Helping the Injured in Tennessee Since 1977

Are some dog breeds more dangerous than others?

All too often, when talking about dog bite injuries, Tennessee residents hear about dangerous breeds. Pit bulls and Rottweilers are normally put in this category of "attack dogs."

In looking at the evidence, a five year study was published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The study looked at data pertaining to dog bites from just one hospital. From there it was found that 51 percent of the hospital visits from dog attacks were from pit bulls. Another 9 percent were from Rottweilers and 6 percent were from a Rottweiler-pit bill mixed breed.

This means that more than 60 percent of the dog attacks were from one of two breeds, with pit bulls ranking on the top of the list.

This was also not the only study to be published that pointed to a higher risk among pit bulls. Even a 2011 study published in the Annals of Surgery found that pit bulls are associated with a higher hospital and fatality rate than other breeds.

Of course this leads many readers to the question of why. Why are pit bulls responsible for more dog attacks? Is it in their breed to be more aggressive?

There are no concrete answers to these questions. For example, there is the longstanding rumor that pit bulls have different types of jaws that tend to clamp down and lock when biting. However, the truth is that researchers have not found any differences between the jaws of pit bulls and other breeds.

But, research does point to the owners playing a role quite frequently though, as multiple studies have found that pit bull owners are more likely to have criminal convictions related to drugs and violence. Could the reason for the attacks be related to the way the dogs are being raised and treated?

In the end though, one thing that is known for sure if that Tennessee dog owners can be held liable whenever their dog attacks. In general, liability falls on the shoulders of the dog owner whether the dog is a pit bull or a Chihuahua mix.


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