How often do dog bites occur in the US?

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2022 | Dog Attacks |

Dog bites aren’t a significant cause of hospitalization in the US. Most dog bites don’t require medical attention either because they are mild and cause little to no injury. North Carolina has laws in place to help protect people who are victims of dog attacks that do end up serious.

Dog bites per year

Approximately 4.7 million dog attacks occur each year in the US. Eighty-one percent of these bites don’t require medical attention. Fatal dog attacks are rare at one in 112,400. This might sound scary because of the media attention that fatal dog attacks get, but your odds of choking on food are higher at one in 2,618.

Pit bulls

Pit bulls are one of the dog breeds that people fear most because some criminals train them to be fight dogs. A common misconception is that a pit bull’s jaw locks when it bites. No dog breeds have locking jaws. Any dog, however, could give an extended bite.

German shepherds

German shepherds are commonly police and military dogs. Historically, people bred them to herd livestock. German shepherds have high protective instincts, alertness and energy. This makes them more prone than some other breeds to attack.


Rottweilers were also herding dogs throughout history and serve as police, guard and rescue dogs. When an owner doesn’t correctly socialize and exercise their rottweiler, the dog is more prone to aggression. Rottweiler owners also need to provide these breeds with adequate mental stimulation. Otherwise, the dogs could become more aggressive and destructive.

Presa Canario

Presa Canario isn’t as well known as the previously mentioned breeds, but they have similar bite rates as pit bulls. Some criminals use them in dog fights.

Wolf-dog hybrids

A wolf-dog hybrid is more likely to attack because of predatory instincts, even if the owner has been conscientious about discipline and training. Wolf-dog hybrids aren’t the best to leave unmonitored around children for this reason. Most of their attacks are on children.

Dog bites, while something to be aware of, aren’t a major cause for concern in the US. Most bites don’t cause serious injury. Stay aware of what to do to avoid provoking dogs and know how to defend yourself in the event of an attack.