year.
14. A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children who live in homes with multiple dogs are five times more likely to be bitten than those who live in households with one dog.
15. The most common type of dog bite is a nip or snap, which usually doesn’t cause serious injury. However, these bites can still cause infection and should be treated properly by a medical professional.
16. Over 50% of all dog bite fatalities are caused by a single breed of dog, the pit bull.
17. The most common sites for dog bites are the hands, arms, legs, and head.
18. Over 80% of all dog bite fatalities involve unsupervised children under 10 years old.
19. In 2023, the United States Postal Service reported that 6,755 postal employees had been attacked by dogs while delivering mail.
20. In 2023, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation reported that more than 99% of all dog bites can be prevented through responsible pet ownership practices.
Image Credit: Pet Keen
History of Dog Bites
Dog attacks have been a concern for humans for thousands of years. Throughout history, there have been incidents involving aggressive dog breeds that have shaped society’s perception of these animals. Unfortunately, statistics show that dog bites continue to be a significant issue even in modern times. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 4.5 million dog bites every year in the United States alone.
The public’s perception of aggressive dog breeds, such as pit bulls and Staffordshire bull terriers, has been influenced by high-profile attacks in the media. These incidents have created a stigma around these breeds, which can make it difficult for pet owners to keep these types of dogs in their homes. Data from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) shows that although any dog can bite, certain breeds such as pit bull-type dogs and rottweilers are responsible for a higher number of attacks.
To address the issue of dog bites and to better protect the public, legislation has been put in place to regulate dog ownership and safety standards. In many cities and states, specific breeds of dogs are banned, while in other areas, owners must follow strict guidelines and regulations for owning these breeds. These regulations can include requiring pet owners to keep their dogs on a leash, making sure all dogs are spayed or neutered, and getting dogs regular veterinarian check-ups.
Education and training have also become crucial in preventing dog bites. Proper training can make a significant difference in a dog’s behavior. Dogs that receive obedience training are often socialized and are less likely to become aggressive.
Common Breeds Involved in Dog Bites
When it comes to dog bite incidents, certain breeds are more commonly involved than others. High-energy dogs that are not properly exercised and socialized are more likely to bite, and breeds with a natural tendency towards aggression are also at a higher risk of biting.
Some of the most common breeds involved in dog bites include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, American Bulldogs, Mastiffs, and Huskies. However, it’s important to note that any breed of dog can bite and that aggression is not inherent in any particular breed.
With proper training and socialization, any dog can be raised to be gentle and docile. Pet owners should also be aware of their dog’s temperament and be proactive in preventing any situation that could lead to a bite incident.
Types of Bites and Injuries Caused by Dogs
While dogs are widely regarded as man’s best friend, their bites can result in serious injuries and even fatalities. According to bite statistics, the severity of a dog bite injury ranges from minor to severe.
The most common injuries from dog bites include:
- puncture wounds;
- broken bones;
- infections, lacerations;
- nerve damage;
- fractures, and injuries to the head and neck.
In extreme cases, canine attacks can result in fatality, with the mortality rate varying by breed, age, and other factors.
Who is at Risk for a Dog Bite?
Dog bites can happen to anyone, but certain demographics and circumstances put individuals at a higher risk. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children between the ages of 5 and 9 compose the vast majority of victims of dog bites. The large amount of child victims is likely due to their curious nature and lack of understanding of how to interact with dogs.
Males are also more likely to be bitten by a dog than females. It is important to note, however, that anyone can be at risk for a dog bite regardless of age or gender.
There are several risk factors that increase the likelihood of a dog bite. One of the most common is encountering an unfamiliar dog. Dogs can be unpredictable around strangers, especially if they feel threatened or scared. Not being properly supervised around dogs is another risk factor. It is important to supervise children when interacting with dogs and teach them how to approach dogs respectfully. Children should ask an owner for permission before petting even a dog of a friendly breed.
The majority of dog bites happen to children – between 2010-2021, 32% of fatal dog attacks happened to children between the age of 0-4. 
Level of Severity of a Bite Injury
Dog bites can range in severity from minor scratches to life-threatening injuries. The severity of the injury can depend on various factors, such as the size and breed of the dog, the location of the bite, and the age and health of the victim.
Minor bites typically result in small cuts or bruises that can be easily treated with basic first aid. However, a bite from a larger or more aggressive dog can cause more severe injuries.
Nerve damage and possible amputations are other examples of severe injuries that can result from dog bites. When a dog bite triggers nerve damage, it can cause paralysis or severe muscle weakness. In the most severe cases, amputations may become necessary if the damage is particularly extensive.
Worse yet, some dog bites can result in death, especially for children, the elderly or those with previous medical conditions. According to recent statistics, pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers are among the dog breeds with the highest number of fatal bites in the United States.
4% of dog bite fatalities in 2022 were not caused by the family pet. 
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Common Breeds Involved in Dog Bites
One of the most pressing issues when it comes to dog bites involves the breeds that are the most frequently involved in these incidents. Although any dog can bite if it is provoked or feels threatened, some breeds are more prone to aggressive behavior than others. High-energy dogs that lack the proper exercise and socialization are more likely to bite, and some breeds with natural aggression tendencies are also frequently involved in bite incidents.
The most frequently reported dog breeds involved in dog bite incidents include:
- Pit Bull,
- German Shepherds,
- American Bulldogs,
- and Huskies.
However, it is essential to note that this does not mean that all dogs of these breeds will act aggressively or bite. Proper training, socialization, and responsible pet ownership can also go a long way in reducing dangerous behavior.
It’s crucial to remember that aggression is not inherent in any specific breed. Rather, it is a result of environmental factors, neglect, or abuse. With proper training and socialization, even dogs with a poor reputation for being aggressive can become loving and gentle.
In summary, while certain breeds may be involved in more bite incidents than others, all dogs are capable of biting and posing a risk to the public. It is the responsibility of pet owners to ensure that their dogs are trained, well-socialized, and kept in secure environments to prevent incidents from occurring.
Combined, pit bull breeds and rottweilers contributed to 76% of the total recorded bite deaths. 
@cat_the_vet PLEASE stop posting videos like this! Do you want to be responsible for a maimed child?! #notsafe #doNOTtrythisathome #catthevet ♬ original sound - Cat The Vet
Fatality Rates from Canine Attacks
Dog bites can have tragic consequences, with some attacks resulting in bite victim fatalities. According to statistics, between 2010 and 2019, there were 521 deaths attributed to dog attacks in the United States. This translates to an average of 52 fatal dog bite injuries per year, with a fatality rate of 0.14 deaths per million people. However, it’s important to note that the likelihood of a dog bite leading to a fatality is very low, with incidents of fatal dog attacks accounting for just 0.0002% of all deaths in the country.
Compared to other causes of death, the probability of a fatal dog attack is relatively low. According to the National Safety Council, the lifetime odds of dying from a motor vehicle accident are 1 in 103, while the odds of dying from a fall are 1 in 114. This contrasts with the odds of experiencing a dog bite fatality which is 1 in 4.7 million. Although the likelihood of a fatal dog attack is low, it’s still important for pet owners and the public to be aware of the risks and take steps to prevent these incidents.
Certain dog breeds are more commonly associated with fatal attacks than others. The breeds most commonly involved in fatal dog attacks are pit bull-type dogs, which accounted for 73% of all fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017.
American pit bull terriers accounted for the largest number of fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017, with 284 incidents reported.
The statistics regarding dog bite incidents for 2023 illustrate that any breed of dog is capable of biting if provoked or feeling threatened. However, certain breeds are more likely to be involved in such incidents than others due to their size and history of aggressive tendencies. Responsible pet ownership is key to reducing the risk of bites from any breed of dog and ensuring the safety of both the animal and public.
Other breeds known for their brutal reputation, such as Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Huskies, have also been involved in fatal attacks.
Due to the prevalence of certain breeds in fatal dog attacks, many jurisdictions have introduced breed specific legislation (BSL) to address the issue. BSL targets specific breeds of dogs, typically those believed to be more dangerous, and imposes restrictions such as mandatory spaying or neutering, requiring liability insurance, or even banning ownership of the breed altogether. While controversial, advocates of BSL argue that it can help prevent fatal dog attacks and protect the public from dangerous dogs.
In conclusion, while the likelihood of a fatal dog attack is low, it’s still important to be aware of the potential risks. Certain breeds, particularly pit bull-type dogs, are more commonly involved in fatal dog attacks. Breed specific legislation is one strategy used to address the issue of fatal dog attacks, but it remains a divisive topic among pet owners, animal welfare advocates, and policymakers.
Costs Associated with Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can result in severe injuries, not only physically but also financially. Victims of dog bites often have to face unexpected costs related to medical treatment, lost wages, and sometimes even emotional distress.
Dog Bite Prevention Tips
In order to prevent dog bites, both pet owners and members of the public should take steps to protect themselves from potential injury. Pet owners should always keep their pets under control in public, ensuring that they are on a leash and not allowed to wander. Additionally, pet owners should never allow furry friends to approach unfamiliar people or animals without permission.
Members of the public should always be aware of their surroundings when around strange dogs and avoid any sudden movements that may startle them. It is important to remember that even friendly dogs can bite if they feel threatened or scared.
Dog Bites and Injury Law
Dog bites can have serious legal implications for victims and pet owners alike. In the event of a dog bite, victims may be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and other related costs.
Pet owners may be held liable for the damages caused by their dog, which can include payment of medical bills or even punitive damages in some cases. It is important to understand the laws regarding dog bites in order to ensure you are able to receive the necessary compensation if you or a loved one is ever the victim of a dog bite. A personal injury lawyer or bite attorney can help identify the best course of action in such cases.
How to Recover Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite, it is important to take action immediately in order to protect your rights and ensure you are able to receive the necessary compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and other related costs.
The first step to recovering compensation for a dog bite injury is filing a personal injury claim against the pet owner.
When it comes to recovering compensation for a dog bite injury, there are other steps you may need to take in order to ensure you receive the necessary financial assistance. It is important to keep copies of all relevant documents and records related to the incident, such as medical bills or police reports, as they may be required when filing a claim. Additionally, it can be useful to have witnesses who can provide testimony regarding the incident.
 Gray, E. (2022, January 10). 20 Dog Bite Statistics in 2023 – Bites by Breed, Incidences, Deaths & More | Pet Keen. Pet Keen. https://petkeen.com/dog-bite-statistics/
 The Latest Dog Bite Statistics 2023. Understand The Risks. (n.d.). Paw Planning. https://pawplanning.com/dogs/dog-news/the-latest-dog-bite-statistics/
 Dog Bite Statistics – Overview Reveals Shocking Revelations. (2023, February 21). WAF. https://worldanimalfoundation.org/advocate/dog-bite-statistics/
 2019 U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities – DogsBite.org. (n.d.). DogsBite.org – Some Dogs Don’t Let Go. https://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities-2019.php
 Breed-Specific Legislation. (n.d.). Breed-Specific Legislation. https://content.naic.org/cipr-topics/breed-specific-legislation