Pit bull myths and statistics

Read an article about personal experiences with pit bulls here.

From PitBullInfo.org

Pitbullinfo.org is published by a nonprofit group dedicated to dog-bite prevention, education and the responsible ownership of dogs of all breeds.

The dog-bite related statistics published on pit bullinfo.org are sourced from long-term, peer-reviewed research studies published by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). These studies are the only long-term (10-year and 20-year) peer-reviewed research studies available for dog-bite related statistics that contain breed-based data and breed-based risk information.

Myth #1: The pit bull “statistics”

​Pit bulls are “inherently” more dangerous than other breeds because they are responsible for the majority (more than 50 percent) of dog-bite related fatalities.

​Fact: Peer-reviewed statistics conclude that 72 percent of dog-bite related fatalities were caused by non-pit bull type breeds and mixed-breeds, and ​28 percent were attributed to all four pit bull-type breeds combined, or an estimated average of 7 percent for each of the 4 unique pit bull-type breeds (by AKC/UKC breed standards), which is in-line with other breeds such as German Shepherds (also 7 percent).

Furthermore and most importantly: A recent (2013) peer-reviewed research study published by the American Veterinary Medical Association that analyzed 10-years of dog-bite data concluded that breed is not a factor in dog-bite related fatalities; therefore, pit bull-type breeds are not inherently more dangerous than other breeds.

Myth #2: Pit bulls were “bred to fight”

Pit bulls are dangerous because they were “bred to fight”.

​​Fact: Pit bull-type breeds are a crossbreed between a bulldog and a terrier originally bred in England in the early 19th century (then called a “Bull and Terrier”) to be working and herding dogs on farms, to protect and help manage livestock. Today, they are commonly called by the shorter name “pit bull” which is now a dog “type” consisting of at least four unique breeds recognized by AKC and UKC breed standards. The fact is that regardless of the immoral purpose or abuse that some unfortunate dogs have been used for or subjected to, pit bull-type breeds continue to achieve above-average temperament scores, scoring higher than 99 other breeds, one of the many reasons why pit bull-type breeds are so popular.

Myth #3: Bite strength and “locking jaw”

​Pit bulls have the most powerful bite and a “locking jaw”.

​Fact: The average bite strength of a pit bull-type dog has been measured to be 26-percent lower (235 lbs/inch) than the average bite strength for all dogs (320 lbs/inch). Also, there is no such thing as a “locking jaw.”

The jaw of pit bull-type breeds is anatomically the same as all other breeds. All of the pit bull-type breeds are classified as medium-size and medium-strength, and there are a number of other breeds that are much larger and stronger than any of the pit bull-type breeds, such as the Dogo-Argentino and Bullmastiff breeds.

From DogBreedInfo.com

An estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year. Nearly 800,000 dog bites require medical attention. The other 3.9 million bites are often never reported. The majority of dog bite stats are based on police, hospital or animal control reports. In reality most actual dog bites go unreported. Therefore those stats are a very inaccurate comparison.

This survey shows dog bites reported by either the owner, the person who was bitten or from people who personally knew the person bitten or who knew the dog doing the biting. It is not based on official reported cases. Nor is it based on stories coming from a news source.

These stats came from people who had personal ties to the dog or human involved in one way or another.

The survey ran from May 23, 2013, to Jan. 19. 2016.

Number of people bit: 7,522

Total bites: 8,801

Dog bites counted in order from the most to the least (top 10):

— German Shepherd (Alsatian): 674

— Chihuahua: 423

— Labrador Retriever: 318

— Small mix breed (20 pounds and under): 285

— Medium mix breed (20 to 50 pounds): 231

— American Pit Bull Terrier: 208

— Dachshund: 204

— Jack Russell Terrier: 203

— Rottweiler: 194

— Shih Tzu: 167