It comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with the problem that pit bulls continue to widen their lead over all other breeds in the grisly race of mauling, maiming, and death.
These statistics, going back over 30 years, are compiled and updated on an ongoing basis by the the animal people . Ever since the CDC stopped tracking breed information in 1998, these reports provide the most thorough information available on the subject of serious injuries and deaths from dog attack.
Here are some highlights -
A quick summary of the top 5 breeds in terms of fatalities over the past 30 years shows that Pit bulls lead the second place Rottweilers by a huge margin; attacks from all other breeds are essentially statistical noise in comparison.
At the low end of the scale, statistically safe breeds - which accounted for 1 death or less over the 30 year period - include: Anatolian Shepherd, Pug, Greyhound, Great Pyrenees, and Weimaraner.
Since pit bulls are absolutely off the chart in the statistics, compared to any other breed, pit bull advocacy groups invariably attack these reports, as well as any other reports that mention breed, since they feel that such specific reports reflect badly on pit bulls, and they want the breed information suppressed. Unable to suppress the information, they instead seek to discredit any sources that mention it. They typically attack the credibility, the methodology or competence of the person or organization presenting the information, and often claim that the media is out to get pit bulls. Merritt Clifton answers for the animal people:
"There is a persistent allegation by pit bull terrier advocates that pit bulls are over-represented among reported dog attack deaths and maimings because of misidentifications or because 'pit bull' is, according to them, a generic term covering several similar types of dog. However, the frequency of pit bull attacks among these worst in 10,000 cases is so disproportionate that even if half of the attacks in the pit bull category were misattributed, or even if the pit bull category was split three ways, attacks by pit bulls and their closest relatives would still outnumber attacks by any other breed.
There is also a persistent allegation by pit bull terrier advocates that the use of media accounts as a data source is somehow suspect. Reality is that media coverage incorporates information from police reports, animal control reports, witness accounts, victim accounts in many instances, and hospital reports. Media coverage is, in short, multi-sourced, unlike reports from any single source."
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You can download a copy of the full report here