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Dog Breeds With The Highest Record Of Human Attacks

american pit bull terrier
American pit bull terrier with cropped ears. Image by everydoghasastory via Depositphotos

When it comes to man’s best friend, there’s no denying the bond between humans and dogs. However, not all breeds are created equal in terms of temperament and behavior. Here, we take a look at the dog breeds with the highest recorded incidents of human attacks.

The data below comes from Animals 24-7 log of dog attacks.

4. Siberian Husky

A 'sable'-colored Siberian Husky
A ‘sable’-colored Siberian Husky. By Original photo taken by Flickr user Sue and Marty. Edited by User:Pharaoh Hound – Flickr here. Edited by Pharaoh Hound, CC BY 2.5,

Generally friendly and outgoing, Siberian Huskies have been involved in incidents of human attacks, often attributed to their independent nature and high energy levels. Proper exercise and stimulation are crucial for these Arctic dogs.

Attacks with Bodily Harm (1982-2018): 126 (3.5 per year)
Number of Deaths (1982-2018): 2

3. German Shepherd

German Shepard laying on grass
German shepherd. Image via Deposit Photos

Generally, valued for their intelligence and loyalty, German Shepherds are commonly used in police and military work. However, their protective nature can become problematic if not properly managed, leading to instances of aggression towards humans. As well as highly strung when not properly exercised.

Attacks with Bodily Harm (1982-2018): 191 (5.3 per year)
Number of Deaths (1982-2018): 21

2. Rottweiler

Rottweiler scary dog
Image by Alexander Nadrilyanski via Pexels

While having a history as working dogs, Rottweilers possess a strong protective instinct. Unfortunately, without proper training, they can exhibit aggressive behavior, as they are just trying to do right by their owner.

Attacks with Bodily Harm (1982-2018): 615 (17.1 per year)
Number of Deaths (1982-2018): 103

1. Pit Bull

Pitbull. Image by Duncan Sanchez via Unsplash

Known for their strength and tenacity, pit bulls have unfortunately gained notoriety for their involvement in attacks on humans. While individual temperament varies, proper training and socialization are essential for these powerful dogs.

They are not natural fighters like some people think, they are trained to be like that. “Pit bull” are regularly misidentified by shelters and news outlets. Statistics regarding their human attacks are therefore almost impossible to compare with those for more generally defined breeds. All the pit bulls I have ever met are intelligent, gentle, and extremely loving dogs. This is because they are owned by people who have endless amounts of love for their canine companion.

Attacks with Bodily Harm (1982-2018): 5,994 (166.5 per year)
Number of Deaths (1982-2018): 421

Wrapping Up

By Flickr user abkfenris – Flickr here, CC BY 2.0,

Evidently, these breeds may have a higher incidence of attacks on humans. But, it is important to recognize that individual temperament can vary widely within any breed. Generally, responsible ownership, proper training, and early socialization are key factors in preventing incidents of aggression. As well as they promote positive interactions between dogs and humans. Dogs are a reflection of their environment and their owners, so all we can ask is to do right by your special canine!

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