Medical doctors in the U.S. and Canada are sounding the alarm about pit bulls, calling them a “public health crisis.” From 1989 to 2014 there were 16 peer-reviewed medical studies documenting the impact of pit bulls on our healthcare systems, and since 2015 the pace has quickened, with an additional 25 studies being published.
The consensus concludes that compared to attacks by all other types of dogs combined, pit bull attacks are both greater in number, and also vastly disproportionately greater than what the actual breed phenotype population numbers would actually merit. In addition, pit bull attacks cause more damage and death, require more extensive medical intervention and incur substantially higher costs to healthcare systems. Most attacks are unprovoked and unforeseen and therefore unpreventable.
Medical studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals (also known as refereed or scholarly journals) are evaluated by an anonymous panel of experts for proper use of research methods, population sampling, significance of the paper’s contribution to the existing literature, and proper integration of previous work on the topic (including citations). Unlike papers published by organizations such as animal welfare groups, studies published in medical journals are the most authoritative sources of information on a topic. And, unlike those writing such papers defending pit bulls, medical doctors have no often-undisclosed financial or otherwise vested interests in the topic.
Surgical Treatment of Pediatric Dog-bite Wounds: A 5-year Retrospective Review (Oct 2021)
Dog breed was a significant predictor of bite severity (P <.0001) and of bite diameter (P <.0001). Pit bull bites were found to be significantly larger, deeper, and/or more complex than the average dog bites included in this study (Figure 7). Patients included in this study were more than four times as likely to have been bitten by a pit bull than by a German shepherd, and more than twice as likely to have been bitten by a pit bull, when compared with a dog of unknown breed. Furthermore, the relative risk of a pit bull inflicting a complex (full thickness with trauma to underlying structures) or deep (full thickness without trauma to underlying structures) bite was 17 times that observed for non-pit bull dogs. The relative risk of a German shepherd inflicting a complex or deep bite was 2.66, and the relative risk that a dog of unknown breed would inflict a complex or deep bite was 0.23. The relative risk of being bitten by a pit bull did not differ greatly between high-income cities and low-income cities, with relative risk of 8.06 and 8.17, respectively.
Lee, Christine J et al. “Surgical Treatment of Pediatric Dog-bite Wounds: A 5-year Retrospective Review.” The western journal of emergency medicine. vol. 22,6 1301-1310. 27 Oct. 2021, doi:10.5811/westjem.2021.9.52235
Analysis of Pediatric Dog Bite Injuries at a Level 1 Trauma Center Over 10 Years (June 2021)
Most pediatric dog bite injuries afflicted male children (55.6%), ages 6 to 12 years (45.7%), by a household dog (36.2%). The most common offending breed was a pit bull or pit bull mix (53.0%). Infants and grade schoolers were more likely to sustain bites to the head/face. (PDF at dogsbite.org)
Reuter Muñoz, Katherine D et al. “Analysis of Pediatric Dog Bite Injuries at a Level 1 Trauma Center Over 10 Years.” Annals of plastic surgery. vol. 86,6S Suppl 5 (2021): S510-S516. doi:10.1097/SAP.0000000000002928
The changing epidemiology of dog bite injuries in the United States, 2005–2018 (December 2020)
“The table shows the socio-demographic correlates of both the percent of dogs which were spayed/neutered and the percent of dogs which were pit bulls in the 42 UHF districts. Of the breeds identified in the data set (84.6%), pit bulls were the most numerous (33.6%), followed in order by Shih Tzu (5.3%), Chihuahua (5.2%), German Shepherd (4.1%), and Yorkshire Terrier (3.1%). This finding is consistent with previous research showing that pit bulls are responsible for more bites than any other dog breed (McReynolds 2019). Of the self-reported cases 29.1% were classified as spayed or neutered. The results reveal that poorer neighborhoods were associated with a higher proportion of dogs which had not been spayed/neutered and also a higher proportion of dogs which were pit bulls.”
Tuckel, P.S., Milczarski, W. The changing epidemiology of dog bite injuries in the United States, 2005–2018. Inj. Epidemiol. 7, 57 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40621-020-00281-y
Dog Bites in Children (November 2020)
In a large retrospective review of 1616 dog bites recorded over a 4-year period at the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, ED, it was noted that pit bulls were implicated in over half of the severe wounds requiring surgical management in the operating room. Multiple bit wounds were 2 1/2 times more likely from pit bulls than other breeds.
Horswell, B.B., Sheikh, J. (2021). Dog Bites in Children. In: Kushner, G.M., Jones, L.C. (eds) Pediatric Maxillofacial Trauma. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53092-1_5
Facial dog bites treated at the Massachusetts General Hospital over a 20-year period. (August 2020)
321 patients were identified. The majority of patients were adults, most dogs were known. Bites were preceded by the following behaviors: playing with the dog, feeding the dog, and placing the face close to the dog. Pit bulls led in the number of bites.
Zhu N, Cruz Walma A, Troulis MJ, August M. Facial dog bites treated at the Massachusetts General Hospital over a 20-year period. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2020 Aug;130(2):136-143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oooo.2020.02.009. Epub 2020 May 30. PMID: 32487467.
A look at the incidence and risk factors for dog bites in unincorporated Harris County, Texas, USA (March 2020)
There were 6683 dog bites reported to HCVPH between the years of 2013 and 2016. Dogs with the primary breed of Pit Bull had the greatest frequency of bites (25.07%). Bites were more common from intact dogs. Persons aged 70+ had the greatest incidence of severe injury.
Hasoon BC, Shipp AE, Hasoon J. A look at the incidence and risk factors for dog bites in unincorporated Harris County, Texas, USA. Vet World. 2020 Mar;13(3):419-425. https://doi.org/10.14202%2Fvetworld.2020.419-425. Epub 2020 Mar 5. PMID: 32367944; PMCID: PMC7183464.
Dog-Bite Injuries to the Craniofacial Region: An Epidemiologic and Pattern-of-Injury Review at a Level 1 Trauma Center (March 2020)
A review of 182 cases of dog bite–related injuries over 10 years by the Section of Maxillofacial Surgery at Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia showed that compared with other dog breeds, pit bull terriers inflicted more complex wounds, were often unprovoked, and went off property to attack. This study showed a disturbing trend toward more severe dog-bite injuries in young children.
Khan K, Horswell BB, Samanta D. Dog-Bite Injuries to the Craniofacial Region: An Epidemiologic and Pattern-of-Injury Review at a Level 1 Trauma Center. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2020 Mar;78(3):401-413. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joms.2019.11.002 Epub 2019 Nov 14. PMID: 31816277.
Children have an Increased Risk for Periorbital Dog Bite Injuries (January 2020)
The pit bull was the most commonly named breed to be involved in both pediatric (18%) and adult (26.2%) injuries.
Hurst PJ, Hoon Hwang MJ, Dodson TB, Dillon JK. Children Have an Increased Risk of Periorbital Dog Bite Injuries. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2020 Jan;78(1):91-100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joms.2019.08.021. Epub 2019 Sep 5. PMID: 31568755.
Anesthetic Management of a Cardiac Transplant Patient After Extensive Facial Trauma Caused by a Pit Bull Attack (October 2019)
Case study of 72-year-old male cardiac transplant patient presented after sustaining facial and extremity trauma caused by a pit bull dog attack.
Sun HB, Antoine J, Vu G, Park CM. Anesthetic Management of a Cardiac Transplant Patient After Extensive Facial Trauma Caused by a Pit Bull Attack. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2019 Oct;77(10):2018.e1-2018.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joms.2019.06.013. Epub 2019 Jun 24. PMID: 31319054.
Pediatric dog bite injuries in Central Texas (July 2019)
Injuries often involved the head–neck region (92.1%), and 72.5% were of major severity. Pet dogs were responsible for 42% of injuries, and pit bull was the most-identified breed.
Abraham JT, Czerwinski M. Pediatric Dog Bite Injuries in Central Texas. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2019 Jul;54(7):1416-1420. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2018.09.022. Epub 2018 Oct 31. PMID: 30473254.
Epidemiology, Socioeconomic Analysis, and Specialist Involvement in Dog Bite Wounds in Adults (May / June 2019)
A total of 189 adults presented to the emergency department with dog-bite-related injuries. The most common breed of dog identified was pit bull (47.5%).
Lee CJ, Santos PJF, Vyas RM. Epidemiology, Socioeconomic Analysis, and Specialist Involvement in Dog Bite Wounds in Adults. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. 2019 May/Jun;30(3):753-757. https://doi.org/10.1097/scs.0000000000005201. PMID: 30845083.
Dog bite injuries to the face: Is there risk with breed ownership? (February 2019)
Injuries from pit bulls and mixed breed dogs were both more frequent and more severe. Mixed breed and the pit bull were found to have the highest relative risk of biting, as well as the highest average damage per bite.
Essig GF Jr, Sheehan C, Rikhi S, Elmaraghy CA, Christophel JJ. Dog bite injuries to the face: Is there risk with breed ownership? A systematic review with meta-analysis. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 2019 Feb;117:182-188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2018.11.028. Epub 2018 Nov 29. PMID: 30579079.
Dog bites in the emergency department: a descriptive analysis (January 2019)
A total of 475 dog bites were identified. Pit-bull type was the most frequently implicated breed (27%).
Morzycki A, Simpson A, Williams J. Dog bites in the emergency department: a descriptive analysis. Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2019 Jan;21(1):63-70. https://doi.org/10.1017/cem.2018.2. Epub 2018 Mar 1. PMID: 29490720.
Are Dog Bites a Problem of Nature or Nurture? (November 2018)
Pit bull attacks account for higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than attacks from other dog breeds.
Tang J, Arneja JS. Are Dog Bites a Problem of Nature or Nurture? Plastic Surgery (Oakv). 2018 Nov;26(4):297-298. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2292550318800326. Epub 2018 Oct 3. PMID: 30450351; PMCID: PMC6236509.
Dogs and Orthopaedic Injuries: Is There a Correlation with Breed? (September 2018)
Of the 95 patients, 50% were the result of a pit bull terrier bite and 22% by a law enforcement dog. A total of 32% were attacked by multiple dogs. Pit bull terrier bites were responsible for a significantly higher number of orthopaedic injuries and resulted in an amputation and/or bony injury in 66% of patients treated.
Brice J, Lindvall E, Hoekzema N, Husak L. Dogs and Orthopaedic Injuries: Is There a Correlation With Breed? Journal of Orthopedic Trauma. 2018 Sep;32(9):e372-e375. https://doi.org/10.1097/bot.0000000000001235. PMID: 29912736.
Dog bites in a U.S. county: age, body part and breed in paediatric dog bites (May 2018)
A review of 14,956 dog bites 2007-2015 showed ‘Pit bulls’ accounted for 27.2% of dog bites and were more common in children 13–18 years.
Ramgopal S, Brungo LB, Bykowski MR, Pitetti RD, Hickey RW. Dog bites in a U.S. county: age, body part and breed in paediatric dog bites. Acta Paediatrica. 2018 May;107(5):893-899. https://doi.org/10.1111%2Fapa.14218. Epub 2018 Feb 5. PMID: 29331048; PMCID: PMC8278816.
Characteristics of Dog Bites in Arkansas (August 2018)
The results are aligned mostly with the general trends found in previous national and global studies, supporting the notion that family dogs represent a more significant threat than often is realized and that, among the breeds identified, pit bulls are proportionally linked with more severe bite injuries.
Smith AM, Carlson J, Bartels AB, McLeod CB, Golinko MS. Characteristics of Dog Bites in Arkansas. Southern Medical Journal. 2018 Aug;111(8):494-500. https://doi.org/10.14423/smj.0000000000000848. PMID: 30075476.
Retrospective analysis of necropsy reports from 2001-2012 suggestive of abuse in dogs and cats (February 2018)
Pit bull-type dogs (29/73 or 40%) were overrepresented in several abuse categories, such as gunshot and blunt-force trauma. This supports legislation for mandatory spay/neuter to reduce suffering.
Almeida DC, Torres SMF, Wuenschmann A. Retrospective analysis of necropsy reports suggestive of abuse in dogs and cats. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2018 Feb 15;252(4):433-439. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.252.4.433. PMID: 29393734.
Pit Bull attack causing limb threatening vascular trauma — A case series (December 2017)
Attacks by pit bull terriers are more likely to cause severe morbidity than other breeds of dogs.
Harnarayan P, Islam S, Ramsingh C, Naraynsingh V. Pit Bull attack causing limb threatening vascular trauma -A case series. International Journal of Surgery Case Reports. 2018;42:133-137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijscr.2017.11.061. Epub 2017 Dec 8. PMID: 29245098; PMCID: PMC5730392.
Characteristics of 1616 Consecutive Dog Bite Injuries at a Single Institution (April 2017)
Pit bull bites were implicated in half of all surgeries and over 2.5 times as likely to bite in multiple anatomic locations as compared to other breeds.
Golinko MS, Arslanian B, Williams JK. Characteristics of 1616 Consecutive Dog Bite Injuries at a Single Institution. Clinical Pediatrics (Phila). 2017 Apr;56(4):316-325. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922816657153. Epub 2016 Jul 20. PMID: 27400935.
An algorithmic approach to operative management of complex pediatric dog bites: A 3 Year Review of a Level I Regional Referral Pediatric Trauma Hospital (October 2017)
Of the 56 cases that identified dog breed, pit bulls accounted for 48.2 percent of the dog bites, and 47.8 percent of pit bull bites required intervention in the operating room.
Alizadeh K, Shayesteh A, Xu ML. An Algorithmic Approach to Operative Management of Complex Pediatric Dog Bites: 3-Year Review of a Level I Regional Referral Pediatric Trauma Hospital. American Society of Plastic Surgeons / Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open. 2017 Oct 20;5(10):e1431. https://doi.org/10.1097/gox.0000000000001431. PMID: 29184724; PMCID: PMC5682160.
Ocular Trauma from Dog Bites at a Regional Level I Trauma Center Over 11 Years (July / August 2016)
The most common breed of dog inflicting ocular injury was the pit bull (25%). Importantly, this study establishes that pit bulls are the most frequent breed associated with ocular injuries from dog bites.
Prendes MA, Jian-Amadi A, Chang SH, Shaftel SS. Ocular Trauma From Dog Bites: Characterization, Associations, and Treatment Patterns at a Regional Level I Trauma Center Over 11 Years. Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2016 Jul-Aug;32(4):279-83. https://doi.org/10.1097/iop.0000000000000501. PMID: 26103618.
Dog bite injuries in children: Clinical implications for head involvement (Feb 2016)
The dog breed causing the injury was identified in approximately 55% of the cases; of those breeds identified, Pit Bulls (50.4%) were the most common breed. The mortalities were exclusively in patients under three months of age and involved injuries to the head: a 1-month-old female and a 2-month-old male both of whom died on the day of admission. In the long-term morbidity and mortality cases, the dog involved was identified as a pit bull in all but one case.
Sribnick EA, Sarda S, Sawvel MS, Reisner A, Chern JJ. Dog bite injuries in children: Clinical implications for head involvement. Trauma. 2016;18(3):210-215. https://doi.org/10.1177/1460408616631772
Contemporary update on the treatment of dog bite: injuries to the oral and maxillofacial region (May 2015)
Pit bulls were more frequently associated with injuries than other breeds. Two cases
involved multiple dogs, all of which were pit bulls. The pit bull type is one of the more scrutinized breeds in the media and has commonly been a top offender noted throughout dog bite-related research. We found the breed was also the top offender in our small sample group. Dog bites to the face are significant disfiguring and debilitating injuries frequently encountered by OMSs. The financial cost to the patient and society account for millions of dollars paid annually in insurance claims. The physical and emotional trauma can result in long-term therapy for many of the victims, especially children, consisting of multiple surgical revisions and psychological counseling. Restrictions should be considered for those breeds of dogs commonly associated with dog bite attacks. The pit bull was the most frequently noted breed in our retrospective study, consistent with the current published data. (PDF here.)
Foster MD, Hudson JW. Contemporary update on the treatment of dog bite: injuries to the oral and maxillofacial region. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2015 May;73(5):935-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joms.2014.12.003. Epub 2014 Dec 11. PMID: 25795183.
Morbidity of pediatric dog bites (February 2015)
Of 650 dog bite incidents, pit bulls were most frequently responsible for pediatric dog bites, accounting for 39% of incidents where breed was documented. Dog familiarity did not confer safety, and in this series, Pit bulls were most frequently responsible.
Garvey EM, Twitchell DK, Ragar R, Egan JC, Jamshidi R. Morbidity of pediatric dog bites: a case series at a level one pediatric trauma center. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2015 Feb;50(2):343-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2014.09.051. Epub 2014 Dec 26. PMID: 25638634.
Dog bites of the head and neck: an evaluation of a common pediatric trauma and associated treatment (January / February 2015)
In a study of 334 dog bites by 8 different breeds, one-third were caused by pit bull terriers, and resulted in the highest rate of consultation (94%), and had 5 times the relative rate of surgical intervention. Unlike all other breeds, pit bull terriers were relatively more likely to attack an unknown individual (+ 31%), and without provocation (+ 48%).
O’Brien DC, Andre TB, Robinson AD, Squires LD, Tollefson TT. Dog bites of the head and neck: an evaluation of a common pediatric trauma and associated treatment. American Journal of Otolaryngology. 2015 Jan-Feb;36(1):32-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjoto.2014.09.001. Epub 2014 Sep 28. PMID: 25311183; PMCID: PMC4261032.
Periorbital trauma from pit bull terrier attacks (June 2012)
In the ophthalmic setting, pit bull terrier attacks most frequently involve children and result in eyelid lacerations.
Wladis EJ, Dewan MA. Periorbital trauma from pit bull terrier attacks. Orbit / International Journal on Orbital Disorders, Oculoplastic and Lacrimal Surgery. 2012 Jun;31(3):200-2. https://doi.org/10.3109/01676830.2012.669008
Effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in decreasing the incidence of dog-bite injury hospitalizations in people in the Canadian province of Manitoba (June 2012)
A 20% decrease in the number of hospitalizations caused by dog bites for the 16 regions within the province that had enacted breed-specific legislation.
Raghavan M, Martens PJ, Chateau D, et al. Effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in decreasing the incidence of dog-bite injury hospitalisations in people in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Injury Prevention 2013;19:177-183.
Animal Related Fatalities – Part I: Characteristic Autopsy Findings and Variable Causes of Death Associated with Blunt and Sharp Trauma (March 2012)
In a study of carnivore bites from dogs with a “hole and tear” pattern of wounding, pit bulls were involved in 42-45% of attacks.
Bury D, Langlois N, Byard RW. Animal-related fatalities–part I: characteristic autopsy findings and variable causes of death associated with blunt and sharp trauma. Journal of Forensic Sciences. 2012 Mar;57(2):370-4. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01921.x. Epub 2011 Oct 7. PMID: 21981339.
Dog bites of the face, head and neck in children (November 2011)
Most dog bites occurred in or near the home by an animal known to the child/family. Most injuries were soft tissue related, however more severe bites and injuries were observed in attacks from the pit-bull and Rottweiler breeds. Some breeds are more aggressive and offending, particularly around vulnerable victims such as children. Breed assessment is often subjective. Our data relied on the owner and victim (parents) to describe the breed which then was entered into the medical record. Bites from large-breed dogs, especially pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers are more likely to result in more severe injuries, subsequent medical care… the severity of injury necessitating medical attention should not be overlooked when considering the breed of dog generating more severe injuries.
Horswell, B.B., & Chahine, C. (2011). Dog bites of the face, head and neck in children. The West Virginia medical journal, 107 6, 24-7 . https://www.dogsbite.org/pdf/2011-west-virginia-medical-journal-nov-dec-2011.pdf
Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs (April 2011)
In a 15 year review, attacks by pit bulls associated with higher injuries, higher risk of hospitalization, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs.
Bini JK, Cohn SM, Acosta SM, McFarland MJ, Muir MT, Michalek JE; TRISAT Clinical Trials Group. Mortality, mauling, and maiming by vicious dogs. Annals of Surgery. 2011 Apr;253(4):791-7. https://doi.org/10.1097/sla.0b013e318211cd68. PMID: 21475022.
Dog Bite-Related Fatalities: A 15-Year Review of Kentucky Medical Examiner Cases (September 2009)
Pit bulls implicated in 45% of fatal attacks in a 15-year review.
Shields LB, Bernstein ML, Hunsaker JC 3rd, Stewart DM. Dog bite-related fatalities: a 15-year review of Kentucky medical examiner cases. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology. 2009 Sep;30(3):223-30. https://doi.org/10.1097/paf.0b013e3181a5e558. PMID: 19696575.
Pediatric Dog Bite Injuries: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (August 2009)
In a 5-year review of 239 patients, 137 or 51% were attacked by pit bulls.
Kaye AE, Belz JM, Kirschner RE. Pediatric dog bite injuries: a 5-year review of the experience at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. American Society of Plastic Surgeons / Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2009 Aug;124(2):551-558. https://doi.org/10.1097/prs.0b013e3181addad9. PMID: 19644273.
Analysis of nonfatal dog bites in children (March 2009)
Dog bites are a significant public health problem among children. “Pit bull types” were the most frequently documented breed.
Daniels DM, Ritzi RB, O’Neil J, Scherer LR. Analysis of nonfatal dog bites in children. The Journal of Trauma. 2009 Mar;66(3 Suppl):S17-22. https://doi.org/10.1097/ta.0b013e3181937925. PMID: 19276721.
Head and neck dog bites in children (March 2009)
Children are especially vulnerable to dog bite injuries to the head and neck region. Among identifiable dog breeds in the study, pit bulls were responsible for a notable proportion of the injuries. (PDF on dogsbite.org)
Monroy A, Behar P, Nagy M, Poje C, Pizzuto M, Brodsky L. Head and neck dog bites in children. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. 2009 Mar;140(3):354-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.otohns.2008.11.026.11.026. PMID: 19248942.
A ten-year, two-institution review of pediatric dog attacks: Advocating for a nationwide prohibition of dangerous dogs (April 2008)
From a review of 109 patients, 57% of dogs were deemed to be of a dangerous breed (Pit Bull or Rottweiler).
Sullivan, S.R., Marrinan, E.M., Rogers, G.F., John, Mulliken, B., Petersen, R., Balsara, K.R., & Pappas, T.N. (2008). A ten-year, two-institution review of pediatric dog attacks: advocating for a nationwide prohibition of dangerous dogs. American Association of Plastic Surgeons. https://aaps1921.org/abstracts/2008/P13.cgi
Pitbull Mauling Deaths in Detroit (December 2007)
There is a tendency for pit bulls to attack the neck region and destroy the blood vessels of the neck and cause extensive avulsions of the scalp and ears.
Loewe CL, Diaz FJ, Bechinski J. Pitbull mauling deaths in Detroit. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology. 2007 Dec;28(4):356-60. https://doi.org/10.1097/paf.0b013e31815b4c19. PMID: 18043027.
Les morsures d’animaux chez l’enfant (Animal bites and children) (February 2003)
“Choose a dog appropriate for a family… Avoid dominant breeds or pack dogs. The pit bull is the breed implicated in the majority of deaths.”
Le Médecin du Québec, volume 38, numéro 2, février 2003
Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998 (September 2000)
Fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem to pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers.
Sacks JJ, Sinclair L, Gilchrist J, Golab GC, Lockwood R. Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2000 Sep 15;217(6):836-40. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.2000.217.836. PMID: 10997153.
Fatal Dog Attacks, 1989-1994 (June 1996)
Pit bulls were involved in 24 deaths out of 109 dog bite-related fatalities.
Sacks JJ, Lockwood R, Hornreich J, Sattin RW. Fatal dog attacks, 1989-1994. Pediatrics (American Academy of Pediatrics). 1996 Jun;97(6 Pt 1):891-5. PMID: 8657532. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8657532/
Dog Bites in Urban Children (July 1991)
In a study of 168 children, significantly more pit bull injuries (94%) were the consequence of unprovoked attacks.
Avner JR, Baker MD. Dog bites in urban children. Pediatrics (American Academy of Pediatrics). 1991 Jul;88(1):55-7. PMID: 2057274. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/88/1/55
Dog Bite-Related Fatalities from 1979 through 1988 (September 1989)
Pit bull breeds were involved in 41.6% of 101 deaths where dog breed was reported, almost three times more than German shepherds, the next most commonly reported breed. The proportion of deaths attributable to pit bulls increased from 20% in 1979 and 1980 to 62% in 1987 and 1988.
Sacks JJ, Sattin RW, Bonzo SE. Dog bite-related fatalities from 1979 through 1988. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1989 Sep 15;262(11):1489-92. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.262.11.1489. PMID: 2769900.